Ready Forces


Field combat-ready forces able to succeed in an unpredictable and complex security environment in the conduct of concurrent operations associated with all mandated missions.

Planning highlights

The Joint Managed Readiness Program ensures different elements of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are ready to conduct complex operations in contested, degraded and operationally limited environments through participation in, and execution of, Canadian and international exercises and training events.

To test responses, systems and equipment, North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) regularly conducts exercises and readiness inspections that cover a range of scenarios to ensure the CAF is ready to respond to a full spectrum of threats. In fiscal year (FY) 2023-24, the CAF will participate in Exercise AMALGAM DART, a peacetime-to-wartime simulation exercising aerospace warning and control capabilities, Exercise Noble Defender, a regular NORAD exercise to demonstrate readiness and inter-region interoperability across the NORAD area of operation, as well as Exercise VIGILANT SHIELD, an annual homeland defence exercise demonstrating readiness and ability to defend Canada and the United States by responding to a wide variety of security contingencies.

Gender-based analysis plus

The department will continue to work with partners to ensure that Military Personnel Data Governance Framework, Gender Advisors and Gender Focal Points receive the training they need in order to perform their roles while deployed. Providing enhanced training in addition to the online Gender-based analysis plus (GBA Plus) courses from the Department for Women and Gender Equality Canada and the Canada School for Public Service will enhance the department’s collective understanding of GBA Plus and the Women, Peace and Security objectives, encourage all members to apply GBA Plus findings in their daily work, and ensure members are better prepared to meet the demands of today’s security challenges. The Defence Team will also review employment and training requirements and strive to adopt a more targeted approach during the nomination process for all deployed positions to enable the deployment and employment of a more diverse force.

The Canadian Army is currently pursuing a number of training opportunities. For example, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) training on “Integrating a Gender Perspective” has been incorporated into training for deployed missions. Scenarios are also played out during major exercises to ensure that training audiences use GBA Plus and various analyses to integrate intersectional gender perspectives. The Canadian Army is also developing an Instructor Development Program to reinforce cultural change and lead to an inclusive, diverse, respectful, safe, and team-based work environment. Instructors will receive self-awareness tools for self-growth and soft skills to create a safe and positive space in which student learning may occur. Pilot serials of this program were conducted during FY 2021-22, and efforts are underway to train up to 600 personnel in FY 2023-24.

In terms of monitoring, the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) continues to monitor and/or report on performance indicators within the ready Special Operations Forces Program, collecting data through existing information systems. For example, CANSOFCOM monitors the proportion of personnel deployed by gender and by period. The unpredictable and complex security nature of contemporary warfare requires the continued integration of intersectional gender perspectives in Special Forces operations but also in its administrative processes. More specifically the inclusive participation of women and other diverse groups in Ready Special Operations Forces initiatives, research projects and/or learning exchanges forums form the basis upon which the Women, Peace and Security Agenda and GBA Plus analytical process are supported internally. For example, the integration of gender perspectives and satisfaction throughout all procurement phases of clothing, protection equipment and/or other military assets enables the continued integration of diverse perspectives to meet the demand of today’s security challenges.

More information on GBA Plus can be found in the “GBA Plus Supplementary Information Table” in the Supplementary information tables section of this report.

United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will continue to respond to The Defence Energy and Environment Strategy, specifically Targets 7 and 11 by:

  • Target 7:  Releasing their Path to Net Zero Strategy, which will include their initial decarbonization plan and greenhouse gas projections, as well as incorporating their original strategy for aviation fuels in support of the Government of Canada’s goal of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050; and 
  • Target 11:  Implementing the recommendations from their paper titled Assessing the Climate Change Impacts on RCAF Operations, which was authorized for release in July 2022. Additionally, the RCAF will realign with the new Federal Sustainable Development Strategy and the existing Greening Government Strategy targets/goals, as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 7, 12 and 13.


In FY 2023-24, The Department of National Defence (DND)/CAF will continue experimentation in the development of Joint Ready Forces through five key initiatives: 

  • Joint Arctic Experiment 23: Continue equipment trials and capability development initiatives, leveraging joint experience in support of overcoming operational challenges in the Arctic environment;
  • BOLD QUEST 23: Coalition Capability Demonstration and Assessment series, in which nations, services and programs pool their resources, facilitating the interoperability of joint capabilities in their final stages of development;
  • Responsive Limited eXperiments: Designed to address short-term problems and is intended to work across all domains, with current experimentation in data sharing, cloud computing and decision support tools;
  • Agile Pan-Domain Command and Control Experimentation Endeavour: Will experiment with visualization, simulation and decision support tools to create collaborative multi-domain situational awareness within the context of pan-domain operations; and
  • Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Data Fusion Experimentation: Will investigate problems to learn, adapt and exploit new capabilities for data fusion in support of the National Defence Operation Intelligence Centre and various CAF Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance projects.

Combined, the five initiatives will assist with meeting the responsibility of developing concepts, organizational designs, and doctrine for assigned joint challenges.

The Joint Arctic Experiment 23 will provide opportunity to collect data and demonstrate improvements in research areas such as human performance for Arctic operations and greener power and energy solutions. Novel and retrofitted resilient Arctic-deployable infrastructure support overcoming joint operational challenges in the Arctic environment.

Additional defence-related experimentation activities are outlined in this report under Core Responsibility – Future Force Design.

Key Risks

There are many risks associated with the Ready Forces Core Responsibility. Three of the Key Risks are articulated below:

Military Strength – There is a risk that DND/CAF will not have the right military personnel, in the right numbers, at the right place, and at the right time.

Military Competencies – There is a risk that DND/CAF will not have the right military personnel, with the right competencies, in the right place and at the right time.

Materiel Maintenance – There is a risk that DND/CAF may have difficulty maintaining its materiel capabilities at the right level to support operations.

The risks above can affect the department’s ability to achieve the Departmental Results of the Ready Forces Core Responsibility.

As the Defence Departmental Results Framework reflects a chain of delivery from conceiving of the required armed forces, to developing them and then executing operations, the activities to mitigate the risks to the Ready Forces Core Responsibility can also be found in other Core Responsibilities which deliver building blocks that enable the results of Ready Forces.

Departmental Result 2.1 – Canadian Armed Forces are ready to conduct concurrent operations

The CAF must balance the requirement to generate ready forces with the need to apply public health operability measures. During FY 2023-24, the CAF will continue to implement best practices at training events to ensure that CAF members follow all public health measures in the vicinity of CAF training areas. CAF medical specialists will continue to advise exercise planners on how to best conduct training in a pandemic environment. In all cases, the measures are based on local health conditions and adjusted in consultation with local authorities. This will continue as long as the COVID-19 pandemic conditions persist.

The CAF will conduct and participate in training scenarios in domestic, continental, and international contexts with other government departments and agencies, allies, and partner nations to enhance integration, interoperability, and joint readiness. Plans include the following exercises in FY 2023-24:

  • Exercise STEADFAST DEFENDER: NATO’s premier Major Joint Exercise, conducted on a triennial basis, demonstrating NATO’s ability to reinforce NATO via transatlantic movement and the enablement and employment of forces;
  • BOLD QUEST: A collaborative joint and multinational exercise in which nations, services and programs pool resources, facilitating the interoperability of joint capabilities in their final stages of development, with an overarching objective to improve interoperability and information-sharing across a range of coalition war-fighting capabilities;
  • Exercise JOINTEX: Capability development and professional military education activities to learn how the CAF, and the broader Canadian National Security Team, can adapt to more effectively meet the Government of Canada’s security demands and defend Canadian national interests in the pan-domain environment. A key component will be the Joint Operations Symposium;
  • Exercise READY RENAISSANCE: Annual readiness exercise conducted by 1st Canadian Division Headquarters that maintains the CAF short notice response to a Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief event;
  • Exercise READY ANGLE: Annual readiness exercise conducted by 1st Canadian Division Headquarters that maintains the CAF short notice response to a Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation;
  • Exercise PARAMOUNT: Annual readiness exercise conducted by 1st Canadian Division Headquarters that maintains the CAF short notice requirement for a National Command Element and Theatre Activation capability;
  • Exercise READY POSTURE: Annual readiness exercise conducted by Canadian Forces Joint Operational Support Group that maintains the CAF short notice capability for an expeditionary Theatre Activation capability;
  • Exercise VIGILANT SHIELD: An annual exercise involving NORAD, United States Northern Command and the CAF, focused on the defence and security of North America;
  • Exercise AUSTERE CHALLENGE: A United States European Command exercise focused on coalition planning with NATO allies and partners, particularly on global competition and conflict with Russia. Crisis planning and a command post exercise will provide an opportunity to test the Joint Operations Centre capability;
  • Exercise CUTLASS FURY 23: This is a Canadian-led multinational exercise that will take place in fall 2023 off the East Coast of Canada. This exercise will consist of nearly 1000 military personnel from across the CAF and NATO, and will enable submarines and surface ships to train together. The multinational task group will face realistic tactical scenarios to test their respective defences against both surface and sub-surface threats;
  • ENTERPRISE STORM: This is the premier Defence Intelligence Enterprise demonstration series to promote joint interoperability and integration between Military Services, Defence Intelligence Agencies, Five Eyes and select coalition partners. ENTERPRISE STORM is sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defence for Intelligence and Security and it is managed by the United States National Geospatial Agency and the National Security Agency. ENTERPRISE STORM takes an iterative approach to demonstrating and assessing intelligence capabilities that have the best potential to transition to real world operations in the near term. ENTERPRISE STORM is a series of demonstration and assessment events specifically tailored to help achieve the following two objectives:
    • Build a modern and resilient intelligence infrastructure and architecture; and
    • Leverage international partnerships as a combined and interdependent community.
  • BICES CATCH: Battlefield Information, Collection, and Exploitation System (BICES) consists of software, hardware and integrated processes which allow the exchange of information across differing security domains. BICES was designed to help Canada and its allies collaborate at the national and tactical levels through the exchange of intelligence data. As Joint Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (JISR) depends on a continuous flow of information, an operational test initiative known as BICES CATCH will take place in FY 2023-24 to support the collection, processing, exploitation and dissemination cycle among Canada and its Allies;
  • Operation NANOOK: This operation is a strategic demonstration of ability and resolve, while tactically, it is a training opportunity for all involved. The focus will be the deployment of forces to the High Arctic to rehearse and enhance CAF capability to deploy and operate in austere and remote environments, while allowing for the integration of relevant science and technology. This operation will foster participation through focused international and partner cooperation and explore avenues to exercise all-domain awareness. Activities are planned to continue until at least 2026 and will address CAF priorities and those of its partners;
  • Operation NANOOK-NUNAKPUT: Integration of regional and other government departments and agencies in a series of presence activities in Joint Task Force North’s area of operations, supported by the Canadian Army, the RCAF and, where applicable, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), designed to develop domain awareness, foster greater interoperability and increase overall readiness;
  • Operation NANOOK-NUNALIVUT: Activities will be carried out in the Northwest Territories. The focus will be the deployment of a joint multinational force to the High Arctic to rehearse and enhance CAF capability to deploy and operate in austere and remote environments. This operation will foster participation through international and partner cooperation and explore avenues to exercise all domain awareness;
  • Operation NANOOK-TATIGIIT: An exercise planned in collaboration with other government partners that is part of an inter-agency response to a major event/incident where the primary focus will be interoperability and readiness of the CAF, other government departments and agencies and the Arctic Search and Rescue (SAR) community to respond effectively;
  • Operation NANOOK-TUUGAALIK: Multinational maritime cooperative exercise safety and security activities. Participants may include other governments’ vessels and allied nations; and
  • Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE: The largest Army-led joint force-on-force exercise of the year, held in Wainwright, Alberta. Approximately 3000 high readiness soldiers (i.e. standby deployment) come together with personnel from the Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre, and the RCAF to validate their readiness to support concurrent operations. To improve interoperability (i.e. the ability of different systems to connect and communicate in a coordinated way), opportunities to include allies and partners, such as the United States, United Kingdom, Latvia, France, and Australia, will be planned. Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE offers a training environment that closely models modern conflict, complete with simulated villages populated with professional actors, and simulated media, and social media environments;


Two Canadian Armed Forces Light Armoured Vehicles (LAV 6) provide support to infantry troops in the area during a simulated attack in the Rocky Ford Urban Training Area, during Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE in Wainwright, Alberta on May 15, 2022.

Photo: Sailor First Class Zach Barr.

  • Exercise UNIFIED RESOLVE: This is the Canadian Army’s largest computer-assisted simulation exercise and will validate the headquarters of an army brigade and its sub-organizations as elements of Canada’s named (i.e. planned/expected/ongoing operations) and contingency (i.e. potential or standby) commitments. Through the use of simulations, a challenging computer-assisted exercise will test planning and decision-making at multiple levels of Canadian Army leadership in a controlled, virtual environment. An enduring training event, Exercise UNIFIED RESOLVE is internationally recognized, and participation in this event is sought out by allies and partners for both its quality and training value. The exercise, designed and developed by the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre, will provide CAF personnel and allies with an opportunity to enhance collective competence and interoperability across a spectrum of scenarios. The virtual nature of the exercise will allow for the participation of more than 800 personnel from across the CAF, United States, United Kingdom, and Latvia;
  • Joint Readiness Training Center: This event, run in Fort Polk, Louisiana, United States, by the United States Army, is a collective training field exercise for light force units in a brigade context. The training event will include full-time opposing forces, observer controller trainers (who provide feedback to facilitate learning by exercise participants), and exercise control groups to ensure a realistic training environment. It will be the culminating validation exercise in support of CAF’s requirement to provide a light infantry battalion group as part of Ready Land Forces to meet the Government of Canada’s requirements to conduct domestic support operations and non-combatant evacuation operations. Further, it will enhance interoperability by allowing a Canadian battalion group to operate as part of a United States brigade. In FY 2023-24, approximately 500 Canadian personnel are expected to participate;
  • Joint Pacific Multinational Readiness Center: A United States Army brigade-level exercise conducted in Alaska, United States, focused on large-scale combat operations in the Arctic. The CAF will contribute a company from a light infantry battalion augmented by an Arctic Response Company Group platoon (250 CAF members in total). This exercise will foster Canada-United States interoperability, further Army Reserve integration into operational outputs and develop Canadian Army warfighting proficiency in the Arctic, while fulfilling their foundation training requirements.
  • Exercise TRADEWINDS: An annual United States Southern Command exercise aimed at promoting regional security cooperation in the Caribbean region by involving security forces and disaster response agencies to focus on countering threats and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. This is anticipated to include interagency training focused on increasing regional cooperation in complex multinational security operations and demonstrates Canada’s ongoing commitment to the Latin America and Caribbean region;


Members of the 3rd Battalion, Royal 22e Régiment, swim towards the shore with their weapons aimed at a simulated enemy, on Lac Hayes in the training areas of 2nd Canadian Division Support Base in Québec on July 19, 2022.

Photo: Corporal Sébastien Lauzier-Labarre, Valcartier Imaging Section.

  • Exercise ARDENT DEFENDER: This joint, international, inter-agency counter explosive threat exercise will focus on training and developing best practices on a number of counter explosive threat capabilities, including explosive ordnance disposal, search, and exploitation. The exercise will consist of approximately 400 military and civilian personnel from across the CAF, NATO, and at least nine other international partner nations. This field exercise will enable the practice of individual skillsets in a collective training environment, developing interoperability amongst allies, tactical and technical exploitation skills and procedures, engagement with partner nations, and individual training validation of CAF improvised explosive device disposal operators. This exercise will certify some of the CAF’s NATO contributions as well as maintain the skills of instructors who provide education and training in the CAF;
  • Exercise PRECISE RESPONSE: A live agent and interoperability training exercise conducted on behalf of NATO with Defence Research and Development Canada at Canadian Forces Base Suffield for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear response specialist and non-specialist practitioners. An estimated 350 to 400 personnel from 12 to 13 nations and two international non-governmental organizations will participate in the exercise;
  • BULLSEYE: Rejuvenated was rejuvenated in 2016 by the RCAF as a means of renewing capacity and strategic engagement. This exercise will provide the RCAF and Commonwealth air forces with opportunities for relevant multinational tactical air mobility training, improve interoperability, and renew strategic engagement with the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom;
  • COALITION SPACE FLAG: A semi-annual United Stated Space Force-led collective defence in space exercise where tactics and procedures are exercised. Canadian Space Operations Centre operators are able to exercise defence schemes in a variety of simulated threats, including those in cyberspace, electronic warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and analysis and targeting. Current participating nations include Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, with operators from a variety of space commands;
  • COALITION VIRTUAL FLAG 23: An annual Five Eyes exercise, sponsored by the United States Air Force (USAF) and conducted at Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, and across the globe through distributed mission training. COALITION VIRTUAL FLAG is innovative and noteworthy as it is designed to provide training in synthetic, theatre-level, joint combat operations in contested and degraded combat environments. This exercise also provides an opportunity to interact with land, maritime, air, special operations, cyber and space elements from multiple nations. COALITION VIRTUAL FLAG is the world premiere distributed mission training exercise. Training is done by simulators based at their home location, connected to the scenario through the CAF Experimentation and Exercise Network;
  • COALITION VIRTUAL STRIKE (CVS) 23: CVS is designed to provide operational and tactical war fighters with training in synthetic, theatre-level, joint combat environments. CVS is targeted to Air Expeditionary Wing/Air Task Force vulnerable units and provides the opportunity to interact with joint elements of the Theatre Air Control System. CVS includes army, air force and special operations elements from Five Eyes partner countries along with the Joint Intelligence Signals Regiment;
  • GLOBAL ENGAGEMENT 23: This is the USAF’s major, biennial joint/combined wargame series. It not only focuses on improving competitive advantage and warfighting concepts in specific theatres of operations, but also shapes conceptual thinking on complex warfighting issues spanning the next 30 years. In its capstone year, this iteration will focus on Homeland Defence and Arctic operations;
  • SPARTAN WARRIOR: An annual, USAF-led NATO coalition exercise designed to provide operational and tactical war fighter training in synthetic theatre-level, major combat operations in a contested and degraded environment. Provides a relevant and realistic joint/combined operations scenario developed by NATO lead planners in order to foster multinational cooperation and trust, enhance interoperability, and achieve force generation training qualification output to the maximum extent. SPARTAN WARRIOR is a NATO interoperability exercise, demonstrating Canada’s commitment to Coalition partners. SPARTAN WARRIOR is also the premiere NATO distributed mission training exercise. Training is done by simulators based at their home location, connected to the scenario through the CAF Experimentation and Exercise Network;
  • “DYNAMIC” SERIES (DYNAMIC MANTA, DYNAMIC MONGOOSE): DYNAMIC MANTA facilitates joint and combined training with NATO allies to further CAF capabilities. It is the second-largest joint/combined anti-submarine warfare exercise (with RIMPAC as the largest), reflecting real world anti-submarine warfare operations. DYNAMIC MONGOOSE is similar, with a focus on key NATO allies involved in real world anti-submarine warfare operations;
  • GLOBAL SENTINEL 23: A future-based space domain awareness exercise in a simulated operational space environment using online shared operational and analytical tools. It is a multi‑nation exercise run by the United States Space Command to determine tactics, techniques, and procedures, share analytics and data products, and refine contingencies for future operations;
  • GREEN FLAG 23: GREEN FLAG LITTLE ROCK trains 5000 Soldiers deployed to an austere environment in the United States of America. USAF and coalition air forces provide airlift and airdrop capabilities, aeromedical evacuation and bare-base setup and operations. GREEN FLAG is an advanced, realistic, and relevant air-to-surface training exercise, preparing joint and coalition war fighters to meet combatant commander requirements across air, space, and cyberspace;
  • JOINT WARRIOR 23-3: A biannual, United Kingdom-led tri-service and multination exercise intended to improve joint and combined interoperability between allied and partner navies and prepare participants for a role in a joint and combined maritime environment. Individual exercise plans are flexible and tailored to meet the participants’ individual and collective training requirements. RCAF participates with Maritime Patrol Aircraft (CP-140) in an antisubmarine warfare role;
  • THOR’S HAMMER 23: A United States-led strategic level exercise against a near-peer nation. The exercise focuses on space and cyber capabilities, but all domains participate. This exercise explores and challenges the collation’s cohesiveness and ability to respond to complex scenarios in domains where national boundaries and peace/wartime actions are disregarded or not respected by the enemy; and
  • SCHRIEVER WARGAME23:   A United States Space Force combined exercise with scenarios that take place one to ten years in the future. The scenarios are designed to support concept development and inform decisions about future space mission responsibilities and operational architectures. The RCAF has participated in this exercise for over a decade, and it has led to fundamental changes in the way Five Eyes and other partners (e.g. France, Germany, and now Japan) conduct space operations.


A member of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment shouts orders to troops during a simulated attack as part of Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE in Wainwright, Alberta on May 21, 2022.

Photo: Corporal Aimee Rintjema, CAF Photo.

In addition to the noted readiness exercises, Defence will deliver on a number of efforts that will best ensure readiness of the CAF, including the following items:

  • The realignment, modernization, and streamlining of the CAF Logistics Capability. As part of the larger operational sustainment modernization initiative, this will enhance situational awareness and ensure better stewardship of resources;
  • The RCAF Future Aircrew Training is a generational opportunity for the RCAF to modernize and renew its Aircrew Training system. It will revamp training for all RCAF Pilots, Air Combat Systems Officers and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators through the delivery of a single performance based contracted training program;
  • Throughout FY 2023-24, the Canadian Army will generate combat-effective, multipurpose land forces for deployment in multiple concurrent operations to achieve Canada’s defence objectives. To achieve these objectives, the Canadian Army will conduct training, maintenance and other preparations necessary to generate the leadership, personnel, equipment and capabilities necessary to command, execute, and sustain domestic or expeditionary operations, Recent developments in Eastern Europe will significantly influence FY 2023-24 activities. Canadian Army personnel will form the majority of the Government of Canada’s recently announced expansion of Operation REASSURANCE in Latvia. In order to maintain flexibility to generate Ready Land Forces for this and other operational commitments, the Canadian Army will press forward with the following plans and priorities:
    • The Primary Reserves provide a CAF presence in 117 communities across Canada. These primarily part-time personnel often provide the first line of response to situations such as floods, fires, and other emergent situations and enhance CAF actions by providing links to and knowledge of their municipalities. They also augment the Regular Force during missions overseas or here at home by providing integrated formed elements and / or individual reinforcements. In FY 2023-24, the CAF will continue efforts to improve this capability through development of the Soldier Readiness Policy-Reserve to improve existing policies by clarifying training requirements and providing greater predictability to personnel;
    • The Canadian Rangers, an integral component of the CAF, are a diverse and agile localized capability generated for employment by the CAF to assist the Government of Canada presence in 220 sparsely settled remote, northern, coastal, and isolated areas; and
    • A deployment readiness exercise is being instituted to simulate the efforts that would be necessary to move Canadian Army personnel and materiel to a theatre of operations. The aim of this exercise is to identify potential points of friction and shortfalls, and to confirm readiness timelines. FY 2023-24 will see continued development of this new initiative;
  • In FY 2023-24, to further support readiness and defence policy objectives, the CAF will continue to refine its ability to force generate land power by improving cooperation and interoperability with allied nations and partners. The Canadian Army promotes the CAF as a credible and reliable military partner and promotes broader Canadian outreach. This will be achieved through annual staff talks with key allies and partners, the leveraging of existing interoperability forums such as the American, British, Canada, Australia and New Zealand program, and NATO, participation in select international exercises and events (e.g. Project Convergence), the embedding of exchange or liaison officers, and the conduct of short-term exchanges;
  • In FY 2023-24, the Canadian Army will continue to provide joint capabilities to the CAF: Joint Counter Explosive Threat Task Force, Joint Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence, and Joint Targeting Training functions. Highlights of major activities expected for FY 2023-24 will include the following:
    • In addition to the Canadian Army’s Exercise ARDENT DEFENDER, counter explosive threat training will take place with allies and partners to maintain operator and staff skillsets; and
    • A major focus of the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defence capability will be to engage with partners to ensure that Canada is well-informed of and contributes to international standards;
  • CANSOFCOM is a crisis response organization that provides the Chief of the Defence Staff and operational commanders with agile, high-readiness Special Operations Forces capable of conducting special operations across the spectrum of conflict at home and abroad. remains at a very high readiness level to respond to emerging crisis situations or contingencies that threaten Canadians and Canadian interests. Further, CANSOFCOM will contribute to the CAF’s ability to anticipate requirements through the generation of forces designed to illuminate and understand atmospherics and emerging threats, while helping to shield Canadian interests by recognizing and removing or mitigating vulnerabilities;
  • Operational Support Hub Network: The CAF will continually assess and optimize the Operational Support Hub Network to support international operations and major exercises as required. Inherent flexibility in location, size and degrees of responsiveness will enhance operational support while minimizing resource expenditures. Operational support may be provided through agreements with allies, partners and contractors, as opposed to, or in conjunction with, the physical presence of CAF assets and personnel where feasible and efficient;
  • As a joint capability, space integrates CAF members and their civilian Defence Team counterparts, working together to deliver capabilities that provide strategic advantage. Integrated through the Canadian Space Operations Centre, the CAF team will continue to participate in space operations activities with allied partners under the Combined Space Operations Initiative in order to meet the space-related goals of Strong, Secure, Engaged;
  • As the CAF continues to improve Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance readiness, areas of focus for the CAF will include:
    • Integration of CAF Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance into the NATO and Five Eyes environment to enhance communication and information exchange capabilities while directly supporting the war fighter and senior decision makers;
  • Sustained Command and Control and cooperation with Arctic nations, including the United States through United States Northern Command, in the conduct of Arctic missions, operations and exercises;
  • UNIFIED VISION 23: DND/CAF will continue participation in NATO’s premier international event to practise and evaluate new and existing technical and operational concepts for conducting JISR in NATO operations. This event will improve Canada and its NATO allies’ coordination and interoperability by exchanging and analyzing large amounts of intelligence data in an operational environment. JISR is essential for all military operations as it provides the right information to the right person at the right time and in the right format, on the ground, in the air, at sea, in space and in the cyber domain. UNIFIED VISION participation will support Canada and its NATO allies in gaining a complete picture of an unfolding crisis and will support well-informed, synchronized, timely, and accurate decisions.

The relevance and significance of UNIFIED VISION for NATO and its member states derive from today’s dynamic security environment and the information demands at all levels of command. This enables the alliance to evaluate and inform NATO bodies and nations of change recommendations to support further improvements towards the achievement of an enduring NATO JISR capability;

The CAF will continue to grow the CAF Cyber Forces by recruiting and enabling new Cyber Operators, attracting motivated and skilled personnel from across military occupational specialties for employment in the Cyber domain, and supporting the employment of reservists with specialized skill sets.

Renewed force generation in FY 2023-24 will expand the Cyber Field Force, including advanced technical capabilities and intelligence support for operations, to provide additional deployable force element options for the Cyber Force Commander.

Opportunities for growth will be coupled with the requirements for expanded cyber force workspaces in operational, security, and high security zones to consolidate cyber force functional elements and enhance their interoperability with Canadian partners and international allies.

The CAF will participate in training activities to enhance cyber force readiness including opportunities presented by:

  • Participating in several CAF and other Government of Canada cyber training activities;
  • Participating in cyber exercises to enhance binational cyber incident response and continental defence, such as NORAD’s Exercise VIGILANT SHIELD, and the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence-led Exercise CYBER WARRIOR; and
  • Participating in multinational partner exercises to mature strategic cooperation. In support of coalition objectives focused on global outcomes to global challenges, CAF Cyber Forces will join partners and allies for NATO’s Exercise CYBER COALITION and interoperability Exercise. COALITION WARRIOR, and the Five Eyes Multinational Force Exercise CARPE NOVUM.

Members of Canadian Special Operations Forces Command conduct training in Ontario, June 2022.

Planned results

Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target
Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results 2020–21 Actual results 2021–22 Actual results
2.1 Canadian Armed Forces are ready to conduct concurrent operations  % of operations that are capable of being conducted concurrently 100% 31 March 2025 100%

100% 100%
% of force elements that are ready for operations in accordance with established targets 100%
31 March 2025 80.34%



* Readiness continued to be impacted over this FY by the COVID-19 pandemic and related impacts on the intake of personnel, individual and collective training, and increased demands on CAF resources for pandemic and domestic response operations.

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces’ Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Departmental Result 2.2 – Military equipment is ready for training and operations

Equipment is made available to support CAF training and operational requirements through the Equipment Support Program, which is primarily funded through the National Procurement corporate accounts. National Procurement is the term given to DND corporate accounts aligned to the in-service sustainment (maintenance, engineering support, engineering changes, and inventory replenishment) and disposal of aerospace, land, maritime, and special operational forces equipment, as well as ammunition and common use materiel such as uniforms and test equipment. The department’s materiel group is responsible for the execution of the National Procurement program, which is expected to expend over $3.5 billion in FY 2023‑24.

In FY 2023-24, the RCAF will continue to leverage its minor project program to quickly improve existing equipment and rectify operational capability deficiencies that reduce the availability of assets for operations. For example, the CT-142 will be upgraded with a modern, reliable, multi-mode radar to address the obsolescence of the current model and correct Air Combat Systems Officer training deficiencies. These significant capital investments, among a number of other RCAF initiatives, seek to improve the overall operational availability and relevancy of aerospace equipment.

The introduction of the Harry DeWolf-class enhances the RCN’s ability to assert Canadian sovereignty in the Arctic, integrate with a range of government and international partners, and support international operations. The Harry DeWolf-class provides the RCN with an ice-capable, effective, and versatile ship to patrol Canada’s three coasts and support international operations abroad. Their ability to operate in up to one metre of first-year ice extends the RCN’s reach in the Arctic region. When not in the Arctic, the ships can be deployed to support a range of domestic and international operations, including maritime interdiction, emergency response, and disaster relief.

In FY 2023-24, the RCN will see three Harry DeWolf-class conducting operations, which may include activities aimed at further integrating the ships with the CH-148 Cyclone. The RCN is also expecting to take delivery of the class’s fourth ship, the future HMCS William Hall, in late 2023. The operationalization of this ship is expected to mirror the introduction to the fleet activities of the first three ships of this class, commencing with a post-delivery work period followed by basic single ship readiness training prior to commencing the at-sea test and trials program.

Harry DeWolf-class ships will participate in multiple exercises and operations in FY 2023-24. This includes Exercise CUTLASS FURY 2023, which is a Canadian-led multinational exercise designed to promote regional cooperation in the North Atlantic and Operation CARIBBE. Two Harry DeWolf-class ships will also conduct operational deployments to the Arctic for Operation NANOOK, operating in consort with allied navies and coast guards and other government departments and agencies. The joint Arctic deployment of these ships under Operation NANOOK will contribute to CAF presence and surveillance activities in the Northern maritime approaches to Canada. In addition, it will provide opportunities to further nurture the growing relationship between the six Arctic regions of Inuit Nunangat communities affiliated with the ships of this class.

HMCS Max Bernays will sail for post-acceptance trials over the spring and summer of 2023. Later in 2023 during their first operational deployment, HMCS Max Bernays will execute a coastal transfer to its assigned home port of Esquimalt, British Columbia, which may also include a transit through the Northwest Passage. HMCS Max Bernays will be the first Harry DeWolf-class based on Canada’s West Coast. After arrival, the commissioning ceremony is planned for winter FY 2023-24.

The Canadian Patrol Submarine Project is in the early stages of examining procurement options for Canada’s next generation submarine. Canada’s defence policy recognizes the importance of submarines to the RCN as part of a balanced and capable fleet. Submarines are part of the unseen force of the nation; they are stealthy, lethal, and persistent, making them ideal for surveillance and intelligence gathering. Covert, well-armed, and capable of patrolling vast distances, submarines can provide support to maritime law-enforcement, conduct operations around the world, and contribute to continental defence, including in the Arctic. Where previous classes of submarines were designed with a focus on systems, around which we inserted people, today we are focused on enabling the sailors of our next generation submarines and tailoring the systems to support them. Leveraging innovation and GBA Plus analysis will help to inform design considerations and foster a diverse and inclusive environment workplace aboard the future Canadian Patrol Submarine.

The Canadian Army Equipment Readiness Program, established in FY 2017-18 and updated in FY 2021-22, aims to ensure that the serviceability of equipment is maintained to support readiness and operational outputs. In FY 2023-24, key actions will include confirmation of equipment and fleet serviceability requirements for expeditionary commitments, coordination with Materiel Group for parts prioritization and land materiel assurance advice, and a continued focus on increasing productivity levels across the Canadian Army.

HMCS Max Bernays arrived at HMC Dockyard in Halifax, Nova Scotia on September 2, 2022 and, in the finest of naval traditions, was greeted by the sailors and aviators who shortly thereafter officially crewed the ship for the first time.

Planned results

Departmental Results Departmental Result Indicators Target Date to achieve target 2019–20 Actual results 2020–21 Actual results 2021–22 Actual results
2.2 Military equipment is ready for training and operations % of maritime key fleets that are serviceable to meet training and readiness requirements in support of concurrent operations At least 60% 31 March 2024 Previous methodology Previous methodology 54% *
% of key land fleets that are serviceable to meet training and readiness requirements in support of concurrent operations  At least 80% 31 March 2024 65.4%

62.7% 65.8%**
% of aerospace key fleets that are serviceable to meet training and readiness requirements in support of concurrent operations At least 85% 31 March 2024 60.8% 55% 43%***


* The methodology used to calculate the serviceability rate for maritime key fleets has been updated to better capture the realities facing the RCN. The new methodology accounts for all periods when the vessels are not considered serviceable including: docking work periods, alongside work periods when the vessel cannot be assigned to tasks, and periods when the vessel has suffered an operational deficiency which prevents it from completing an assigned task. The result of 54 percent can largely be attributed to an aging fleet that is increasingly spending longer periods of time in third- line maintenance.

A portion of the fleet will normally be subject to repairs due to the use of fleets and thus not be serviceable. As such, a target of 100 percent would not reflect a realistic goal. A healthy fleet should, however, reflect a low proportion of the fleet that is unserviceable in order to ensure that the appropriate level of training and readiness can be provided. Note that the concept of “serviceable” differs significantly between military environments due to the inherent differences across types of equipment.

In the Maritime context, updated methodology took effect in FY 2021-22. Thus, the “actual results” of previous FYs cannot be compared with those of FY 2021-22 or more recent FYs. The updated indicator now refers to the number of serviceable vessels in key fleets that can perform assigned tasks. Periods when the vessels are not considered serviceable are docking work periods, alongside work periods when the vessel cannot be assigned to tasks, and periods when the vessel has suffered an operational deficiency which prevents it from completing an assigned task. If a vessel is in an alongside work period and can still be assigned to tasks, it is considered serviceable. Key fleets refers to Halifax-class, Kingston-class, Harry DeWolf-class, and Victoria-class vessels. The remainder of the Harry DeWolf-class and the Protecteur-class will be added to this metric as they are brought into the RCN fleet.

In the army context, the indicator refers to the aggregate number of pieces of equipment that make up the land fleets.

In the air force context, the indicator refers to the aggregate number of pieces of equipment that make up the aerospace fleets.

** During the period, maintenance technician productivity was comparable to pre-pandemic levels. Local PHMs at different maintenance workshops still had a negative effect on serviceability levels and the ability of technicians to meet specific targets. For example, limitations on the number of personnel who could be present in the workplace and a shortage of skilled staff resulted in delays and backlogs of work.

*** As was the case in FY 2020–21, the COVID-19 pandemic work restrictions impacted serviceability rates.

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces’ Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned budgetary spending for Ready Forces

The following table shows, for Ready Forces, budgetary spending for FY 2023–24, as well as planned spending for that year and for each of the next two fiscal years.

2022-23 budgetary spending (as indicated in Main Estimates) 2023-24
planned spending
planned spending
planned spending
10,775,809,423 10,775,809,423 10,709,780,573 $10,796,131,309

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces’ Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.

Planned human resources for Ready Forces

The following table shows, in full time equivalents, the human resources the department will need to fulfill this core responsibility for FY 2023–24 and for each of the next two fiscal years.

planned full-time equivalents
planned full-time equivalents
planned full-time equivalents
43,946 44,899 45,623

Financial, human resources and performance information for the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces’ Program Inventory is available in the GC InfoBase.


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