CAF Support to the Whole-of-Government Response to COVID-19



What is the Canadian Armed Forces doing to help Canadians in response to COVID-19?

  • The Canadian Armed Forces have played a key role in the whole-of-government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • For example, at the outset of the pandemic, the Canadian Armed Forces supported the repatriation of Canadians from epidemic epicentres around the world.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces have made a real difference in assisting their federal, provincial and territorial partners.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces supported some of our most vulnerable populations in long-term care facilities in Quebec and Ontario.
  • The Canadian Armed Forces is also currently providing vital assistance and care to Northern and Indigenous communities.
  • The Canadian Rangers also continue to be active across Canada, providing assistance to Northern and Indigenous communities, as required.
  • And the Canadian Armed Forces is also supporting vaccine distribution efforts across Canada.
  • National Defence continues to stand ready to contribute to the whole-of-government response to COVID-19, while also maintaining operational readiness abroad.

If pressed on the safety of Canadian Armed Forces members in response to COVID-19:

  • The health and safety of our women and men in uniform remains a top priority.
  • That is why we are taking several measures to protect the health of our members, and preserve our ability to conduct mission-essential operations.
  • These measures include the application of layered risk mitigation strategies and enforcement of public health measures.

Quick Facts

  • Approximately 1,700 CAF members mobilized as part of Op LASER to provide support to long-term care facilities in Quebec (47 facilities) and Ontario (7 facilities).
  • Another 30 CAF members assisted Public Health Ontario in conducting contact tracing over a 71 day period, establishing contact with 1536 individuals.
  • DND infrastructure was used to house testing equipment, distribute essential medical equipment domestically, and transport personal protective equipment samples for testing in the US.
  • The CAF delivered over 180,000 lbs of medical supplies into Latin America and the Caribbean between July 23rd and August 3rd, 2020.
  • In the second wave of COVID-19, the CAF has deployed hundreds of members to multiple Indigenous communities to provide medical care, establish alternate isolation accommodations, and mobilize humanitarian supports.
  • Operational readiness as of January 2021:
    • Almost 2,000 members are on standby to provide support; and,
    • 190 members are currently assigned across Canada to support whole-of-government efforts.

Responsible Principals: Strategic Joint Staff, Canadian Joint Operations Command
January 14, 2021

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