DAOD 5044-3, Deployment Support Groups

1. Introduction

Date of Issue: 2002-02-08

Application: This is an order that applies to officers and non-commissioned members of the Canadian Forces (“CF members”).

Approval Authority: This document is issued under the authority of the Director Quality of Life (DQOL).

Enquiries: Director Quality of Life (DQOL)

2. Definition

military deployment (déploiement militaire)

Military deployment means the temporary relocation of military forces or individual CF members on a mission to an area of operations, exclusive of normal training or exercise.

3. Context


3.1 Military deployments may occur with little or no notice and can impose significant stress on both the CF member and the member's family. A Deployment Support Group (DSG) can help the CF member and family cope with a military deployment, and contribute to the well-being of the family unit.

3.2 DSG is the common CF title for the traditional Naval Shore Element, Army Rear Party and Air Sponsor Group. Within the respective environments, the traditional titles may continue to be used.

3.3 Commanding officers (COs) shall ensure that a consistent level of support is provided to deployed CF members and their families, in both official languages, during all phases of a military deployment through the provision of a DSG.

4. Principles


4.1 The role of a DSG is to contribute to the well-being of deployed CF members and their families. The DSG shall provide:

  1. access to local military family resources, programs and services;
  2. information on civilian family related programs and services;
  3. accurate and timely mission information; and
  4. assistance during family-related emergencies.


4.2 The unit, base, wing, brigade, task group or formation as appropriate to a military deployment and participants (hereinafter referred to as the "coordinating authority") shall establish a local DSG in support of the military deployment.


4.3 The DSG should be composed of CF members selected from the unit to be deployed or augmented from other units, with a warrant officer/petty officer first class (WO/PO1) or above, or an officer, in charge.


4.4 The DSG should be given the cooperation and participation of all the groups and organizations of the CF Family Network identified in DAOD 5044-1, Families, in order to be fully effective and provide the best possible support to the CF member and family.


4.5 The coordinating authority and the assigned DSG staff members are primarily responsible for the establishment and operation of the DSG. Their responsibilities vary according to the phase and type of the military deployment.


4.6 The three phases of a military deployment are:

  1. pre-deployment;
  2. deployment; and
  3. post-deployment.

Personal Information

4.7 All participants in the DSG shall ensure that the personal information of CF members and their families is protected in accordance with the Privacy Act.

Mission Augmentees

4.8 CF members who deploy as individual augmentees and their families shall receive DSG services from their unit, base or wing who will request the assistance of the Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) nearest to the augmentee’s family.

5. Briefings

Pre-Deployment Briefings

5.1 Pre-deployment briefings will normally occur approximately four weeks prior to departure. Contents shall be adapted to the specific mission and the needs of the participants.

Briefing Content

5.2 The following table gives the specific areas to be covered in pre-deployment briefings.

Topic Specific


  • unique unit and mission concerns;
  • overview of the mission, subject to security requirements;
  • general threat as deemed necessary;
  • cultural issues of the area of operations;
  • family understanding of potential ethical issues facing CF members;
  • media interest in the military deployment; and
  • family security issues as a result of the assigned mission.


  • MFRCs:
    • information and referral services;
    • child / youth services;
    • emergency childcare coordination; and
    • crisis intervention;
  • family care plan (FCP); and
  • military family identification card (MFID)

Health and Well-Being

  • critical incident stress debriefings (CISDS);
  • life and disability insurance;
  • loss/theft of personal property;
  • hospital and health insurance plans;
  • Public Service Health Care Plan (PSHCP);
  • CF Dependants Dental Care Plan (DDCP);
  • CF Member Assistance Program (CFMAP);
  • home repair trouble shooting and points of contact; and
  • DND/Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Center, for the support of injured, retired CF members and their families.

Administrative, Financial and Legal Matters

  • overview of CAF members preparation:
    • pre- and post-deployment medical;
    • eye wear;
    • clothing and equipment preparation;
    • passports and visas;
    • international drivers license;
    • foreign currency;
    • air travel;
    • international standby list procedures; and
    • unit leave plan (pre, during and post deployment);
  • pay and allowances;
    • arrangements and individual banking; and
    • trouble shooting;
  • power of attorney;
  • guardianship of children;
  • will; and
  • common-law statutory declaration.

Note - If family members plan on travelling to the general area during the military deployment, appropriate general advice should also be provided to the families.

Compensation and Benefits (as applicable)

Allowances and other benefits under or in respect of:

  • the Military Foreign Service Regulations;
  • relocation and travel;
  • leave;
  • special duty areas (disability pensions); and
  • other programs.

Base/Wing Services

  • unit orderly room services;
  • personnel support program (PSP) services:
    • sports and fitness;
    • recreation;
    • CANEX;
    • Service Income Security Insurance Plan (SISIP) financial services; and
    • community councils;
  • police services;
  • social worker services; and
  • chaplain services.


  • public affairs briefing/training;
  • mission information line;
  • mail services;
  • Internet;
  • customs regulations;
  • telephone calls; and
  • CF Amateur Radio System (CFARS).

DSG Role and Contacts

  • establishment and composition;
  • location; and
  • points and methods of contact.

6. Responsibilities

Responsibility Table

6.1 The following table shows those responsible for the implementation of DSGs.

The … is/are responsible for …

Coordinating Authority

Pre-Deployment Phase:

  • establishing a DSG, including appropriate infrastructure, logistical, financial and telecommunication support;
  • establishing links with other units providing mission augmentees;
  • organizing and conducting briefings to address the appropriate subject areas;
  • overseeing the operations of the DSG including guidance on the provision of information and services via a multi-media approach (handbook, CD ROM, Internet websites, briefings, pamphlets, etc.);
  • providing CF members with appropriate DSG contact information; and
  • liaising with the Departure Assistance Group (DAG).

Deployment Phase:

  • communicating with the DSG on a routine basis and providing status reports as permitted by the mission policy;
  • liaising with the DSG to co-ordinate unit homecoming; and
  • scheduling in consultation with health care professionals a family reunion stress briefing at least four weeks prior to the anticipated return date.

Post-Deployment Phase:

  • submitting after-action reports on DSG operation to the appropriate HQ:
  • conducting post-deployment briefings; and
  • coordinating with the MFRC and base/wing social worker (B/WSWO) any follow-up requirements.


Pre-Deployment Phase:

  • partnering with the DAG and the military family network elements, including the MFRC, and establishing programs and services as appropriate;
  • providing a current list of DSG military and civilian contacts to families affected by the military deployment, including parents of single CF members;
  • determining the special needs of individuals or families;
  • communicating with the parent units of mission augmentees to ensure the assignment of a DSG;
  • preparing a response plan for family emergencies or significant incidents; and
  • ensuring families have appropriate access, through the local MFRC, to a Crisis Intervention Team.

Deployment Phase:

  • communicating regularly with the deployed unit, mission policy permitting;
  • communicating regularly with families, including parents of single CF members, using a variety of methods, e.g., telephones, 1-800 numbers, pamphlets, base newspapers, Internet web sites, briefings etc.;
  • ensuring that the families of CF members are aware of the programs and services offered by the military family network, including MFRC professional services and their referral services;
  • being accessible to families;
  • developing plans for and assisting in unusual situations, e.g., postal strike, casualty administration, temporary disability, administrative or financial difficulties, etc;
  • maintaining a daily occurrence log for reference and continuity purposes; and
  • assisting in organizing a family reunion stress briefing.

Post-Deployment Phase:

  • participating in homecoming activity planning and execution; and
  • submitting after action reports to the coordinating authority including lessons learned and best practices.

7. References

Acts, Regulations,Central Agency Policies and Policy DAOD

Other References

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