Chapter 5: The Functions of Canada’s Air Force (B-GA-400-000/FP-000, Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine)

Aerospace Doctrine

The only security upon which sound military principles will rely is that you should be master of your own air.

- Winston Churchill

Air Force Functions

Air forces exist to exercise aerospace power on behalf of the nation. This is accomplished primarily through the exploitation of the air and space environments to achieve assigned objectives. A century of air warfare[1] has demonstrated that all effective air forces, whether they are large or small, are capable of performing a number of specific functions. These functions are influenced by the physical possibilities and limitations imposed by the environments and by each other function. One cannot efficiently or effectively work without the other; however, it is the unique capabilities of each function that when integrated with the other functions ensure the proper application of aerospace power. Aligned with Canadian Forces (CF) doctrine, Canadian aerospace doctrine consists of the following six functions:

Figure 5-1 illustrates the interrelationship of the six Royal Canadian Air Force functions: Command; Act, which comprises two subfunctions (Shape and Move); Sense; Shield; Generate; and Sustain. The enabling functions (Shield, Generate and Sustain) are equally spaced on a large outer ring. Within the outer ring, the core functions (Command, Act and Sense) are placed in their own rectangles and form a pyramid. Command is top centre; Act (Move and Shape) is bottom right; and Sense is bottom left. An arrow runs from the bottom of the Act rectangle to a circle labelled “Effects.” From this circle, a second arrow runs to the bottom of the Sense rectangle. The overlap between Sense and Command is labelled “Assess,” and the overlap between Command and Act is labelled “Plan.” Inside the Command rectangle, a downward arrow runs from Command to a small circle labelled “Decide.” An arrow labelled “Current State” runs from “Assess” (overlap of Sense and Command) to “Decide.” A second arrow labelled “Direct” runs from “Decide” to “Plan” (overlap of Command and Act). End Figure 1-1.

Figure 5-1. The Air Force Functions


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It is important to note that Act comprises the two sub-functions of Shape and Move.[2]

As illustrated in Figure 5-1, in order to conduct aerospace operations and activities, the core functions of Command, Act, and Sense[3] operate within a continuous cycle of activities. The outputs of the Sense activities are assessed during the Command activities to determine the current state. After evaluating the current and desired states, Command activities direct and plan actions. The Act activities create effects that will achieve the desired state. Sense activities assess the results of these effects, and the cycle is repeated. As well, this cycle of activities will influence—or can be influenced by—the ongoing enabling function activities of Sustain, Shield, and Generate.

The Sustain, Shield, and Generate activities must be performed continuously in order to effectively maintain, protect, and develop Air Force assets and capabilities. Without the activities of these functions, the Command, Act, and Sense activities could be compromised or even eliminated. Consequently, a weakness in or failure of one function will negatively impact not only the other five functions but also the force’s ability to achieve a desired state.


Command is the overarching and driving function that integrates all the functions into a single comprehensive strategic-, operational-, or tactical-level concept. Of the six functions, it is universally recognized that Command is fundamental to and of paramount importance to the military art.[4] It provides vertical and horizontal integration through “command” and “control” of military forces and other elements as allocated, and through the command and control activities identified in Table 5-1.  


Table 5-1. Command, Control, and command and control (C2)
constitutes formal authority derives by delegation from command
provides oversight, unifying all action supports command in detail
is focused on establishing common intent is focused upon the details of execution
Together as “C2” the following five activities are performed:

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Command involves the integration of a system of systems—procedures, organizational structures, personnel, materiel, information, and communication—designed to enable any commander to exercise authority and direction across the spectrum of conflict. Commanders will typically work with specialist staff such as public affairs officers, political advisors and legal advisors, and also integrate such considerations into all operations.

Further discussion on command, control, and C2 of the Air Force is detailed at Chapter 6.


Sense provides the commander with knowledge.[5] It incorporates all capabilities that collect and process data. The aim of Sense is to enable the decision-makers to achieve decision superiority. Decision superiority is the competitive advantage enabled by ongoing situational awareness that ensures the implementation of more effective and efficient actions than an adversary. In essence, Sense is about providing a perception of the “state of the world” to a commander in order to enable him to make decisions and to optimize the other functions. Sense ultimately provides commanders the knowledge necessary to direct their forces to achieve the most appropriate effect on the operational environment.

All weapon systems which contribute to the creation of a common operating picture are part of the overarching CF Sense enterprise. In the Air Force context, ground-, air- and space-based sensors and radars collect data to contribute to the CF Sense realm. The data collected by a variety of systems is processed by personnel, often assisted by computerized technologies, to create useable knowledge.

Modern militaries exploit space capabilities, and air forces are no exception. Space capabilities provide surveillance, reconnaissance, communications, navigation, and meteorological information. Space capabilities are of critical importance to the CF and are increasingly being integrated into all aspects of its planning and operations. Canada’s small population, vast and often remote territory, with adjacent ocean areas, including the Arctic, pose unique challenges in terms of exercising control and situational awareness of the land, air, and maritime approaches. As such, space systems are key to helping the military with the function of Sense. Additionally, as Sense provides situational awareness and enables decision superiority, it is essential that space awareness is also integrated into Sense.

The raison d’être of Sense is the provision of a perception of the operational environment to decision-makers. In order to achieve this, Sense aims at collecting and reporting on the following:

  • elements of the operational environment that the commander does not control, such as actual or potential adversaries, neutral elements, and environmental issues, including weather and terrain; and
  • elements of the operational environment that the commander controls, such as their own or allied forces’ dispositions via reports and returns from subordinates, certain dedicated sensor applications, including Blue Force Tracker, and from liaison with other forces, other government departments, and international and non-governmental organizations.

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Act integrates manoeuvre,[6] firepower,[7] and information operations (info ops) to achieve desired effects. Within the Air Force, the Act function “shapes” the battlespace with kinetic and non-kinetic actions, and rapidly “moves” personnel and materiel within and between areas of responsibility (AORs). These actions equate to the two sub-functions of Shape and Move, respectively.

Act also includes the capability of force projection, which is the timely deployment of military forces in order to provide presence or influence for an operation, wherever and whenever needed. Through the range and reach of aerospace power, the projection of forces can be extended beyond fixed bases and installations. Thus, Canada’s influence can be projected to its remotest regions and outside its own territorial boundaries through its global, expeditionary capability.

Force projection is achieved by the rapid establishment of new bases of operation utilizing high-readiness deployable units, by pre-established but unmanned air bases, or by negotiating the use of other nations’ existing infrastructure. The provision of air-to-air refuelling[8] further enables this capability by extending the flight range and loiter time of receiver aircraft, thereby reducing the number of en route stops, maintenance requirements, and, ultimately, the response time.


Shape optimizes agile manoeuvre and integrated info ops in the delivery of kinetic and non-kinetic aerospace power to achieve desired effects. Shaping of the battlespace by air forces is typically accomplished through the use or the threatened use of force to create effects in both the physical and the moral domains. In the physical domain, actions are directed toward an adversary’s physical capabilities. The objectives of these actions are to:

  • deny the enemy their choice of strategy;
  • create favourable circumstances to employ our chosen strategy;
  • reduce the requirement for other friendly forces; and
  • reduce risks, casualties, and cost.[9]

In contrast, actions in the moral domain are aimed at will and cohesion. They involve the use of force or the threatened use of force, as well as incentives or rewards, to cause an adversary to either maintain a desired behaviour or to alter it in a desired manner.

Air Force actions taken to shape the battlespace can be either offensive or defensive in nature and can be applied either directly or indirectly to accomplish assigned objectives. Air forces shape the battlespace by establishing control of the air, accomplishing a strategic effect, supporting land and naval forces, and coordinating info ops.

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Control of the Air

Gaining sufficient control of the air is an essential requirement across the spectrum of conflict. Having control of the air safeguards sovereignty in peacetime, controls access to it in times of tension, and provides safety from enemy air attack in war. Moreover, control of the air provides friendly forces with the freedom to conduct operations at the time and place of their choosing without prohibitive interference from an adversary. Consequently, gaining control of the air is normally afforded the highest priority in any military operation.

Depending on the situation and the capabilities of an adversary, control of the air may be established rapidly and maintained at little cost. However, against a capable and resilient opponent, gaining complete control of the air, or “air supremacy,” may be a task of such magnitude that it requires a prohibitive allocation of resources. In such cases, an important consideration for commanders is to balance the cost of favourable air control against the risks created by insufficient control. Therefore, the commander must determine the necessary degree of control of the air required to achieve mission success.[10] Depending on the situation, actions to secure control of the air may be temporary and localized or they may involve ongoing operations throughout the entire battlespace.

Assuring access to space and preserving unhampered exploitation of space capabilities is essential to all military operations. This necessitates operations to guard space assets and associated ground infrastructure. Additionally, operations to prevent an adversary’s hostile use of space capabilities or space effects through denial, deception, disruption, degradation, or destructive measures, as appropriate, may be required.

Strategic Effect

Aerospace capabilities aiming to achieve strategic effect seek to threaten, disrupt or destroy an adversary’s strategic centre of gravity.[11] Such operations could involve destructive actions, non-destructive actions, or a combination of both to create effects that directly or indirectly result in the disruption or shattering of an adversary’s cohesion, will, or ability to wage war. By simply possessing the ability to conduct such operations, an air force can deter aggression, signal resolve, and reassure allies. When the willingness to conduct air operations for strategic effect is demonstrated through presence or a show of force, these deterrent and reassurance effects are multiplied. For example, air forces can apply force in a controlled and graduated manner to convince an aggressor to cease their undesired behaviour. On the other hand, as a final resort, air forces can conduct near simultaneous attacks on a multitude of targets aimed at overwhelming an adversary’s ability to cope with the scope and pace of attacks, inducing a form of strategic decision-making paralysis.[12] Such activities serve to undermine, disrupt, or destroy an adversary’s will or ability to fight.

Ultimately, targets must be carefully selected to ensure direct influence on an adversary’s strategic centre of gravity, thereby efficiently and effectively addressing the desired national objective(s) and achieving the desired state.

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Support to Land and Naval Forces

Aerospace operations in support of land forces are conducted to target fielded enemy surface forces and their supporting infrastructure. Such operations will directly lead to strategic effects by denying the adversary’s ability to execute a coherent ground campaign. Support to land forces is most frequently associated with direct support to friendly surface forces by the air force. Support to land forces operations may also be conducted independent of surface force objectives or where no friendly forces are present.

Aerospace operations in support of naval forces are conducted to attain and maintain a desired degree of maritime superiority through the destruction, disruption, delay, diversion, or other neutralization of threats in the maritime environment. These operations utilize air forces to counter adversary air, surface, and subsurface threats to enhance the maritime scheme of manoeuvre.

When integrated into a joint force, air, space, and surface forces combine their characteristics in a complementary and synergistic manner (as illustrated in Figure 5-2). By their very nature, Shape operations contribute to joint fires, manipulate the battlespace in support of the attainment of military objectives, and are normally associated with the operational and tactical levels of war. Typically, the air forces’ land and naval support roles are applied to:

  • curtail interference from hostile land and naval forces;
  • inhibit the enemy’s ability to manoeuvre;
  • deny the enemy an ability to concentrate their forces; and
  • disrupt the enemy’s command, control, and communications capabilities.[13]
Figure 5-2 shows a battle field with Air Force, Army and Navy assets. The military objectives are being achieved through Shape operations, as joint fires are conducted by all these assets. Furthermore, Air Force, Army and Navy assets are able to communicate with each other. End Figure 5-2.

Image courtesy of General Dynamics Canada

Figure 5-2. Support to Land and Naval Forces


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Information Operations

Info ops is an integrated process rather than a capability in itself.[14] An understanding of the process will enable commanders to consider and understand the possible effects of their actions and how they can use them to shape the informational domain to maintain or gain an operational advantage.

The info ops process is one of coordination across the informational domain, including the seamless integration of Air Force info ops capabilities and activities into the overall campaign plan. By gaining control of the informational domain, one gains the ability to influence the will and behaviour of one’s adversaries while defending one’s own. Effects in the informational domain can be created by a variety of military activities, such as psychological operations, computer network operations, or electronic warfare,[15] the close coordination of which will contribute to the achievement of the overall objective. Info ops comprises three interrelated activity areas: influence activities, counter-command activities, and information protection activities.[16] Ultimately, info ops supports the achievement of strategic objectives and contributes to a military operational advantage.


Move exploits the global reach and speed of aerospace power to rapidly deploy and position personnel and materiel to achieve desired effects. As a critical aerospace capability, Move activities are employed across the spectrum of conflict, with or without hindrance from natural or manmade obstructions. There are two capabilities associated with this function: air mobility and personnel recovery (PR).

Air Mobility

Air mobility is the capability of conducting airlift and air-to-air refuelling roles. It is air mobility’s reach, speed, flexibility, and versatility that underpin the Move component of aerospace power.


Airlift is the transport and delivery by air of personnel and materiel in support of strategic, operational, or tactical objectives. It provides the military commander with the capability to deploy, employ, and re-deploy forces and equipment quickly and over considerable distances, and to sustain those forces once deployed from their main operating bases (MOBs).

Able to operate globally, airlift can be either strategic or tactical, or both, depending on the nature of the mission. The categorization selected is based on missions assigned and the context in which the missions are conducted. Strategic airlift operations are those operations conducted to move personnel and materiel between theatres.[17] Tactical airlift operations provide commanders the ability to position their forces and equipment within an AOR or area of operations (AO), while providing them with all required logistical support.

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Air-to-air Refuelling

Air-to-air refuelling (AAR) is the refuelling of an aircraft in flight by an airborne tanker aircraft. As noted earlier, it is one of the key enablers to force projection. The provision of AAR extends the flight range of receiver aircraft, thereby reducing the number of en route stops, maintenance requirements, and, ultimately, the response time to reach their AO. Additionally, AAR enables receiver aircraft to carry a greater payload on departure and to conduct multiple missions as required. Air-to-air refuelling is thus a force enabler, a force multiplier, or both, depending on the mission being conducted.

Personnel Recovery

Personnel recovery (PR) has applications across the spectrum of conflict, and relies on a comprehensive approach that integrates military, diplomatic, and civil efforts to recover isolated personnel. The roles associated with PR include search and rescue (SAR), combat recovery (CR), combat SAR (CSAR), and non-conventional assisted recovery (NAR). The PR role selected depends on the level of hostilities and the individual training of the isolated person(s).

In peacetime, air force SAR units have the mandate to search for and rescue persons in distress in the air, on land, or at sea. In times of conflict or war, air forces may also conduct CR, CSAR, or NAR, which involve finding and recovering personnel in hostile territory. CR is the recovery of isolated personnel from a hostile environment where interference may be expected. In CR, either the recovery force or the isolated personnel, or both, have not been trained and equipped in the CSAR tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP). CSAR is the application of dedicated, trained forces to recover isolated personnel, who themselves are trained and appropriately equipped to receive this support, from a situation where hostile interference may be expected. At present, the CF does not possess a CSAR capability, and therefore relies on coalition partners to provide this “in-theatre” capability. In NAR, recovery situations may require the assistance of non-conventional forces or other types of assistance when conventional means are not suitable. Such recoveries use special operations forces or other surrogate/indigenous forces trained to assist in moving isolated personnel through a network that returns them to the safety of allied forces.

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Shield protects a force, its capabilities and its freedom of action. It enables the other functions to fulfill their respective roles during operations. A thorough understanding of Shield, including force protection, security risks, cyber threats, and health concerns, is required by all levels of command to enable the commander to address current and future risks, thereby allowing mitigation of such risks to an acceptable level. In addition to its use during conflict, Shield is also required in conflict prevention, mitigation, and post-conflict operations such as reconstruction and nation building.

Air forces engaged in Shield are generally concerned with the protection from attack of vital resources located on air bases, and the minimizing of operational losses by developing strategies and employing personnel and other resources to thwart known threats. Such threats are not constant, as some continually evolve and adapt. The main threat considerations are chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN), both deliberate and accidental events, such as aerial threats, psychological threats, cyber threats, and kinetic threats.

Shield must also consider non-combatants, local civilians and dependants, including those located near main operating bases and deployed operating bases. If the shielding of the local population is not considered, then alienation of that population may occur. Such considerations can be divided into the physical, moral, or informational domains. The physical domain includes consideration of all the kinetic facets across the spectrum of conflict. The moral domain includes psychological threats, morale and unit cohesion, rules of engagement, mission legitimacy, attacks against Canadian interests, and interactions with the local populace. The informational domain includes controlling access and protecting systems and information.

Effective Shield planning and an understanding of all considerations will ensure adequate measures and countermeasures are in place to mitigate the effectiveness of the adversary’s efforts and attacks while at the same time affording the operation a considerable measure of safety and an ability to carry out the mission.

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Sustain regenerates and maintains capabilities in support of operations. Any deficiencies in the sustainment process could have detrimental impacts on the successful execution of assigned missions. Sustain focuses on the maintenance and regeneration of four components—personnel, materiel, infrastructure, and services—contributing to the ongoing operational effectiveness of aerospace power. Ultimately, the aim is to ensure that sufficient resources exist at the right time and at the correct destination.


The availability and employment of trained personnel, in the right numbers and at the right location, are critical to achieving operational success. The highly technical and complex nature of aerospace operations demands that personnel, whether military, civilian, or contractual, be fully competent and current in the knowledge required to carry out their assigned duties. Individual tasks must be conducted correctly, with due regard for economy and safety. This is critical when dealing with aircraft where a seemingly minor error can quickly lead to the loss of life or a high-value asset. The Air Force must conduct aerospace operations under military leadership in a disciplined fashion. This places a premium on certain personnel qualities, such as fighting spirit,[18] professional competency, and fitness for duty. These qualities earmark the professional service person and facilitate an ability to lead and thereby provide sustainment that is agile, reliable, and robust.


Materiel includes the systems, vehicles, aircraft, arms, parts and materials used to support and maintain aerospace operations. Within Sustain, materiel is allocated and distributed on the basis of need that originates from operational, economic, or political exigencies, and is generally expressed in documents such as statements of operational requirements, post-operation reports, unsatisfactory condition reports, cases for action, and business cases. A key challenge is ensuring that all required materiel is available, visible, and accounted.

The life cycle management (acquisition, use, and disposal) of materiel directly associated with aircraft is subject to higher standards and levels of control than apply for most other materiel. The visibility, accountability, control, movement and delivery of materiel, as well as an understanding of the operation intensity, are major tasks and considerations for the mission support staff.

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Infrastructure applies to all fixed and non-permanent installations for the support and control of military forces. It includes runways, roads, telecommunication networks, and all types of utilities, such as power generation and electrical distribution, telecommunication ducting, natural gas networks, water and sewage systems, and relocatable temporary camps. The maintenance of existing Air Force infrastructure and MOBs is a major ongoing activity of Sustain, including its updating and modernization in accordance with operational requirements. Similar to materiel, the concept of life expectancy is applied so that plans for demolition can be developed, and construction and maintenance properly sequenced.

 Infrastructure sustainment challenges are generally more difficult for short-term operations in remote, austere environments. Because of the dependence of fixed-wing aircraft on runways and other support facilities, there is an ongoing requirement to provide a certain amount of infrastructure to allow the military operation to proceed, but it is more difficult to determine the needs for housing, feeding, warehousing, roads and utilities when the size, scope, and length of the operation are uncertain. In these instances, Sustain solutions tend to favour temporary installations that can be transported, installed, disassembled, and re-used.


Sustain provides services in the broad areas of engineering, health and welfare, logistics, comptrollership, and aircraft maintenance and engineering. In some instances, such as with construction engineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, and logistics, services bring the other three components of sustainment together at the right place and time. No matter the circumstance, the challenge is to identify the best ways to deliver all services on a continuing basis when the operational situation and tempo, as well as the likelihood of hostile acts, are in a constant state of flux. The attainment of optimal service delivery therefore requires substantial coordination efforts and the ability to react to rapid and significant changes to the operational readiness posture.

It is critical to always keep the complete sustainment process in mind when contemplating changes to unique elements of service delivery. Although individual changes may be logical when considered in isolation, such changes can have drastic consequences if they affect long-standing relationships and/or responsibilities in the overall sustainment process. It is therefore equally important to manage the processes by which a change in service delivery is implemented as it is to justify a change in the first place.

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Generate develops and prepares an aerospace force to meet force employment requirements. This function delivers the capabilities necessary to implement the other five functions. Generating forces to provide aerospace power is an ongoing activity that involves three main elements: developing required force capabilities, conducting force readiness activities, and establishing programmes to prevent the accidental loss or degradation of these capabilities.

Force Development

The force development process determines the capabilities which the Air Force requires to meet Canada’s defence needs, whether domestic or foreign. A number of factors, such as government policy, changes to doctrine, lessons learned[19] from operations, emerging technologies, and the future security environment, all play a part in defining future force capability requirements. Concepts resulting from the introduction of new weapon systems and changes in their employment will also have to be trialed, and policies and doctrine which will govern their employment will need to be developed. Once the necessary capabilities are determined, forces must then be generated; that is, they must be assembled, trained, equipped and structured to effectively perform their associated defence tasks.

Force Readiness[20]

Force readiness activities prepare the force in order to respond to government direction. It encompasses the resources needed to maintain equipment, conduct training, and prepare units for force employment, and includes recruiting, training and developing personnel, as well as acquiring the equipment needed to meet Air Force tasks.

Recruitment, Education and Training

A prime component of force generation is the recruiting, education and training of personnel. This must be done on an ongoing basis to ensure that the Air Force is continually supplied with an adequate number of educated and well-trained people. Government policy, fiscal restraint, technological change, and Canadian culture have at one time or another all impacted on the size, shape, and composition of the Air Force. However, one thing has remained constant—the need for professional airmen, airwomen, and civilians to meet current and future challenges.[21]

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Equipping is an activity that ensures air forces have the right tools at the right time to accomplish their assigned tasks. Since interoperability with our defence partners and allies is essential for our Air Force, such acquisition processes require that new materiel takes into account the joint and combined nature of defence capabilities. Such processes include employing new technologies and concepts to maximum advantage by integrating research and development, modeling and simulation, test and evaluation, and the procurement of new systems to meet Air Force equipment requirements.

Loss Prevention Programmes

Generating and employing air force assets involves a certain degree of risk which may result in death, serious injury, and loss of equipment, degradation of capability, or damage to the environment. Loss prevention programmes are therefore incorporated and must be considered during the entire lifecycle of any weapon system or other materiel, from introduction through to its employment, sustainment, and, ultimately, during its disposal. There are two main elements to preventing these losses and damages: Department of National Defence (DND)/CF Safety Programmes and the Air Force’s Environmental Stewardship programme.

Safety Programmes

High risk situations will be encountered during routine training exercises as well as during combat missions. A number of DND/CF and Air Force loss prevention programmes are established to ensure that limited resources are not needlessly lost. The Airworthiness, Flight Safety, and General Safety Programmes all contribute to mitigating the accidental loss of Air Force resources throughout a system’s life-cycle. These programmes enable the generation and employment of operational capabilities, while reducing the accidental attrition of personnel and materiel.

Environmental Stewardship

Due to the potential to negatively affect the physical environment during Air Force training and operations, steps have been established to minimize environmental degradation. The Chief of the Air Staff's (CAS’s) Air Force Environmental Vision and Strategy aims to lessen the impact of air force operations and activities on the environment. This initiative focuses on resolving legacy issues, ensuring compliance with environmental laws, both at home and abroad, and reducing the Air Force environmental footprint through the exploration and implementation of emerging environmental protection and management practices.  

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1. In today’s operational climate, the Air Force must be prepared to simultaneously conduct traditional and irregular warfare operations in any given conflict.  (return)

2. The seven keystone doctrine handbooks should be consulted for a more in-depth discussion on the Air Force functions and its two sub-functions. (return)

3. The activities of Act and Sense are arguably the reasons that air forces exist. Their conceptual development mirrors that of the evolution of aerospace power itself. Aircraft were specifically developed to Sense, Shape, and then Move. This evolution was based on advances in both technology and a willingness to exploit it. Nations ultimately create air forces to achieve one or a combination of Sense, Shape, or Move. (return)

4. It is important to note that leadership is essential for the effective application of Command—all commanders must be leaders. Although this handbook will not address leadership per se, it must always be borne in mind that military operations require leadership, and that leadership is indispensable to command. Readings on leadership include A-AP-005-000/AP-003, Leadership in the Canadian Forces (Ottawa: Department of National Defence, 2005); and Sic Itur Ad Astra: Canadian Aerospace Power Studies, Volume 1, Historical Aspects of Air Force Leadership (Ottawa: Department of National Defence, 2009). (return)

5. Moreover, Sense provides each and every decision maker with knowledge. (return)

6. Manoeuvre implies a movement of air force capabilities into a position of advantage over an adversary. Aerospace power can manoeuvre to overcome traditional land force limitations of terrain, weather, reach, and is versatile to changing priorities and targets. (return)

7. Firepower refers to the employment of air force capabilities to destroy, neutralize, suppress, or harass an adversary. (return)

8. Doctrinally, air-to-air refuelling is one of the two roles of air mobility, and part of Move; however, air-to-air refuelling also doubles as a critical enabler of Canada’s force projection capability. (return)

9. Air Vice-Marshal Tony Mason, “The Future of Air Power: Concepts of Operations,” Royal Air Force Air Power Review 1, no. 1 (1998): 36. (return)

10. Achieving control of the air environment prevents the enemy from using air power effectively against friendly forces while allowing friendly use of air power against the enemy. Delaying, disrupting, or destroying the enemy air forces achieves control of the air, which is usually expressed as air superiority or air supremacy. See glossary for definitions of these two terms. (return)

11. The concept of the centre of gravity originates from the writings of Clausewitz, who expressed the concept as meaning “the hub of all power and movement, on which everything depends. That is the point at which all of our energies should be directed.” See Carl von Clausewitz, On War, ed. and trans. by Michael Howard and Peter Paret (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984) 595–96. Even today, there remains some debate over how Clausewitz’s concept should be translated and interpreted. For example, see Antulio J. Echevarria, Clausewitz’s Center of Gravity: Changing Our Warfighting Doctrine – Again! (Carlyle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, September 2002). (return)

12. While this idea was expressed as early as 1954—see United States, AFM 1-8 Strategic Air Operations (Department of the Air Force, 1 May 1954), 5— the modern understanding of parallel attack is based on the writings of Colonel John Warden. See, for example, John A. Warden III, “The Enemy as a System,” Airpower Journal 9, no. 2 (Spring 1995). (return)

13. Mason, 37. (return)

14. United States, Department of the Army: Military Strategy, Planning, and Operations, Information Operations Planner, November 2006, AY07 edition (Carlisle, PA: U.S. Army War College, November 22, 2006), 1. (return)

15. See B-GA-403-002/FP-001, Aerospace Electronic Warfare Doctrine (Ottawa: Department of National Defence, interim version) handbook for more information. (return)

16. AJP 3-10 NATO Information Operations Doctrine, 2008, RD1, 1-7. (return)

17. Some theatres (e.g., Canada) are so large that a “strategic” flight profile may be utilized instead of a “tactical” flight profile, even though the airlift is within the same theatre. Consequently, the terms “inter-theatre” and “intratheatre” are inappropriate for usage in the Canadian context. (return)

18. Fighting spirit is the drive within every military member to do anything in their power, within the ethical principles and values of the profession of arms, to accomplish the assigned mission with enthusiasm, precision and unlimited liability to self, as defined in the Defence Terminology Bank (DTB) record 37287, (accessed October 28, 2010). (return)

19. B-GA-005-780-AG-001, Air Force Lessons Learned Campaign Plan (AFLLCP), 3000-1 (CO CFAWC), 7 July 2009, (accessed October 28, 2010). (return)

20. Readiness refers to preparedness to respond to government direction, as defined in the DTB record 34053, (accessed October 28, 2010). (return)

21. More information on how the Air Force Personnel Management System is used to define and manage all Air Force occupation specialties can be found in B-GA-407-001/FP-001, Air Force Personnel Doctrine (Ottawa, Department of National Defence, 2010), (accessed October 28, 2010). (return)

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