Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Military of Canada

Call for merge with Canadian Forces. See talk.

Military branches: Canadian Forces (includes Land Forces Command or LC, Maritime Command or MC, Air Command or AC, Communications Command or CC, Training Command or TC. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police or RCMP are the national police force, are part of the Canadian Forces Reserves. The headquarters of the entire Canadian Forces is in Ottawa, Ontario.

Table of contents
1 History
2 The Navy
3 The Army
4 The Air Force
5 Some History
6 External link


The Canadian Armed Forces date to the War of 1812 when Canadian militia units were formed to assist in defending British North America from the invasions by the United States. The Royal Canadian Navy was created in 1910 and the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1924.

The Canadian Forces or its component regiments have fought in the War of 1812, the Fenian Raids (1841-1871), North-West Rebellion (1885), the Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean Conflict, the First Gulf War, and have contributed to UN and other peacekeeping missions and undeclared wars, notably the Suez Crisis, Cyprus, Croatia, Bosnia, and the War on Terrorism (Afghanistan). Canada is a charter member of NATO and a member of the North American Air Defence treaty (NORAD).

At the end of World War II, Canada possessed the third largest navy and fourth largest air force in the world, as well as the largest all-volunteer army ever fielded (conscription was only introduced near the end of the war, and no conscripts actually made it into battle). Defence spending and manpower remained high during the early years of Cold War but began to decline in the 1960s and 1970s as the perceived threat from the Warsaw Pact diminished. Throughout the 1990s successive budget cuts have forced further reductions in the manpower, number of bases, and fighting ability of the Canadian Armed Forces. Sizable Canadian air and land forces were maintained in West Germany under NATO command from the end of World War II until the early 1990s.

See also: Canadian military history

The Navy

Maritime Command (Canadian navy) is the senior command of the Armed Forces, and has approximately 20 modern deepwater warships including 4 tribal class destroyers, 12 Halifax-class frigates, 4 submarines and several 1960s-era steam-driven destroyer escorts that are based in Halifax and Victoria. The Naval Reserve maintains a fleet of Marine Coastal Defence Vessels for coastal patrols.

The Army

Today, Land Force Command (Canadian army) consists of three field-ready brigades: 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Edmonton, Alberta, 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Petawawa, Ontario, and 5e Groupe-Brigade mechanisé du Canada in Valcartier, Quebec (the Francophone brigade). Each brigade contains one regiment each of artillery, armour, combat engineers and infantry (all scaled in the British fashion), as well as a service battalion (logistics), a field ambulance, a headquarters/signals squadron, a tactical helicopter squadron, and several minor organisations. Major training establishments and non-brigaded troops exist at Gagetown, New Brunswick, and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. Well-known regiments in the army include Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in 1 Brigade, The Royal Canadian Regiment in 2 Brigade, and Le Royal 22e Régiment or the 'Van Doos' in 5e Brigade.

The Canadian Militia, or Army Reserve, is divided into under-strength brigades (effectively just for purposes of administration) organised geographically, and has a strength of about 15,000. The Militia is very active and has participated heavily in all Canadian army deployments in the last decade, in some cases contributing as much as 40% of each deployment in either individual augmentation, as well as occasional formed sub-units (companies). The Militia contains many of Canada's most historic regiments, including The Toronto Scottish Regiment, Les Voltigeurs de Québec, and The Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

The Air Force

Air Command (Canadian air force) flies F-18 fighter aircraft as well as combat and search and rescue helicopters. Air Command is located in Winnipeg and major air bases are located in Cold Lake, Alberta, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Bagotville, Quebec, and Trenton, Ontario.

Canada also hosts significant amounts of flight training for allied NATO air forces, as Canada possesses air-combat or ground-attack ranges nearly the size of Europe.

Some History

Unlike the British and U.S. armed forces, the Canadian Armed Forces is a single organisation with a unified command structure. Between 1965 and 1969 the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) were combined into one service. The British-style uniforms (khaki, navy blue and sky blue) of the three services were abandoned in favour of rifle green. The traditional navy and air force rank names were replaced by their army equivalents, with naval-style rank badges for officers and army-style for non-commissioned members. In practice, Maritime Command continues to use the traditional naval rank names (colonel = captain etc.) but Air Command did not retain its rank names (major not squadron leader). The unification had a terrible impact on the morale of the Air and Maritime Commands and accomplished little in cost savings. In an effort to restore morale, Maritime and Air Commands were allowed to return to their traditional navy and sky-blue uniforms in the mid 1980s.

Military manpower - military age: 17 years of age

Military manpower - availability:
males age 15-49: 8,391,120 (2003 est.)

Military manpower - fit for military service:
males age 15-49: 7,158,016 (2003 est.)

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
males: 216,488 (2003 est.)

Military expenditures - dollar figure: $7.861 billion (FY01/02)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP: 1.1% (FY01/02)

See also : Canada

External link