Structure of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1989

The following article depicts the complete structure of the Canadian Armed Forces in 1989.

Following the 1967 Canadian Forces Reorganization Act the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy and Royal Canadian Air Force were amalgamated in 1968 as the Canadian Armed Forces. Since then the Chief of Defence Staff is directly responsible for all services and commands of the Canadian Armed Forces and advises the Canadian Government in all military matters. Policy is developed in the Armed Forces Council, which is made up of the commanders of the functional commands.[1]

In 1989 the Canadian Armed Forces had 84,600 active personnel, 7,800 of which were female, and 21,300 reserve personnel, 4,200 of which were female. Around three quarters of all military occupation were open to women in 1989 and the government actively pursued a policy to open more occupations to women. The 1987 Defence White Paper "Challenge and Commitment" called for an expansion of the reserve forces to approximately 90,000 troops, however with the end of the Cold War this plan was shelved.[2]

The article is based on the Canadian government's 1987 White Paper "A Defence Policy for Canada" (Link), which was published at the end of 1987. The White Paper served as basis for the overall structure and the equipment numbers. The article was then expanded with information from the Canadian Armed Forces Annual Historical Reports, which provided a complete listing of all units in existence in 1989. Additional information came from the linked Wikipedia articles, a German brochure about the Canadian Forces based in Germany (Link) and the current Canadian Armed Forces website and the unit histories listed there.

National Defence Headquarters

Logistics Support Group

  • Logistics Support Group
    • Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment
    • Aerospace Maintenance Development Unit
    • Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Angus, at CFB Borden
    • Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford, in Bedford
    • Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Dundurn, at CFAD Dundurn
    • Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Det Edmonton, at CFB Edmonton
    • Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Rocky Point, in Metchosin
    • Canadian Forces Parachute Maintenance Depot, in CFB Edmonton(Greisbach)
    • Canadian Forces Personnel Applied Research Unit
    • Canadian Forces Postal Unit
    • Canadian Forces Publications Depot
    • 1 Canadian Forces Supply Depot at CFB Toronto
    • 5 Canadian Forces Supply Depot at CFB Moncton
    • 7 Canadian Forces Supply Depot at CFB Edmonton
    • 4e Unité des mouvements de contrôle des Forces canadiennes (4 Canadian Forces Movement Control Unit), at CFB Montreal
    • 25e Dépôt d'approvisionnement des Forces canadiennes (25 Canadian Forces Supply Depot), at CFB Montreal
    • 202e Dépôt d'ateliers (202 Workshop Depot), at CFB Montreal
    • Land Engineering Test Establishment, Orleans, Ontario
    • Quality Engineering Test Establishment
    • Centre d'essai et d'expérimentation (Testing and Experimentation Center)
    • Centre d'essais techniques (mer) (Engineering Test Establishment (Sea))
    • DND Fire Protection Service

Defence Research and Development Canada

Recruiting

  • National Defence Headquarters, in Ottawa
    • Canadian Forces Recruiting Zone West, in Edmonton
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Calgary
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Edmonton
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Saskatoon
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Vancouver
    • Canadian Forces Recruiting Zone Central, in Ottawa
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Hamilton
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre London
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Ottawa
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Sudbury
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Toronto
    • Zone de recrutement des Forces canadiennes Québec, in Montreal
      • Centre de recrutement des Forces canadiennes Montreal
      • Centre de recrutement des Forces canadiennes Québec
      • Centre de recrutement des Forces canadiennes Rimouski
      • Centre de recrutement des Forces canadiennes Rouyn
      • Centre de recrutement des Forces canadiennes Sherbrooke
      • Centre de recrutement des Forces canadiennes Trois-Rivières
    • Canadian Forces Recruiting Zone Atlantic, in Halifax
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Halifax
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre St. John's
      • Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Saint John

Mobile Command

Mobile Command controlled all land force units based in Canada and trained and prepared ground troops for the deployment to Canadian Forces Europe. Mobile Command's major formations were two brigade groups and an ad hoc special service force. Recognisably an army formation but not under Mobile Command, 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was located in West Germany under the control of 1 Canadian Division (Forward) and Canadian Forces Europe. Mobile Command also commanded 106 major and 25 minor reserve units of the Canadian Militia. Active forces amounted to 22,500 troops with 15,500 reserve forces.[3]

In case of war men Air Command's Air Transport Group would have flown about 1,400 men from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group to Germany to bring 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group up to wartime strength, while 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group would have been shipped over the Atlantic as reinforcements for 1 Canadian Division (Forward). Special Service Force would have contributed a battalion group centered around 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment to NATO's Allied Mobile Force (Land) (AMF(L)). The Airborne Regiment was destined for defence operations in Canada.

1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group

Special Service Force

Note 1: Each Canada based Cavalry regiment fielded 38x Cougar fire support vehicles and 23x Lynx reconnaissance vehicle
Note 2: Each infantry battalion of 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group fielded 2x M577, 65x M113 armored personnel carriers, 11x Lynx, 18x M113 TUA with TOW, 24x M125 with a 81mm mortars
Note 3: Each artillery battalion of 1 and 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group fielded: 2x M577, 25x M109A4, 46x M113, 24x M548 Note 4: Each infantry battalion of 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group and the infantry battalion of Special Service Force fielded: 48x Grizzly, 11x Lynx

Militia

The Militia was the primary reserve of Mobile Command and headquartered in Ottawa. Maritime and air reserve formations were part of Maritime Command, respectively Air Command, while communication reserve units were part of the Canadian Forces Communication Command. In wartime the Militia would provide ground units for defence operations in Canada and elsewhere in North America, as well as replacements for the Canadian land force units fighting in the European war theatre. The Militia would also provide lightly armed guards to protect military vital points, and make major contributions to the logistic and medical organizations required to support Canadian Forces overseas. In total the militia fielded 106 major and 25 minor units with 15,5000 men. Major units were regiments or battalions, although they seldom exceeded the strength of a company, while minor units were independent artillery batteries, and engineer squadrons. The militia was organized in five militis areas, which were subdivided into militia districts.[4][5]

In case of war the Militia Areas would have become division commands with the responsibility to conduct all military ground operations in their area. In 1989 the Militia consisted of the following units:

Pacific Militia Area
Prairie Militia Area
Central Militia Area
Atlantic Militia Area
Quebec Militia Area

Reserve units of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps (RCAC) were equipped with Cougar and Grizzly armoured vehicles.
Reserve units of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery (RCA) were equipped with 105mm C1 howitzers and 81mm mortars.

Mobile Command Inventory

In 1989 Mobile Command fielded the following equipment:[6]

Air Command

Air Command (AIRCOM) unified all flying assets of the Canadian Armed Forces in one command. It provided combat-ready air forces for the surveillance and control over Canadian airspace and for the defence of North America. It also provided air groups for other commands:

The other air groups of Air Command remained under its operational control, however in case of war two of Fighter Group's fighter squadrons were assigned as reinforcement to 1 Air Division in Germany, while its other two fighter squadrons were assigned as air defence assets to the Canadian NORAD Region. Air Command fielded only two wings: 3 and 4 Wing, as part of 1 Air Division, to fulfill NATO operational requirements. All other units fell under operational control of the bases they operated from. A key unit of Air Command was 437 Transport Squadron, which in case of crisis would have flown Canadian reinforcements from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group to Germany to augment the strength of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. Together with the US Air Force Air Command operated the Distant Early Warning Line of radar stations on the edge of Canada's arctic North. Beginning in 1988 the Distant Early Warning Line was upgraded with more powerful radars and automated to reduce personnel requirements.[7]

Air Command Structure

Fighter Group/Canadian NORAD Region

After the United States and Canada signed the North American Air Defence Modernization Agreement during the Shamrock Summit on 18 March 1985 Canada's air defence was undergoing a major restructuring: in 1987 Fighter Group was merged Canadian NORAD Region to create a unified air defence command for Canada. In the same year Canada began to replace the Distant Early Warning Line (DEW) radar sites across the Canadian Arctic with the more modern North Warning System (NWS) radars.

NWS stretched from Alaska across the Canadian Arctic at approximately the 70th parallel and extended down the Canadian East Coast to Labrador. Unlike the manned DEW radars the NWS radars consisted of minimally manned long-range radars and unmanned short-range gap-filler radars. Therefore Canada began to disband its 19 radar squadrons, with only six being left by 1989, four of which were coastal radars: three on the East Coast and one on the West Coast. The original NWS plan called for the installation of a further four coastal radars along the Canadian West Coast and Southeast Alaska.

Maritime Air Group
10 Tactical Air Group
Air Transport Group
14 Air Training Group

Air Reserve

The Air Reserve consisted of one group headquarters, two wings, seven squadrons, and augmentation flights at 9 bases. Air Reserve Group was formed in 1976 to administer the 950 air reserve personnel, although units responded operationally to the regular force commanders at their bases.[14]

Air Command Inventory

The inventory of the Air Command in 1989 consisted of the following aircraft:

Maritime Command

Maritime Command was based at CFB Halifax on Canada's Atlantic coast. Maritime command's task was to develop, train and equip Canada's naval assets. In wartime operational command would have been exerted by Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) respectively Commander Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC). Commander of Maritime Forces Atlantic doubled-hatted as commander of NATO's Canadian Atlantic Sub-Area (CANLANT) command. CANLANT was an area command of Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT) and responsible to keep the Labrador Sea free from Soviet ships and submarines. As Soviet submarines passing under the ice of the Arctic Ocean and through the many channels of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to reach the North Atlantic were seen as the biggest threat Canada's fleet fielded exclusively ships specialized in the anti-submarine role. Together with the US Navy Maritime Command operated a series the SOSUS underwater listening posts on the Atlantic Ocean's seabed to observe Soviet submarine operations in the Atlantic.[19]

Air Command provided Maritime Command with a group of anti-submarine planes and helicopters. Maritime Command ships participated every year in NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic (STANAVFORLANT). After having built no new ships since 1973 Maritime Command began an ambitious construction program for 12 new Halifax-class frigates in 1987, the first of which began to enter service in 1992 and replaced all major surface combatants safe for the Iroquois-class destroyers.

Maritime Command Structure

Maritime Forces Atlantic
Maritime Forces Pacific

The Naval Reserve consisted of 22 divisions in cities across Canada. In times of war the missions of naval reserve were the naval control of shipping, maritime coastal defence, and the clearance of mines.

Canadian Forces Europe

1 Canadian Division

In case of war 1 Canadian Division would have been reinforced by 5 Groupe-brigade mécanisé du Canada from CFB Valcartier, while 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group would have been augmented with personnel from 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

1 Canadian Air Division

In case of war 3 Wing would have been reinforced by two CF-18 Hornet squadrons based in Canada:

Communication Command

The Communication Command provided strategic communications for all services of the armed forces. It operated and maintained several data and voice communication networks. With an active force of 3,300 troops and 1,570 reservists Communication Command was the smallest of the armed forces commands.[20]

Communication Command provided signal squadrons to the three brigades and Special Service Force of Mobile Command, as well signal support for Air Command bases. Communication Command also operated the Canadian contribution to the Five Eyes ECHELON signal intelligence network. However Communications Security Establishment, which analysed intercepted material, was not part of Communication Command. The Canadian Government's Emergency Government Headquarters were also managed by Communication Command. Communication reserve units were grouped in six regional communication groups, which also contained active units based in the same region.

Communication Command Structure

Supplementary Radio System
Reserve Communication Units

Canadian Forces Health Services Group

The Canadian Forces Health Services Group consisted of the Canadian Forces Medical Service, the Dental Branch and their reserve units.

Reserve Medical Units

  • Canadian Forces Medical Service
    • 11 Medical Company, in Victoria
    • 12 Medical Company, in Vancouver
    • 15 Medical Company, in Edmonton (with a detachment in Calgary)
    • 16 Medical Company, in Regina
    • 17 Medical Company, in Winnipeg
    • 18 Medical Company, in Thunder Bay
    • 23 Medical Company, in Hamilton (detachments in London and Windsor)
    • 25 Medical Company, in Toronto
    • 26 Medical Company, in
    • 28 Medical Company, in Ottawa (with a detachment in North Bay)
    • 35 Medical Company, in Sydney (with detachments in Halifax, Saint John and St. John's)
    • 51 Compagnie médicale, in Montreal
    • 52 Compagnie médicale, in Sherbrooke
    • 55 Compagnie médicale, in Quebec City

Canadian Forces Training System

Canadian Forces Training System provided training services to the operational commands. It operated 18 schools on five training bases and three schools on other commands' bases. Its strength was around 4.500 active troops, 2,400 of which were instructors. Another 500 military instructors from other commands served as incremental staff. The training system was under the jurisdiction of the Assistant Deputy Minister (Personnel), whose mandate also included the National Defence College, the Military Colleges and the Staff Colleges. The Canadian forces also provided training facilities for allied nations.[23]

Source

References

  1. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 69. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  2. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 82. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  3. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 35. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  4. http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/organization/districts.htm
  5. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 66. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  6. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 33. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  7. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. pp. 38–39. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  8. Skaarup, Harold A. Out of Darkness-Light: A History of Canadian Military Intelligence. iUniverse. p. 209. ISBN 978-0-595-35928-8.
  9. "9 Wing Gander". Royal Canadian Air Force. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  10. "The Government of Canada's terminology and linguistic data bank". TERMIUM Plus. Government of Canada. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  11. Sokolsky, Joel J. (31 May 1995). Canada, Getting it Right this Time: The 1994 Defence White Paper. p. 34.
  12. http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/his/ol-lo/vol-tom-4/3014-eng.asp
  13. http://www.shearwateraviationmuseum.ns.ca/squadrons/33sqn.htm
  14. "Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve". Royal Canadian Air Force. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  15. http://www.rwrwalker.ca/post_int.html
  16. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 37. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "World's Air Forces 1989". Flight International: 46. 29 November 1989. Retrieved 19 November 2017.
  18. http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_fighters/f5_21.html
  19. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. pp. 30–31. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  20. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 40. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
  21. http://jproc.ca/rrp/cdn_sigint_stations.html Summary of Canadian Signals Intelligence Stations
  22. Groves, Richard. "The History and Heritage of the Royal Canadian Dental Corps: A Century of Military Dental Service" (PDF). Canadian Forces. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  23. Challenge and Commitment - A Defence Policy for Canada (PDF). Ottawa: Ministry of Defence Canada. June 1987. p. 41. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
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