Canada has multi-purpose, combat-capable Forces that are prepared for the broad range of tasks assigned to them, including: observation, peacekeeping and peace-enforcement missions; combat and interdiction operations; mine-clearance, and protection of displaced persons. Their duties also include surveillance and control of Canadian territory, airspace and maritime approaches, civil defence and protection of infrastructure, search and rescue, and disaster relief. As well as being equipped to deal with terrorist and asymmetrical threats in Canada and abroad, the Canadian Forces support the civilian authorities of other federal departments and agencies, and other levels of government, with respect to environmental surveillance, counter-terrorism, illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
Defence's "immediate family" comprises over 100 000 Canadians, including the members of the Regular Force and the Reserve Force, the Canadian Rangers and the civilian employees of the Department of National Defence. The Department also supports the Canadian Cadet Movement.
The Naval Reserve fills a number of roles within the Total Force Plan. In addition to augmenting the Regular Force, Naval Reservists form diving units, naval cooperation and guidance of shipping organizations and important public relations units such as the National Band of the Naval Reserve. Most particularly, the Naval Reserve has the task of providing the necessary crew members to operate ten KINGSTON-Class Maritime Coastal Defence Vessels.