March 2020 - Overview of Canadian Special Operations

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  • Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) provides the Government of Canada with agile, high-readiness Special Operations Forces (SOF) capable of conducting special operations in defence of Canada at home and abroad.
  • CANSOFCOM has personnel deployed globally on distinct SOF operations. Some operations originate within the Department of National Defence, while others are part of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) support to Global Affairs Canada or other government departments.


  • CANSOFCOM allows the CAF to provide the Government of Canada with agile, adaptive, and unique strategic capabilities. CANSOFCOM personnel are capable of deploying on very short notice to protect Canada and Canadians from threats to the national interest at home and abroad. CANSOFCOM develops and maintains an array of modern, highly-trained and well-equipped personnel to respond to the nation’s demands.
  • In an evolving, complex and unpredictable security environment, CANSOFCOM can generate teams to address both conventional threats from enemy military forces, and asymmetric threats, like terrorism.
  • CANSOFCOM fully participates in the primary CAF mission of providing for the defence of Canada, particularly counter-terrorism. Its forces are organized, equipped and trained to be responsive and also to serve as a deterrent. Moreover, due to the no-notice nature of crisis response operations in defence of the national interest, CANSOFCOM maintains a very high level of readiness and anticipates being the first CAF organization to respond to evolving or ongoing crises. It maintains the ability to rapidly deploy and operate across the country [REDACTED]


  • CANSOFCOM provides bespoke operational solutions to complex and sensitive national defence and security challenges. Key tasks and capabilities provided by CANSOFCOM include:
    • Crisis response and hostage rescue;
    • Counter-terrorism;
    • Special reconnaissance;
    • Maritime special operations;
    • Precision rotary-wing (helicopter) operations;
    • Advance force operations;
    • Counter-weapons of mass destruction;
    • Building partner capacity;
    • Support to conventional operations; and,
    • Diplomatic and VIP support.


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