Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU)

Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit

About the unit

The Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit (CJIRU) is an integral component of the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM). CJIRU provides a rapid chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) response for special operations missions.

Our responsibilities

Although decontamination is among CJIRU's capabilities, we focus first and foremost on detecting, identifying, and mitigating CBRN risks.

In Canada, we respond in cooperation with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) during CBRN operations.

Our international deployments are usually short and often occur with little or no warning. In the event of emergency incidents, other Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) teams use our specialized response capabilities abroad.

Our expertise

We are a high-readiness response unit.

Our unit's operational speed is often quicker or more demanding than other CAF specialties. That is why we use specialized methods and techniques, as well as ultra-technical equipment.

Our members devote a large part of their time to training and education.


CJIRU dates back to the first use of large-scale chemical warfare on 22 April 1915. Since that time, Canada has been a leader in CBRN defence. While the Canadian Army and Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) had maintained a focus on CBRN since the First World War, No. 1 Radiation Detection Unit (1RDU) became the nation's first nuclear biological chemical defence (NBCD) specialist unit. Formed in March 1950, 1RDU pioneered the development of many contemporary CBRN capabilities alongside Canada's allies. During a decade of operations, 1RDU carried out domestic responses in places such as Chalk River, Ontario, and participated in atomic weapons testing with the United States and the United Kingdom.

By 1960, 1RDU's strength was reduced and its personnel were passed to the Joint Atomic Biological and Chemical Warfare School (JABCWS), which had been established in 1949 in Borden, Ontario. In 1966, that group was re-designated the Canadian Forces Nuclear Biological and Chemical School (CFNBCS), and its instructor cadre represented the only nuclear biological chemical (NBC) specialists in Canada. In 1976, the CFNBCS became affiliated with the RCMP when it attached a small group of NBC instructors to the RCMP Explosive Ordinance Disposal section as part of an integrated response team for the Olympic Games in Montreal. That working relationship continued after the games.

Throughout the 1990s, the RCMP Explosives Disposal and Technology Section (EDTS) assumed national responsibility for CBRN, and a First Responder Training Program was created in close cooperation among the RCMP, CFNBCS, and DRDC scientists. The terrorist attack on 9/11 in 2001 motivated the Canadian government to consider an increased national CBRN capacity. As a result, the Joint Nuclear Biological Chemical Defence Company (JNBCD Coy) was created on 22 April 2002 as a specialist CBRN unit.

The JNBCD Coy was formed from a cadre of instructors from the CFNBCS to complement the RCMP's national response capability. Specifically, it was to establish a stand-alone CBRN Response Team (RT) to form the CAF component of the national CBRN RT with the RCMP and the Public Health Agency of Canada. In December 2003, the national CBRN RT was declared operationally ready. The following year, the JNBCD Coy began providing CBRN support to Joint Task Force 2 (JTF 2) and was integrated into the Immediate Response Task Force shortly after.

When CANSOFCOM was stood-up in 2006, the JNBCD Coy was placed under the command of CANSOFCOM as an integral unit. In July 2007, it was re-designated CJIRU. The unit adopted a selection process and developed a rigorous training program based on a firm educational foundation to ensure that the operators and their skills sets were of the highest possible quality. In 2010, the complexity of the skills and the need for effective stewardship of the operators prompted CJIRU to develop a unique CBRN military occupation for the CAF.

The unit continues to evolve within the ever-increasing complexity of the contemporary security environment. CJIRU has deployed domestically and internationally and continues to earn its place as a leader in its field, and a highly valued member by both its interagency partners and international allies.

Join our unit

Currently, Notices of Intent (NOI) are submitted via the Defence Wide Area Network only. If you experience challenges submitting an NOI or completing your application, please contact us via email at

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