Royal Canadian Air Force Doctrine

Doctrine is defined as the “fundamental principles and proven practices by which military forces guide their actions in support of objectives.”[1] Accordingly, military doctrine is the foundation for every aspect of military activity.

Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) doctrine is divided into three levels: strategic (capstone), operational (keystone) and tactical. Strategic doctrine (the overarching doctrine) sets out the fundamental and enduring principles that guide military forces across the continuum of operations, while operational doctrine (the keystone doctrine that describes the ties between the operational and subordinate levels) applies these principles to describe the use of armed force in the context of distinct objectives, force capabilities, mission types and operating environments.[2] Tactical doctrine is guided by the higher levels of doctrine in detailing the proper use of specific weapon systems and other resources to execute tasks meant to achieve specific aims. The boundaries between these levels are not always distinct and they can sometimes overlap. In line with the CAF model, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) capstone and keystone air doctrine provide guidance for the proper application of air and space power at the tactical level.

RCAF capstone and keystone doctrine comprise the foundation that sets the conditions for continued mission success at the operational and tactical levels. The suite of RCAF air and space power doctrine includes the following:

As they continue to be developed and approved, additional doctrine publications will be posted to the RCAF AWC doctrine web page.

1. Defence Terminology Bank record 1761. [return]

2. B-GJ-005-000/FP-001, Canadian Forces Joint Publication 01, Canadian Military Doctrine, 1-2–1-3.[return]

Capstone (Strategic)

Keystone (Operational)

B-GA-402-005/FP-001, Royal Canadian Air Force Doctrine: Expeditionary Air Operations,
1st Edition, November 2020
Download: Accessible (PDF, 521KB) | Full PDF Version (5MB)



Cover of B-GA-402-005/FP-001, Royal Canadian Air Force Doctrine: Expeditionary Air Operations

B-GA-401-000/FP-001, CF Aerospace Command Doctrine,
(Superseded by B-GA-402-001/FP-001, Command and Control, 2nd Edition, July 2018)
1st Edition, March 2012

B-GA-402-000/FP-001, CF Aerospace Sense Doctrine,
(Superced by B-GA-401-002/FP-001, Royal Canadian Air Force Doctrine: Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance, 2nd Edition, November 2017)
1st Edition, August 2012

B-GA-404-000/FP-001, CF Aerospace Doctrine: Move,
(Superseded by B-GA-401-004/FP-001, Air Mobility, 1st Edition, August 2021)
1st Edition, November 2011

B-GA-405-000/FP-001, CF Aerospace Doctrine: Shield,
(Superseded by B-GA-402-002/FP-001, Force Protection, 1st Edition, October 2020)
1st Edition, February 2012

B-GA-405-001/FP-001, Aerospace Force Protection Doctrine,
(Superseded by B-GA-402-002/FP-001, Force Protection, 1st Edition, October 2020)
1st Edition, 8 August 2008

B-GA-406-000/FP-001, Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine: Sustain,
(Superseded by B-GA-402-003/FP-001, Royal Canadian Air Force Doctrine: Force Sustainment, 2nd Edition, July 2017)
1st Edition, February 2011

B-GA-407-001/FP-001, Air Force Personnel Doctrine,
(Superseded by B-GA-407-001/FP-001, Personnel, 2nd Edition, August 2021)
1st Edition, 29 April 2010

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