Foreword (B-GA-400-000/FP-000, Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine)

Aerospace Doctrine

Canada’s Air Force is an instrument of national policy and an element of national power. As an integral component of the Canadian Forces, Canada’s Air Force delivers aerospace power to control and exploit the air and space environments in order to contribute to Canadian security and national objectives.

Much like the first edition of Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine, this second edition provides context to the vision that air forces exist to exercise aerospace power on behalf of the nation. It also articulates the fundamental and enduring principles of aerospace power for use as guidance in peace and war. So, why is this updated manual needed?

When I joined the Canadian Forces 33 years ago, it was believed that a career in the Canadian Forces would be spent fighting against a single adversary. I knew my role and I had my orders. Then, the world changed. And, it continues to change. The Air Force is doing things today that no one could have even begun to imagine as a young pilot. Nevertheless, as the world changed and continues to change, doctrine must also evolve in response to new experiences, threats, and further advances in technology.

To that end, the Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre has examined and updated our Air Force’s doctrine. The Centre has gathered information from lessons learned and international forums, remained engaged with worldwide aerospace power developments, and explored new concepts and policies that would lead to increased interoperability with our Army and Navy, as well as our international coalition partners. Reviewing the current doctrine focused efforts on setting the conditions that would ensure continued operational success. Bottom line: this updated Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine is the new guide. It has evolved and changed. Most importantly, it is relevant today.

The primary change in this second edition is the grouping of Air Force capabilities under one of six functions: Command, Sense, Act, Shield, Sustain, and Generate. This aligns the Air Force functions with those used by the Chief of Force Development and promotes better understanding and interaction at the joint level. Each function can be expanded into a hierarchical matrix of Air Force capabilities, roles, missions, tasks, and activities. As such, this manual is the de facto foundation upon which every Air Force activity is based.

It is fundamental that each member of the Air Force comprehend the essence of doctrine and the operational impact of the Air Force functions. Commanders and supervisors at all levels of the Air Force are well advised to read, understand, and apply doctrine. Moreover, it is a professional obligation to ensure that the training and the operational activities of our units are aligned with the principles, characteristics, and tenets espoused in this handbook. By adhering to Canadian Forces Aerospace Doctrine, the Air Force will continue to build upon its considerable successes and the tradition of excellence in service to Canada.

Sic Itur Ad Astra

Lieutenant-General J. P. A. Deschamps Chief of the Air Staff / Commander Air Command

Lieutenant-General J. P. A. Deschamps, Chief of the Air Staff / Commander Air Command

J. P. A. Deschamps
Chief of the Air Staff / Commander Air Command