Keynotes (B-GA-403-000/FP-001, Canadian Forces Aerospace Shape Doctrine)

These keynotes summarize the fundamental beliefs upon which Shape doctrine is founded:

  • The mission of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), as an integrated element of the Canadian Forces (CF), is to provide the Government of Canada (GC) with a relevant, responsive, and effective aerospace instrument of national power. Canada’s commitment to domestic and international security and defence demands a robust, agile, flexible, and interoperable force equipped to deliver kinetic and non-kinetic aerospace power,  optimizing both agile manoeuvre and integrated info ops. This commitment is captured within the RCAF’s Shape sub-function.
  • The RCAF identified a Shape sub-function because air assets, based on the inherent characteristics of aerospace power, can shape the battlespace throughout the tactical, operational, and strategic levels of conflict in ways that surface forces cannot.
  • Aerospace Shape-related operations aim to alter the physical, moral, and informational domains in order to enable friendly force operations and deny the adversary freedom of action.
  • Aerospace Shape assets can be used to strike directly at the strategic heart of an adversary, producing disproportionate effects and significantly altering the battlespace.
  • Aerospace Shape-related operations may be conducted independently of, or jointly with, land and maritime forces.
  • Aerospace Shape-related operations can be offensive or defensive, kinetic or non-kinetic, overt or covert in nature, and can be applied directly or indirectly to accomplish assigned objectives.
  • Most aerospace assets are capable of some degree of shaping; however, there are many missions and tasks within the Shape sub-function where specialized capabilities are required.
  • The desired effects—not the specific weapon system, delivery platform, or the type of target attacked—are pre-eminent within all phases of the planning process and execution of aerospace Shape- related operations.
  • A robust and dynamic aerospace command and control (C2) capability is required to allow the aerospace commander to retain firm control of aerospace forces while enabling dynamic employment, tasking, and re-tasking of aerospace capabilities to meet the competing needs of the supported commanders. Aerospace C2 operates under the fundamentals of centralized control and decentralized execution and is structured accordingly. Aerospace Shape-related operations require sufficient flexibility to respond to rapidly emerging and dynamic changes to the battlespace. 

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