Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA)

Joint Task Force Atlantic (JTFA) is one of six regional joint task forces of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The task forces are situated in key locations across Canada to conduct CAF continental operations.

JTFA Headquarters

JTFA has its headquarters at Canadian Armed Forces Base Halifax. It is located in Her Majesty's Canadian Dockyard. The JTFA Commander also leads Maritime Forces Atlantic and the Halifax Search and Rescue Region (SRR). Maritime Forces Atlantic is a formation of the Royal Canadian Navy.

JTFA area of responsibility (AOR)

JTFA is responsible for leading CAF continental operations across Atlantic Canada. This region includes:

  • Newfoundland and Labrador;
  • Nova Scotia;
  • New Brunswick;
  • Prince Edward Island;
  • the region’s contiguous waters; and
  • the region’s airspace.

The JTFA area of responsibility includes the Halifax SRR. It is equal in size to about one third of Canada’s land mass. The area is home to nearly 2.5 million people.

Command and tasking authority

The JTFA Commander directs the CAF response anywhere in the AOR if help is requested. This applies to:

  • any request for CAF intervention for disaster relief;
  • any request for CAF support in critical incidents; and
  • any request for search and rescue services.

A request for CAF help may come through/from:

  • Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC);
  • CJOC’s partners in operations; and
  • provincial and territorial governments in the JTFA area of responsibility.

The JTFA Commander has the authority to form mission-appropriate task forces. This includes tasking any and all CAF resources held in that AOR by the:

  • Royal Canadian Navy;
  • Canadian Army; or
  • Royal Canadian Air Force.

JTFA operations

The CAF maintains a continuous watch of the AOR through JTFA. It does so to maintain full awareness of security and defence conditions in:

  • the Atlantic provinces;
  • the Atlantic maritime approaches to Canada; and
  • the Atlantic air approaches to Canada.

JTFA’s current operations include search-and-rescue missions and fisheries protection.

The most recent rapid-response JTFA operation was Op LENTUS in January 2017. The Province of New Brunswick asked for CAF assistance after a destructive ice storm. A task force of about 200 CAF members helped with relief in communities after the storm.


Department of National Defence

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