ARCHIVED - Canadian Forces Northern Area

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Backgrounder / September 1, 1998 / Project number: BG-98.043


The Canadian Forces (CF) have operated in the North since the days of the famous volunteer Yukon Field Force, established in 1898. The Force helped the Northwest Mounted Police maintain law and order during the Gold Rush. Canada has maintained a formal military establishment in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, since 1970. Canadian Forces Northern Area (CFNA) Headquarters is located in the Evans Building.



The role of CFNA is to assist in maintaining Canadian sovereignty north of 60, to coordinate and support CF activities in the North, and to provide liaison with the territorial governments and people of the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Yukon.

As one of five military geographic areas within the CF, CFNA is also responsible for the command of the Canadian Rangers and the administration and support of the Cadet program in both the NWT and Yukon. To ensure liaison with the Yukon Territorial Government and to provide support to CF activities, Rangers and Cadets in that territory, CFNA maintains a Headquarters Detachment Yukon, located at Boyle Barracks south of Whitehorse. The total strength of CFNA, including the Yellowknife-based 440 Transport Squadron and local detachment personnel, is approximately 120 Regular Force, Reserve Force and civilian personnel.



The CFNA area of responsibility includes the NWT and Yukon, a vast region encompassing approximately four million square kilometres, or one-third of Canada’s land mass. Apart from the Yellowknife Headquarters and the Yukon Detachment, CFNA’s activities are supported by 440 Transport Squadron with four CC-138 Twin Otter aircraft in Yellowknife. The Canadian Rangers operate under the command of CFNA. Various Cadet Instructor Cadre officers and Civilian Instructors assist the cadet movement in the North. As well, opportunities for careers in the CF are provided to Northerners through the Canadian Forces Recruiting Team Detachment in Yellowknife.



CFNA provides planning advice and liaison support to CF and visiting foreign units exercising in the North. Operations within Northern Area involve deployments as diverse as Land Force Command (army) sovereignty exercises, communications unit exercises, deployments to northern airfields of Canadian and NORAD-assigned fighter and support aircraft, and Northern Operations Readiness Patrol flights by CF CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft.


CFNA is commanded currently by Colonel J.G.P. (Pierre) Leblanc, of the Royal 22e Règiment.

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For more information, please contact:

2nd Lieutenant Mark Gough

Public Affairs Officer CFNAHQ

(867) 873-0805 phone

(867) 873-0809 fax

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