Current Operations and Joint Military Exercises list

From: National Defence

CAF operations adjusting to COVID-19

The worldwide spread of COVID-19 has impacted all of our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) operations. Although precautions and strict health and safety protocols are in place, the risk of contracting COVID-19 cannot be entirely eliminated.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has personnel deployed across Canada and around the world, with approximately 2000 personnel deployed on more than 20 different operations. Given the nature of our missions, we must be ready at all times to conduct military operations, at home and abroad.

Consequently, the CAF has taken an aggressive approach to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within our force and to those we work with while conducting operations.

The safety of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel is paramount and reasonable measures are taken to mitigate the risk to our deployed personnel and preserve our operational capabilities and readiness for current and future deployed operations.

Deployed Canadian Armed Forces task forces are conducting local liaison with host nation and allied forces health care authorities to determine and monitor the current state of COVID-19 in their area of operation and coordinate precautionary measures and response plans.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) has taken unprecedented measures to protect the health and well-being of our members, prevent the spread of this disease, and preserve our ability to conduct mission-essential military operations. For instance, CAF members observe an isolation period before deploying, and again upon return to Canada at the end of their mission.

For more information about how the CAF are supporting federal and provincial agencies’ efforts against the coronavirus pandemic situation, please visit Operation LASER.

For more information on how the CAF is supporting Canada’s vaccination roll-out efforts, please visit Operation VECTOR.

Canada and North America

Canada and North America

Name Description
Fisheries Patrols Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) support to help Fisheries and Oceans Canada monitor fishing vessels and enforce fishing regulations in the Atlantic Ocean. The CAF conducts ship and aircraft patrols with DFO officials on board. These are known as FISHPATS.
Operation BOXTOP CAF mission to bring supplies to Canadian Forces Station Alert.
Operation DRIFTNET CAF mission to stop drift netting and other forms of illegal fishing.
Operation LASER CAF response to a worldwide pandemic situation.
Operation LENTUS CAF response to forest fires, floods and natural disasters in Canada.
Operation LIMPID CAF mission to detect threats to Canada’s security as early as possible. The CAF keeps a routine watch over Canada’s air, maritime, land, space, and cyber domains. It also maintains a physical presence in some areas.
Operation NANOOK CAF contribution to whole-of-government sovereignty patrols and security exercises. These are usually held in the high and eastern Arctic.
Operation NEVUS CAF annual maintenance of the High Arctic Data Communications System. It takes place on Ellesmere Island.
Operation PALACI CAF support to the Parks Canada program to prevent avalanches from blocking land routes in Rogers Pass.
Operation SABOT CAF support to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The mission is to help stop the illegal growing of marijuana in Canada.
Operation VECTOR Operation VECTOR is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial governments for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Search and Rescue The CAF has the main responsibility in Canada for providing search and rescue (SAR) from the air. It also coordinates the national response for air and maritime SAR.
National Sentry Program The National Sentry Program reinforces Canada’s commitment to remember and honour those Canadians who served in the major wars of the twentieth century, including both World Wars, as well as those who have contributed to Canada’s long-standing tradition of military excellence through to the present day.
Central and South America

Central and South America

Name Description
Operation CARIBBE CAF support to U.S.-led Enhanced Counter-narcotics operations. CAF sends ships and aircraft to help stop trafficking by organized crime. The operation takes place in the Caribbean basin and the eastern Pacific Ocean.


Name Description
Operation DISTINCTION Operation DISTINCTION supports the Government of Canada’s Military History Commemoration Program to complement and enhance Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) selected ceremonies and commemorative events.
Operation IGNITION CAF periodic role in a NATO security mission for Iceland. Mission involves airborne surveillance and interception.
Operation ILLUMINATION CAF support to Iceland while their country’s air surveillance radars underwent scheduled maintenance and upgrades.
Operation KOBOLD CAF contribution to the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR).
Operation OPEN SPIRIT CAF role to help clear explosive remnants of war in the Baltic Sea. A number of other countries take part. The annual mission is hosted by the three Baltic nations.
Operation REASSURANCE CAF support to NATO’s defence and deterrence measures in Central and Eastern Europe.
Operation SNOWGOOSE CAF role in the United Nations Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).
Operation UNIFIER CAF military training and capacity-building operation in Ukraine.


Name Description
Operation EDIFICE-Tunisia Once a year, the CAF conducts combined training with the Tunisian Navy.
Operation CROCODILE CAF role in supporting the United Nations mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Operation FREQUENCE CAF strategic airlift support to France between France and the Sahel region of Africa.
Operation NABERIUS CAF mission in Niger to train the Forces armées nigériennes
Operation PRESENCE The CAF’s contribution to the Government of Canada’s peace operations strategy.
Operation PROJECTION The CAF operates in maritime enviroments around the world to improve peace and stability.
Operation SOPRANO CAF role in the United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS).
Middle East

Middle East

Name Description
Operation ARTEMIS CAF maritime security and counter-terrorism operations in the Arabian Sea.
Operation CALUMET CAF role in the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt.
Operation FOUNDATION CAF role in United States Central Command Headquarters, United States Air Forces Central Headquarters, and Combined Maritime Forces Headquarters.
Operation IMPACT CAF role in the international coalition to assist local security forces who are fighting against Daesh in the Republic of Iraq and in Syria.
Operation JADE CAF role in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO).
Operation PROTEUS CAF role in the Office of the U.S. Security Coordinator to build security capacity in the Palestinian Authority.


Name Description
Operation AEGIS Operation AEGIS is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) contribution to the Government of Canada’s effort to evacuate Afghans with significant and/or enduring relationship with the Government of Canada, along with their accompanying family members.
Operation NEON Operation NEON is Canada’s contribution to a coordinated multinational effort to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council sanctions imposed against North Korea.
Operation PROJECTION The CAF operates in maritime environments around the world to improve peace and stability.
Operation RENDER SAFE CAF role to help Australia clear explosive remnants of war in the Solomon Islands.
Operation DRIFTNET CAF support to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The mission was to help enforce the global moratorium on high-seas driftnet fishing.
Around the world

Around the world

Name Description
Operation GLOBE CAF members are sometimes asked to help other Government of Canada departments with various tasks. When these tasks involve working outside of Canada, CAF members deploy under Operation GLOBE.
Operation PROJECTION The CAF operates in maritime environments around the world to improve peace and stability.
Operation RENAISSANCE The Canadian Armed Forces responds to international emergencies.
Operation VECTOR Operation VECTOR is the Canadian Armed Forces’ (CAF) support to the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial governments for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.
Joint Military Exercises

Joint Military Exercises


Arctic Region

Alaska, USA.

Next Iteration: February/March 2022.

Exercise ARCTIC EDGE is the premier US Arctic training event. It is sponsored by North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (N&NC). Ex AE is planned and delivered by United States Alaska Command (ALCOM).

Canadian Participation:

The CAF will focus on improving the Canadian-United States (CANUS) military alliance and its ability to operate as an effective team in an austere Arctic environment.

CANUS and our allied partners will showcase Canada’s commitment to safeguarding security in the Arctic region. Ex AE22 supports Arctic combat-related research and development, and practices Northern defence strategies.

For more information: Arctic Edge 2020. This website features stories and imagery on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service.


North American Region

Norfolk, Virginia.

European Region


Current Iteration: Ongoing throughout 2021.

The Coalition Warrior Interoperability eXploration, eXperimentation, eXamination, eXercise (CWIX) is an annual NATO program testing the ability of partners' online networks, computer systems and software to “talk to each other”, which allows the reliable exchange and use of shared information. CWIX is led by Headquarters Supreme Allied Commander Transformation (HQ SACT) on behalf of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the NATO Military Committee (MC).

Canadian Participation:

Canada, along with multiple other NATO nations, test current, near-term, experimental, and future networking capabilities that allow military commanders to communicate globally and make timely decisions. CWIX supports military readiness by emphasizing preparation for NATO missions.

For more information: CWIX in 2021. This website is maintained by Allied Command Transformation (ACT), at NATO's Warfare Development Command.


Pacific Region

Hawaiian Islands & Southern California, USA.

Next Iteration: Summer 2022.

Ex RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise comprised of nations with an interest in the Pacific Rim region. This exercise takes place every other year and is conducted by Commander U.S. Third Fleet (C3F). RIMPAC provides a training opportunity for multiple nations, by building a coalition of capable, adaptive partners. RIMPAC improves partner nation readiness to respond to a wide-range of potential operations.

Canadian Participation:

Participation focuses on the ongoing building of CAF military expertise in the Indo-Pacific region, while fostering multinational relationships and trust, thus increasing the CAF’s proficiency to work with our partners whenever and however needed.

For more information visit the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s website to learn about RIMPAC’s most recent iteration in 2020. RIMPAC.


European Region

Most Recent Iteration: May 2021.

Exercise STEADFAST DEFENDER 21 was the first in a new series of long-planned NATO exercises designed to ensure NATO forces are trained, aligned to operate collectively, and ready to respond to threats. This exercise demonstrates how North America and Europe work together, keeping our nations safe in a challenging security environment.

Canadian Participation:

CAF participation in Ex STEADFAST DEFENDER 21 showed Canada’s commitment to NATO, its willingness to protect the European region and deter aggressors. CAF operational objectives included exercising command structures and improving the ability to operate effectively together to achieve assigned tasks within a NATO coalition maritime security context.
A frigate, Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) HALIFAX, was recently deployed on Ex STEADFAST DEFENDER.

For more information: Exercise Steadfast Defender [PDF, 309KB] is found at NATO’s Exercises and Training website to find out about the last iteration in 2021.


Indo-Pacific Region


Latest Iteration: July 18 to 31, 2021.

Exercise TALISMAN SABRE (Ex TS) takes place every other year, and is a collaborative Australian/United States exercise taking place in North East Australia.

The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will train with Australia, United States, New Zealand, Japan, United Kingdom, and the Republic of Korea, contributing to stability and security in the Indo-Pacific region.

Canadian Participation:

The CAF’s participation in Ex TS21 included:

  • Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) CALGARY, a Halifax-class frigate.
  • CAF provided 13 personnel to enhance joint capabilities by working alongside allies within a Combined Joint Task Force Headquarters and Air Operations Centre.

Visit the Australian Defence Force website to learn about Ex TS’s most recent iteration in 2021. Ex TS in 2021


Caribbean region

Most Recent Iteration: June 2021, in Guyana.

Exercise TRADEWINDS 2021 (Ex TW21) is an annual U.S. Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) exercise. It focuses on countering threats, building partnerships and improving Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) capabilities.
Exercise TRADEWINDS promotes and strengthens regional safety and security in the Caribbean region.

Canadian Participation:

The CAF’s participation in Ex TW21 included:

  • Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) SHAWINIGAN, a Maritime Coastal Defence Vessel (MCDV), joined a multinational group aimed at improving tactics, techniques and procedures for tracking, intercepting, and boarding suspect vessels.
  • Ten CAF members were in Guyana, serving as instructors and mentors for the operational planning and execution of maritime and land security operations, dive operations, public affairs best practices, and the establishment of a Caribbean Task Force headquarters to conduct effective security operations.

For more information: U.S. Southern Command’s Ex TW21 website.

Enquiring about a past or current Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC) military exercise?

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