Planned results: Program 3.0: Defence Ready Force Element Production

Program 3.0: Defence Ready Force Element Production


The Defence Ready Force Element Production Program produces and renews force elements on a continual basis for use in Defence Combat and Support Operations, as well as for the delivery of Defence Services and Contributions to Government, in order to increase the likelihood of success and decrease risk of failure in the defence of Canada and promotion of Canadian interests. Results are delivered by assembling force elements from the fundamental elements of Defence capability (i.e., military personnel, materiel and information systems, information, and, in some cases, real property), and integrating them through various training and certification programs so that they have the requisite amount of readiness in order to fulfill predefined roles within the operations for which they are destined.

The term readiness refers to the volume, endurance, responsiveness and capability attributes of force elements that are not employed. These attributes are used to determine the degree of risk that would be associated with assigning them to fulfill perspective role(s) within on-going or contingency operations. The force elements produced by the Defence Ready Force Elements Production Program are organized into portfolios according to the maritime, land, aerospace and special operations environments in which they operate. There are also portfolios for force elements that operate jointly across these domains and force elements that provide common support functions.

Across these portfolios, force elements are produced to meet readiness targets. These readiness targets ensure that production can be sustained over short- and medium-term time horizons and that the number of force elements available for employment in on-going and contingency operations is in accordance with acceptable levels of operational risk.

Planning highlights

Maintaining a good baseline level of training from which personnel can transition rapidly to theatre-specific training is one of our great skills and talents in the armed forces. The CAF will continue to be well positioned and agile to work within a range of environments and operations, and will continue to uphold Canada’s reputation and strength to bring the right capability to the right conflict at the right time.

Ready our forces - improve agility and responsiveness

We will continue to sustain our immediate and high readiness forces to respond to standing domestic and international contingencies. This will involve periodic continuation training of essential skills and capabilities and any theatre or mission specific training once an operation is declared.

Our pre-deployment training will continue to emphasize the need to incorporate gender perspectives in security and peace considerations. A Gender Advisor will be assigned to operational commanders and deployed when we conduct operations.

Together, the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army (CA), Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Special Operations and Joint and Common Forces, supported by our enabling organizations, will work to ensure the continued effectiveness of the CAF through the innovative application of technology, systems, methods and collective competencies so we remain able to adapt when called upon.

Royal Canadian Navy

The RCN is Canada’s naval force, a rapidly deployable and highly flexible team that provides the Government of Canada with maritime defence and security options. The RCN is always ready to respond, at home and abroad, to missions ranging from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, to the monitoring of seaborne activity, deterrence, anti-terrorism, and full combat operations.

The RCN is a broadly balanced, technologically advanced and combat-effective maritime force. As a vital component of Canada’s prosperity, security and defence, the RCN will seek to improve its agility and responsiveness. To do this, the RCN has developed a new operating concept called “Generating Forward” – conducting force generation and training activities abroad in order to maximize the use of our personnel and equipment, and be readily available for strategic operations. With our ships, submarines and special teams already training and exercising internationally, we will have the personnel, materiel, training and flexibility needed to respond quickly when called upon to better support Canada’s strategic priorities in the region.

In this exact vein, the RCN will deploy two frigates to the Indo-Asian Pacific region in 2017-18 and will also be participating in Exercise OBANGAME EXPRESS, a multinational readiness activity taking place in the Gulf of Guinea, off the coast of West Africa. Additionally, to ensure readiness across all RCN forces, we will participate in training opportunities domestically and abroad, such as JOINT WARRIOR 23, TRADEWINDS, TRIDENT FURY 24, and BOLD ALLIGATOR.

The ability to replenish ships at sea with fuel and other critical supplies is a fundamental requirement for the RCN. This allows the Navy to operate for extended periods away from home port without relying on foreign ships or ports of call, and directly impacts Canada’s ability to independently operate its forces for extended periods throughout the world. We have contracted for the provision of an interim Auxiliary Oiler Replenishment at-sea service commencing in fall 2017. This interim capability will help bridge the gap by providing for minimum support requirements in non-threat environments until the second Joint Support Ship joins RCN fleet operations in late 2021. Following acceptance trials, the vessel will provide support to the fleet conducting exercises and operations in the Atlantic before starting its transit to the West Coast, in early 2018.

Canadian Army

The CA is a soldier-centric and professional force consisting of a fully integrated Regular Force, Army Reserve, Canadian Rangers and Civilian personnel. The CA is agile, scalable and responsive, providing the Government of Canada with a range of military capabilities within the land domain. Canadian soldiers train to develop their warfighting skills which can be used across the continuum of operations, from humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, to peace support and major combat operations. The Army will exploit leading edge practices and technologies to develop resilient, cognitively dominant and professional soldiers, leaders and combined arms teams, who are universally ready for operations in a joint interagency multinational and public environment.

Several projects and initiatives are set to deliver in 2017-18 and beyond to enhance CA capabilities, including the following:

  • The Integrated Soldier System Project will deliver real-time blue force tracking networked capabilities to our infantry platoons and companies in 2017. This new technology will augment situational awareness on the ground, and is expected to enhance the performance of soldiers in the field;
  • The CA will undertake a series of initiatives to further strengthen the Army Reserve by introducing a faster form of enrolment for recruits as a trial through fall 2017. Starting 1 April 2017, the CA will assume full responsibility in recruiting its Reserves; and
  • The New Canadian Ranger Rifle project will start delivering new rifles to the Ranger Patrol Groups, and will replace the current Lee Enfield rifle.
Royal Canadian Air Force

The RCAF is a technologically innovative multi-purpose service with the ability to perform essential defence and security tasks both at home and far from Canadian shores. The RCAF will continue to remain prepared to provide relevant, responsive and effective air power to meet domestic, continental and international defence challenges. By conducting both air-specific and joint readiness activities, we will achieve and sustain levels that meet the CDS Directive for Force Posture and Readiness.

Individual and collective force elements will participate in key training events such as Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE 25, Exercise MAPLE FLAG, and JOINTEX 26 that will serve to ensure joint and collective interoperability and readiness.

Integration of new and replacement capabilities, including a potential interim fighter fleet, into the RCAF structure will continue throughout Fiscal Year (FY) 2017-18.

We will continue to integrate the CH-148 Cyclone, a world-class maritime helicopter capable of a full range of missions, replacing the CH-124 Sea King as Canada’s main ship-borne maritime helicopter. The last flight of the CH-124 Sea King is scheduled for December 2018 on Canada’s West Coast, marking the full transition to the Cyclone as the CAF’s maritime helicopter.

We will also advance the integration of our space-based capabilities. The next generation of Canadian Earth-observation satellites, known as the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, is set to launch in 2018. It will be used within Defence and by a multitude of government departments to support their respective mandates. Whole-of-government surveillance needs include monitoring ice flows within Canada’s coastal waters; providing surveillance of Canada’s ocean approaches; monitoring environmental conditions, such as floods and forest fires; and managing and mapping natural resources in Canada and around the world. Our Polar Epsilon 2 project will exploit earth observation data from RADARSAT Constellation Mission for our surveillance needs. Satellite systems such as the RADARSAT Constellation Mission – combined with advanced ground segments that will be delivered by Polar Epsilon 2 project – will provide critical access to this ultimate high ground. Space-based radar data will provide all-weather, day-and-night active-wide-area-surveillance in areas where other sensors are either unable to operate, or with limited capability.

Special Operations Forces

The Canadian Special Operations Forces Command maintains a highly-skilled, multi-purpose force prepared to operate domestically or abroad as individuals, small teams or increasingly large force elements up to Task Force level. Special Operations Forces are held at immediate and very high readiness levels, and will continue to be prepared to deploy on high value tactical activities in situations that pose an imminent threat to national interests.

Joint and common forces

We will maintain our joint capabilities to ensure the CAF is able to meet the government’s defence expectations. In particular, we will advance our mission preparedness by practicing the conduct of joint, combined and integrated expeditionary operations, developing concepts and procedures, and providing a focus for force development.

To assist in this effort, joint exercises will be conducted to achieve the mandate of the Joint Managed Readiness Program including JOINTEX, DETERMINED DRAGON 27, STAUNCH MAPLE, and ARCTIC ZEPHYR, to name a few. These exercises and others will focus on our joint capabilities, including:

  • Interrelated command and control between CAF and US forces in the defence of North America;
  • Maritime interoperability between Canadian, American and Mexican forces in response to maritime threats along the Pacific Coast and the Gulf of Mexico;
  • Integration of Command and Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and strategic and operational targeting processes and theatre staging and support within a Five Eyes environment;
  • Employment and defence of NATO network segments for a Canadian Joint Task Force within a NATO full spectrum operation;
  • Whole-of-government and non-government agency interoperability in consequence management for a domestic security event; and
  • Command and control, and cooperation with Arctic nations, including the United States, in the conduct of Arctic search and rescue.

JOINTEX 17, a key two-phase joint exercise, will be held in Wainwright, Alberta and in Kingston/Meaford, Ontario. It will provide an opportunity to exercise the CAF’s ability to command Canadian and international forces and conduct coalition operations. In addition, exercise components of northern operations Operation NUNAKPUT 28 and Operation NANOOK 29 will further achieve the mandate of the Joint Managed Readiness Program. These exercises will also support the development of Northern Operations Hubs to meet Northern Employment Support Plan aims.

Planned results

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2013-14
There exists a sufficient and balanced portfolio of operationally ready force elements that can participate in Defence Operations and deliver Defence services. Percentage of occurrences that Forces at High Readiness were available to respond when demanded, as tasked in Force Posture and Readiness (FP&R). 70 - 100% March 2018 N/A* N/A 95%

*Note: A new Program Alignment Architecture and Performance Measurement Framework were introduced in fiscal year 2014-15. Results for 2013-14 are not available. For more information on previous year results, see the applicable Departmental Performance Report available on our Reports and Publications 30 web page.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)

Main Estimates
Planned spending
Planned spending
Planned spending
3,366,635,148 3,366,635,148 3,443,853,349 3,503,564,537

Human resources (full-time equivalents)

Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Planned full-time equivalents
Military – Regular Force 24,580 24,964 25,006
Civilian 3,449 3,449 3,449
TOTAL 28,029 28,413 28,455

Military Exercises

Exercises provide members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with the opportunity to practice and develop new skills. In Canada and locations around the world, CAF members are exposed to a variety of conditions that challenge and test their skills to ensure readiness for a wide spectrum of operations. Readiness encompasses resources and funding needed to maintain equipment, conduct training and prepare individuals and units for operations.

##MCECOPY##A member of Alpha Company, Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment, pauses for a break after an attack during Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE

Photo: Cpl Andrew Wesley, Directorate of Army Public Affairs

A member of Alpha Company, Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment, pauses for a break after an attack during Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE on 29 May 2016 in Wainright, Alberta.

More information

For more information on military exercises 31, visit our web site.

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