DND/CAF at a glance

Long Description

This is an infographic that details six key aspects of National Defence: its mandate, roles and responsibilities, peace and culture change, key relationships, capabilities, and operations. There are six boxes displayed that correspond to each of the six key aspects. Each box contains text that further describes the key aspect.


  • The National Defence Act:
    • Establishes the civilian department (DND) and constitutes the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF)
    • Sets out the Code of Service Discipline and the military justice system
    • Authorizes the CAF to perform any duty involving public service
  • The National Defence portfolio includes:
    • The Defence Team (DND/CAF)
    • The Communications Security Establishment (CSE)
    • Military Grievances External Review Committee (MGERC)
    • Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC)
    • National Defence and Canadian Armed Forces Ombudsman
  • National Defence has an annual budget of ~$25B, and is one of the largest budgets in the Government of Canada
  • With a presence in every province and territory, National Defence is also a responsible steward of the environment, managing more than 2 million hectares of land and infrastructure

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • The Minister is supported by the Deputy Minister and the Chief of the Defence Staff in the administration of National Defence
  • Minister of National Defence (MND)
    • Presides over the Department
    • Manages & directs the CAF and all matters relating to National Defence
    • Nominates and appoints key actors in the military justice system
    • Reviews and tables annual reports in Parliament
  • Deputy Minister of National Defence
    • Manages day-to-day operations of the Department on behalf of the Minister
    • Provides the Minister with policy advice
    • Acts as the Accounting Officer, responsible for all civilian staff, defence property, and defence spending
    • Accountable to the PM, MND, and Clerk of the Privy Council
  • The Chief of Defence Staff
    • Serves as the primary military advisor to the PM and is the CAF's most senior officer
    • Controls and administers the CAF
    • Responsible for all CAF operations and readiness
    • Accountable to the PM, MND, and Clerk of the Privy Council

People and Culture Change:

  • National Defence is one of largest employers in Canada with over 128,000 individuals employed through the organization, including:
    • 68,000 Regular Force
    • 27,000 Reserve Force
    • 28,000 civilian staff
  • National Defence is working to increase our diversity
  • National Defence is engaged in creating a modern, inclusive military through:
    • Increased support and resources to survivors
    • Improved justice and senior leader accountability
    • Deliberate action to promote sustained and durable culture change

Key Relationships:

  • National Defence is engaged globally and operates alongside a variety of Allies and partners to promote international security
  • Canada's key defence partnerships include:
  • The United States
  • This relationship is critical to every aspect of Canada's defence interests and economic prosperity
  • North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
  • Five Eyes (Canada, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, and New Zealand)


  • National Defence has a variety of capabilities at its disposal to protect Canadians, both at home and abroad
  • Current Platforms:
    • 303 Aircraft
      • Search & Rescue (45), Fighter Operations (82*), Air Mobility (35), Tactical Aviation (83), Maritime Operations (35), Training and Air Display (23)
    • 6,288 land vehicles (including armoured, support, and tactical vehicles)
    • 12 Frigates and 12 Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels
    • 4 Submarines
    • 1 Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPS)

*On-going conversion of former RAAF aircraft will create changes to this count

  • Ongoing Procurement Projects:
    • 88 new Fighter Jets
    • 16 new Search and Rescue Aircraft
    • 2 new Joint Support Ships
    • 15 new Canadian Surface Combatants
    • [REDACTED]


  • Over 2,500 personnel are currently deployed on more than 21 different operations across Canada and around the world
  • These operations contribute to international peace and security, and support Canadian sovereignty, emergency response, humanitarian assistance, and assistance to law enforcement. Key operations include:
    • Op LENTUS (natural disaster response in Canada)
    • Op LASER (supporting provinces and territories in COVID-19 crisis response, helping dozens of First Nations communities across Canada)
    • Op VECTOR (assisting the Whole-of-Government vaccine efforts)
    • Op NANOOK (activities and exercises in the North to guard Canada's sovereignty over its northernmost regions)
    • Op IMPACT (Middle East)
    • Op UNIFIER (Ukraine)
    • Op REASSURANCE (Europe)
    • Op NEON (UN sanctions against North Korea)

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