UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Royal Canadian Navy
Canadian Forces Maritime Command (MARCOM)

Canada is a G8 nation with three oceans and the world’s longest coastline. The mission of the Royal Canadian Navy is to generate combat-capable, multipurpose maritime forces that support Canada’s efforts to participate in security operations anywhere in the world, as part of an integrated Canadian Armed Forces. The navy is composed of approximately 8,500 regular and 5,100 reserve sailors, along with 5,300 civilian personnel.

The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) fleet, divided between the Atlantic (Halifax, N.S.) and Pacific (Esquimalt, B.C.) coasts, is composed of 33 warships, submarines, and coastal defence vessels, plus many more auxiliary and support vessels.

Founded in 1910 as the Naval Service of Canada and given Royal Sanction in 1911, the RCN was placed under the Department of National Defence in 1923, and amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Army to form the unified Canadian Forces in 1968, after which it was known as "Maritime Command" until 2011. The Canadian navy was officially known as Canadian Forces Maritime Command (MARCOM), however, unofficially MARCOM was represented as the "Canadian Navy" and maintained many traditions of its predecessor. On August 16, 2011, the government renamed Maritime Command the "Royal Canadian Navy."

Canada's 33 warships, submarines, and coastal defence vessels are divided more or less evenly between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The home ports of the fleet are Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) in Esquimalt, British Columbia. These formations manage all aspects of fleet maintenance, training and manning, while maintaining the fleet at optimal readiness for deployment as the Canadian Forces and Government see fit.

The ships of the fleet can be deployed in a number of roles; as a uniquely Canadian response to a domestic or international need, or as part of a larger multinational deployment. Deployments can involve the insertion of one ship into a multinational force, or a large essentially self-sufficient task group of complimentary ships, submarines and aircraft.

The navy has both domestic and international roles. At home, maritime defence and security is the navy's first priority in ensuring that Canada's maritime approaches are effectively monitored and protected. Canada also needs naval forces with the ability to act internationally - whenever and wherever issues arise that threaten our national interests.

The navy participates in joint Canada-U.S. and NATO exercises, and ships are deployed all over the world in support of the Canadian military and in conjunction with multinational deployments. The navy has a variety of sea trades and positions which include jobs such as combat information operators with extensive computer skills; divers trained in the delicate art of explosives disposal; technicians who keep our warships and their fitted equipment running smoothly; boarding party members who investigate suspicious vessels (but who may also be called upon to administer humanitarian aid); and many others.

The Royal Canadian Navy is directed through Naval Staff Headquarters by the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy whose mission is to lead the strategic development and generation of Combat Capable Multi-purpose Maritime Forces and to provide advice in support of Maritime operations.

Three formations – Maritime Forces Pacific, Maritime Forces Atlantic, and the Naval Reserve – are directly responsible to the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy.

Maritime Forces Pacific and Maritime Forces Atlantic are responsible to generate, maintain, and sustain an armed capability to guard Canada’s Pacific and Atlantic maritime approaches respectively and to contribute forces to meet national, domestic and overseas commitments, in order to enhance international peace and security.

Maritime Forces Pacific, home to the 15 ships and submarines of the Canadian Pacific Fleet, is headquartered in Esquimalt, British Columbia on Vancouver Island and employs roughly 4,000 military and 2,000 civilian personnel.

Maritime Forces Atlantic, home to the 18 ships and submarines of the Canadian Atlantic Fleet, is headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia and employs more than 5,000 military and 2,000 civilian personnel.

The Naval Reserve, headquartered in Québec City, is made up of 24 Naval Reserve Divisions (of up to 150-200 personnel each) located across Canada. Its goal is also to help generate trained individuals and teams for Canadian Armed Forces operations including domestic safety operations as well as security and defence missions, while at the same time supporting the Navy's efforts in connecting with Canadians through the maintenance of a broad national presence.

A fourth formation, the Canadian Armed Forces Maritime Warfare Centre, develops and delivers maritime tactics and operational manoeuvre doctrine in support of Canada’s maritime forces, through operation operational analysis, operational test and evaluation, modeling and simulation, war gaming and naval concept development and experimentation in order to support the development of future maritime forces.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 16-04-2019 18:48:18 ZULU