Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command

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Under the new CF structure, Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command (CEFCOM) is the unified command that is responsible for all Canadian Forces (CF) international operations, with the exception of operations conducted solely by Canadian Special Operations Force Command (CANSOFCOM) elements.

Similar to the integrated chain of command put in place under Canada Command (Canada COM), the CF's operational command headquarters responsible for domestic operations, CEFCOM will bring together under one operational command the maritime, land and air force assets to conduct humanitarian, peace support or combat operations wherever they are required internationally.

Headquartered in Ottawa, CEFCOM will also be responsible for setting the standards for integrated training and final certification of assigned forces – ensuring that all units and personnel selected to conduct overseas duties are fully trained and ready to do so.

As mentioned in the Defence Policy Statement, one of the CF's roles is to contribute to international peace and security. CEFCOM will take on this mandate with a capability to sustain a continuous deployment of up to 5,000 military personnel around the world.

The deployable organizations under command of CEFCOM will include:

  • a Standing Contingency Task Force (SCTF) that will be established to respond rapidly to emerging crises. This high-readiness task force will be made up of existing, designated maritime, land, air and special operations elements organized under a single integrated combat command structure. It will be ready to deploy within 10 days' notice and will provide an initial CF presence to work with security partners to stabilize the situation or facilitate the deployment of larger, follow-on forces should circumstances warrant. The SCTF will also provide a land- or sea-based command element capable of leading a multinational contingent for a period of up to six months;

  • other Mission-Specific Task Forces (MSTFs) will be deployed as required. These task forces, which will be drawn from forces maintained at different states of readiness and structured for longer deployments, will carry out combat and peace support operations. They will be made up of maritime, land, air and special operations elements, and could be deployed as follow-on forces to the CANSOFCOM, the SCTF or as stand-alone contributions to other operations. The MSTF will also be capable of lead-nation status in multinational peace support operations for limited periods; and

  • the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). An enhanced DART, or its component parts, will continue to provide humanitarian support and disaster relief to overseas missions, as directed.

Reporting directly to the CDS, the Commander of CEFCOM will be responsible for the conduct of all overseas operations – humanitarian, peace support and combat. These authorities consolidate responsibilities previosly found under different CF commands including the Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff, and Chiefs of the Maritime, Land and Air Forces. [1]