Portal:Canadian Armed Forces

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The Canadian Armed Forces Portal

Introduction

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The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF; French: Forces armées canadiennes, FAC), or Canadian Forces (CF) (French: Forces canadiennes, FC), are the unified armed forces of Canada, as constituted by the National Defence Act, which states: "The Canadian Forces are the armed forces of Her Majesty raised by Canada and consist of one Service called the Canadian Armed Forces."

This unified institution consists of sea, land, and air elements referred to as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN), Canadian Army, and Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Personnel may belong to either the Regular Force or the Reserve Force, which has four sub-components: the Primary Reserve, Supplementary Reserve, Cadet Organizations Administration and Training Service, and the Canadian Rangers. Under the National Defence Act, the Canadian Armed Forces are an entity separate and distinct from the Department of National Defence (the federal government department responsible for administration and formation of defence policy), which also exists as the civilian support system for the Forces.

The Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces is the reigning Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who is represented by the Governor General of Canada. The Canadian Armed Forces is led by the Chief of the Defence Staff, who is advised and assisted by the Armed Forces Council.

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No. 410 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), nicknamed the "Cougars", is a Canadian Forces Air Command aircraft squadron currently located at Canada's primary training base for the CF-18 (Canadian Forces version of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet), at Cold Lake, Alberta. The squadron was formed during the Second World War as an RCAF squadron under the Royal Air Force (RAF), at RAF Ayr, near Prestwick, in Scotland.

CF-188B 410 Sqn with 60th anniversary paint.JPEG

The first official sortie of No. 410 Squadron was from RAF Drem, East Lothian, Scotland, on the night of 4 June 1942, when twelve Beaufighter crews took off, and it went on to become the top-scoring night fighter squadron in the RAF Second Tactical Air Force during the period between D-Day and VE-Day.

No. 410 Squadron supported the Allied forces during the Normandy Landings and the Battle of the Bulge, flew nightly patrols during this time and many of its pilots gained ace status. Two members of No. 410 Squadron, Flight Lieutenant (F/L) Currie and Flying Officer (F/O) Rose, were the first members of the RCAF to see the German V-2 rocket in flight.

The squadron was disbanded in 1964 but reformed again in 1968. As No. 410 Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron, the squadron usually trains between 20 and 22 pilots a year on the CF-18, more than any other RCAF squadron. The Canadian documentary television series Jetstream was filmed with the squadron in 2007 and showed what trainees must endure to become fighter pilots.

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Operation Windsor was a Canadian offensive launched as part of the Battle of Normandy during World War II. Taking place between 4–5 July 1944, the attack was undertaken by the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division in an attempt to capture the Norman town of Carpiquet and the adjacent airfield from German forces. The attack was originally intended to take place during the later stages of Operation Epsom, as a means of protecting the eastern flank of the main assault. It was postponed and launched the following week.

On 4 July 1944, four battalions of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division attacked Carpiquet in conjunction with flanking attacks by armoured regiments of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade. Although the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade succeeded in capturing Carpiquet by mid-afternoon, heavy resistance to the south prevented the airfield from being captured—despite significant Allied armour and air support. The following day, Canadian forces defeated multiple German counterattacks and succeeded in holding Carpiquet in preparation for British attacks on Caen as part of Operation Charnwood.

Three days after Operation Windsor ended, full-scale attacks on Caen were renewed, with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division taking part in Operation Charnwood. On 9 July, the 8th Canadian Infantry Brigade succeeded in capturing Carpiquet airfield, as 450 aircraft of the Royal Air Force bombed the town in preparation for a full assault. By 11 July, the northern half of Caen had been seized by British forces, the remainder of the town had been leveled.

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Francis Pegahmagabow.jpg
Francis Pegahmagabow MM & Two Bars, (March 9, 1891 – August 5, 1952) was the First Nation soldier most highly decorated for bravery in Canadian military history and the most effective sniper of World War I. Three times awarded the Military Medal and seriously wounded, he was an expert marksman and scout, credited with killing 378 Germans and capturing 300 more. Later in life, he served as chief and a councilor for the Wasauksing First Nation, and as an activist and leader in several First Nations organizations. He corresponded with and met other noted aboriginal figures including Fred Loft, Jules Sioui, Andrew Paull and John Tootoosis.
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Canada WWI Victory Bonds2.jpg
World War I poster for 1918- Canadian victory bond drive, depicts three French women pulling a plow.

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