1st Canadian Division moves to CJOC

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Article / April 27, 2015

 By: Lucy Ellis

The command structure of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) continues to evolve in order to meet operational needs.

On 1 April 2015, command of 1st Canadian Division Headquarters (1st Cdn Div HQ) was transferred from the Canadian Army to the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC). Under this new structure, the role of 1st Cdn Div HQ remains the same. The 1st Cdn Div HQ will continue to contribute to high readiness and contingency operations around the globe, and provide the Canadian Armed Forces with a rapidly deployable headquarters capable of responding to a variety of crises.

The transfer of 1st Cdn Div HQ to CJOC reflects the commitment of the CAF to being an agile and effective organization that is prepared to rapidly deploy when required.

The change of command was marked by a ceremony at Canadian Forces Base Kingston on 2 April. In attendance were: Lieutenant-General Guy Thibault, Vice Chief of Defence Staff; Lieutenant-General Jonathan Vance, Commander CJOC; Lieutenant-General Marquis Hainse, Commander of the Canadian Army; and Major-General D.J. Milner, Commander 1st Cdn Div HQ.

1st Cdn Div HQ is responsible for four high-readiness tasks: humanitarian operations at home or abroad; non-combatant evacuation operations for the safe evacuation of Canadians abroad; first rotation of personnel for future full-spectrum operations; and provision of a National Command Element responsible for the command and the logistic, operational, and strategic support of Canadian military assets and personnel.

The transfer of the headquarters from the Army to CJOC is not a change of location for the unit but, rather, a change in who is responsible to command, control and support the forces under 1st Cdn Div HQ.

The process began last year when the Commanders of CJOC and the Canadian Army analyzed 1st Cdn Div HQ’s mandate as a force employer. They came to the conclusion that the headquarters would be better placed under the command of CJOC, and the transfer was authorized in August 2014 by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Tom Lawson.

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