Joint Task Force West

Joint Task Force West (JTFW) is one of six regional joint task forces of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The task forces are situated in key locations across Canada to conduct CAF continental operations.

JTFW Headquarters

JTFW has its headquarters at CAF Edmonton Garrison, located in Edmonton, Alberta. The JTFW Commander also commands 3rd Canadian Division (3 Cdn Div), a formation of the Canadian Army.

JTFW area of responsibility (AOR)

JTFW is responsible for leading CAF continental operations in Canada’s mid-west. This includes the region’s territorial waterways.  The AOR includes the provinces of:

  • Alberta;
  • Saskatchewan;
  • Manitoba; and
  • the territorial waterways of the area.

This region covers almost twenty percent of Canada's landmass. It is home to more than six million people.

Command and tasking authority

The JTFW Commander directs the CAF response anywhere in the AOR if help is requested. This applies to:

  • any request for CAF intervention for disaster relief; and
  • any request for CAF support in critical incidents.

A request for CAF help may come through/from:

  • Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC);
  • CJOC’s partners in operations; and  
  • provincial governments in the JTFW AOR.

The JTFW Commander has the authority to form mission-appropriate task forces. This includes tasking any and all CAF resources held in that AOR by the:

  • Royal Canadian Navy;
  • Canadian Army; and
  • Royal Canadian Air Force.

JTFW operations

The CAF maintains a continuous watch of the AOR through JTFW.  It does so to maintain full awareness of security and defence conditions in the region.

JTFW plans for operations around the annual flood risk in southern Manitoba.  The Assiniboine, Red and Souris rivers regularly flood their banks in the spring. JTFW members monitor water levels on these waterways. They work with federal and provincial emergency measures organizations. They take part in contingency planning with these groups.  This is done to prepare for requests for help from the Province of Manitoba.

In 2016 the Province of Alberta asked for CAF help to respond to wildfires burning in Fort McMurray.  A task force was deployed with:

  • 65 CAF personnel;
  • four CH-146 Griffon helicopters;
  • one CH-147 Chinook helicopter; and
  • one CC-130J Hercules aircraft.
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