|Royal Canadian Navy|
Badge of the Royal Canadian Navy
|Allegiance||HM The Queen in right of Canada|
8,500 regular personnel|
5,100 reserve personnel
|Part of||Canadian Forces|
|Motto(s)||Ready Aye Ready|
|March||"Heart of Oak"|
|Mascot(s)||SONAR (Newfoundland dog)|
First World War|
Second World War
Persian Gulf War
Libyan Civil War
|Chief of the Defence Staff||General Thomas J. Lawson CMM MSC CD|
|Ceremonial chief||Vice-Admiral Mark Norman CMM CD|
|Naval Ensign (1910–1965)|
The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) (French: Marine royale canadienne), formerly Maritime Command (MARCOM), is the naval force of Canada. The RCN is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Forces. As of 2015[update] Canada's navy operates 15 surface combatants, 4 patrol submarines, 2 support ships, 12 coastal mine countermeasures ships and 11 unarmed patrol/training vessels, as well as several auxiliary vessels. The Royal Canadian Navy consists of 8,500 Regular Force and 5,100 Primary Reserve sailors, supported by 5,300 civilians.[a 1] Vice-Admiral Mark Norman is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chief of the Naval Staff.[a 2]
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. Over the course of its history, the RCN served in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, the First Gulf War, the Afghanistan War and numerous United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations.
- 1 History
- 2 Structure
- 3 Fleet
- 4 Personnel
- 5 Traditions
- 6 Memorials
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 Further reading
- 10 External links
History[edit | edit source]
1910–1968[edit | edit source]
Established following the introduction of the Naval Service Bill by then Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Naval Service of Canada (NSC) was intended as a distinct naval force for the Dominion, that, should the need arise, could be placed under British control. The bill received royal assent on 4 May 1910. Initially equipped with two former Royal Navy vessels, HMCS Niobe and HMCS Rainbow, the service was renamed Royal Canadian Navy by King George V on 29 August 1911.
During the first years of the First World War, the RCN's six-vessel naval force patrolled both the North American West and East coasts to deter the German naval threat, with a seventh ship, HMCS Shearwater joining the force in 1915. Just before the end of the war in 1918, the Royal Canadian Naval Air Service was established with the purpose of carrying out anti-submarine operations; however, it was disbanded after the armistice of 11 November.
After the war, the Royal Canadian Navy took over certain responsibilities of the Department of Transport's Marine Service, and slowly started to build its fleet, with the first warships specifically designed for the RCN being commissioned in 1932. At the outbreak of the Second World War, the Navy had 11 combat vessels, 145 officers and 1,674 men. During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Navy expanded significantly, ultimately gaining responsibility for the entire Northwest Atlantic theatre of war. By the end of the war, the RCN had become the third-largest allied navy in the world after the United States Navy and the Royal Navy. During the Battle of the Atlantic, the RCN sank 31 U-boats and sank or captured 42 enemy surface vessels, while successfully completing 25,343 merchant crossings. The Navy lost 24 ships and 1,797 sailors in the war.
From 1950 to 1955, during the Korean War, Canadian destroyers maintained a presence off the Korean peninsula, engaged in shore bombardments and maritime interdiction. During the Cold War, the navy developed an anti-submarine capability to counter the growing Soviet naval threat. In the 1960s, the Royal Canadian Navy retired most of its Second World War vessels, and further developed its anti-submarine warfare capabilities by acquiring the Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King, pioneering the use of large maritime helicopters on small surface vessels. At that time, Canada was also operating an aircraft carrier, HMCS Bonaventure, operating the McDonnell F2H Banshee fighter jet until 1962, as well as various other anti-submarine aircraft.
1968–present[edit | edit source]
|date= }} In 1968, under the Liberal government of Lester B. Pearson, the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army were amalgamated to form what is today the Canadian Forces, a single service under the Department of National Defence (DND), at the time overseen by Defence Minister Paul Hellyer. The controversial merger resulted in the abolition of the Royal Canadian Navy as a separate legal entity. All personnel, ships, and aircraft became part of Maritime Command (MARCOM), an element of the Canadian Forces. The traditional naval uniform was eliminated and all naval personnel were required to wear the new Canadian Forces rifle green uniform, worn also by former Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army personnel. Ship-borne aircraft continued to be under MARCOM command, while shore-based patrol aircraft of the former Royal Canadian Air Force were transferred to MARCOM. In 1975 Air Command was formed and all maritime aircraft were transferred to Air Command's Maritime Air Group. The unification of the Canadian Forces in 1968 was the first time that a nation with a modern military combined its formerly separate naval, land and air elements into a single service.
The 1970s saw the addition of the Iroquois class destroyer, which were later updated to air-defence destroyers, and in the later 1980s and early 1990s the construction of the Halifax class frigate. In 1990, Canada deployed three warships to support the Operation Friction. Later in the decade, MARCOM deployed ships to patrol the Adriatic Sea during the Yugoslav Wars and the Kosovo War. More recently, Maritime Command provided vessels to serve under Operation Apollo and to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia.
On 16 August 2011, the government renamed Maritime Command the "Royal Canadian Navy", renamed Air Command the "Royal Canadian Air Force" and Land Force Command the "Canadian Army".
Structure[edit | edit source]
The Royal Canadian Navy is headquartered at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa, Ontario. Since 1968, the Royal Canadian Navy has been an environmental command of the Canadian Forces and since 2012 it has been charged with maintaining and generating forces for the Canadian Joint Operations Command.[a 1]
Maritime Forces Atlantic[edit | edit source]
The Royal Canadian Navy's Atlantic Fleet, known as Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT), is headquartered and homeported at CFB Halifax in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is supported by CFS St. John's in Newfoundland. Attached to MARLANT and CFB Halifax is the Royal Canadian Air Force's 12 Wing Shearwater, based at Shearwater Heliport, which provides shipborne air support for the Atlantic Fleet. The RCAF's 14 Wing Greenwood provides fixed-wing air support for MARLANT through 404 Maritime Patrol and Training Squadron and 405 Maritime Patrol Squadron. Other Atlantic Fleet facilities are CFAD Bedford, an ammunition depot, and two radio stations, Naval Radio Section (NRS) Newport Corner and NRS Mill Cove.[a 3]
The Atlantic Fleet, with 18 warships and a number of auxiliary vessels, is responsible for Canada's Exclusive Economic Zone on the East Coast, as well as Canada's Area of Responsibility in the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern Arctic Ocean.
Maritime Forces Pacific[edit | edit source]
The Royal Canadian Navy's Pacific Fleet, known as Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC), is headquartered at CFB Esquimalt in British Columbia, in the Greater Victoria region. MARPAC consists of over 4,000 naval personnel and 2,000 civilian personnel.[a 4]
Comprising 15 warships and several auxiliary vessels homeported in Esquimalt, the Pacific Fleet is responsible for Canada' Exclusive Economic Zone on the West Coast and Canada's Area of Responsibility in the Pacific Ocean and the western Arctic Ocean. Fleet Naval Facility Cape Breton provides repair and maintenance services to the Pacific Fleet. The Royal Canadian Air Force's 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, based at Patricia Bay Heliport but under the control of 12 Wing Shearwater, provides shipborne helicopter support for the Pacific Fleet, while 19 Wing Comox provides fixed wing maritime air support for MARPAC through 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron.
Reserve[edit | edit source]
The Naval Reserve Headquarters (NAVRESHQ), located at the Pointe-a-Carcy Naval Complex in Quebec City, is responsible for twenty four Naval Reserve Divisions across the country. The base is also home to Canadian Forces Fleet School Quebec and HMCS Montcalm. The Naval Reserve is composed of 4,000 reservists.[a 5]
Fleet[edit | edit source]
Warships[edit | edit source]
The Navy operates 15 warships, 2 support tankers, a dozen minesweepers, eight patrol-trainers and 4 submarines. The surface ships, which carry the designation Her Majesty's Canadian Ship (HMCS), consist of three Iroquois class guided-missile destroyers, twelve Halifax class multi-role patrol frigates, 12 Kingston class coastal defence vessels, and two Protecteur class replenishment vessels. In addition to the surface vessels, the RCN owns four Victoria class submarines that were acquired from the British Royal Navy in 1998. These warships carry the designation Her Majesty's Canadian Submarine. The Royal Canadian Navy also maintains and operates HMCS Oriole, a historic sailing ship commissioned in 1921 as a sail training ship. Oriole is the oldest commissioned ship in the RCN and carries the royal designation and the battle honour Dunkirk, 1940.
Auxiliary vessels[edit | edit source]
The RCN operates auxiliary vessels to support the Canadian Forces, these vessels are not warships and do not carry the HMCS designation. Among the auxiliary ships operated by the Navy are eight Orca-class patrol class training tenders, five Ville class harbour tugs, five Glen-class harbour tugs and two fireboats of the Fire class.
Aircraft[edit | edit source]
Since 1975, all aircraft supporting the RCN are operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force through 1 Canadian Air Division. Since 1995, all CH-124 Sea King helicopters have been operated by squadrons under 12 Wing (from the Shearwater Heliport and Patricia Bay Heliport). Similarly, all CP-140 Aurora and CP-140A Arcturus anti-submarine, ship surveillance and maritime patrol aircraft have been operated by squadrons under 14 Wing at CFB Greenwood and 19 Wing at CFB Comox. There are currently 27 CH-124 Sea King helicopters configured for ship-borne anti-submarine warfare, 18 CP-140 Aurora fixed wing aircraft for land-based anti-submarine warfare and area surveillance, and 1 CP-140A Arcturus for land-based maritime surveillance.
Future procurement[edit | edit source]
Under the administration of Stephen Harper many projects have been announced to modernize the Canadian Navy, but as of April 2013 no contracts have been signed.
- The Queenston class Joint Support Ship Project is a program to replace the current Protecteur class replenishment vessels with two to three new joint support ships, providing support to naval task forces, a limited sealift capability and limited theatre command and control.[a 6] The JSS project dates back to 2002-2003 and plans were advanced enough at the time to begin construction, though with the change in government in 2006 that project was cancelled and replaced with a less capable and smaller planned acquisition. The RCN has decided to place an order for 2-3 Berlin class Replenishment ships under JSS, replacing the two Protecteur class AORs. The ships will be built by Seaspan Marine Corporation at the Vancouver Shipyards facility located in North Vancouver, British Columbia. These Berlin class ships will displace approximately 22,250 tonnes in Canadian service. The two ships currently being built are to be named for battles of the War of 1812. HMCS Queenston is the lead ship, followed by HMCS Chateauguay.
- Related to the JSS Project is the nascent Amphibious Assault Ship Project which had seen senior members of the Canadian Forces and DND discuss purchasing one to two amphibious assault ships or helicopter carriers for transporting and landing an assault force of up to 1,000 soldiers. Another project that grew from the experience of Canadian Forces' international peacekeeping deployments, this project is currently categorized as 'potentially viable' though a foreign shipyard would be required to do the work.
- The Arctic Patrol Ship Project, announced in 2007, is a program to build six to eight Arctic patrol ships capable of operating with polar class 5 (PC-5) and to establish the Nanisivik Naval Facility, a deep water port in Arctic Bay, Baffin Island, Nunavut that would support RCN operations in the Northwest Passage and adjacent waters.[a 7] The project is currently under the design phase.
- The Halifax-class frigate is currently undergoing a mid-life extension program[a 8] and it was revealed in the October 2011 announcement of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy that the RCN would be procuring 15 vessels under the Single Class Surface Combatant Project to replace the 12 Halifax-class frigates and 3 Iroquois-class destroyers.
- The Maritime Helicopter Project is an RCAF procurement project that will replace the 41 CH-124 Sea Kings with 28 CH-148 Cyclone shipborne anti-submarine warfare helicopters that will operate from RCN warships.[a 9] This project has been delayed by several years by the manufacturer, Sikorsky. So far one helicopter has been delivered.
- A CBC News report speculated that the RCN is considering the purchase of nuclear-powered submarines capable of extended under-ice operations as a replacement for the diesel-electric powered Victoria-class submarine fleet at the end of their life cycle about 2040. It should be noted that no agenda for this project has been tabled publicly by the federal government. This project is similar to a proposal in the 1987 White Paper that also advocated nuclear submarines, though nothing came of it.
Personnel[edit | edit source]
Commissioned officers[edit | edit source]
Commissioned officers of the Canadian Forces have pay grades ranging from OF-1 to OF-9. The only OF-9 position in the Canadian Forces is the Chief of the Defence Staff, who can be from any of the three elements. The highest position occupied in the current Royal Canadian Navy structure is OF-8, a vice-admiral who serves as the Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy and Chief of the Naval Staff. OF-6 (commodore) to OF-9 (admiral) are referred to as flag officers, OF-3 (lieutenant-commander) to OF-5 (captain (N)) are referred to as senior officers, while OF-2 (lieutenant (N)) and OF-1 (sub-lieutenant) are referred to as junior officers. Naval cadets are referred to as subordinate officers.[a 10] All except subordinate officers of the Canadian Forces receive a commission from the Queen of Canada. The commissioning scroll issued in recognition of the commission is signed by the Governor General of Canada as Commander-in-Chief and the serving Minister of National Defence, and subordinate officers are promoted to acting sub-lieutenant upon receiving their commissions.
Naval officers are trained at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston, Ontario, the Royal Military College Saint-Jean in Saint-Jean, Quebec, the Naval Officer Training Centre Venture in Work Point, Esquimalt, British Columbia and Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Some specialized candidates may be commissioned without attending the Royal Military College; the plan is known as Direct-Entry Officer (DEO) Plan. Senior NCOs may also be offered commissions on the basis that their training and experience gives them a comparable basis of knowledge; this is referred to as the Commission-from-the-Ranks (CFR) Plan. NCOs who are offered such promotions are typically petty officer 1st class or higher, with 20 or more years of service.
|Commissioned officer rank structure of the Royal Canadian Navy|
|Commander||Lieutenant-Commander||Lieutenant||Sub-Lieutenant||Acting Sub-Lieutenant||Naval cadet|
Non-commissioned members[edit | edit source]
Non-commissioned members of the Royal Canadian Navy have pay grades ranging from OR-2 to OR-9. OR-9 (chief petty officer 1st class), OR-8 (chief petty officers 2nd class) and OR-7 (petty officer 1st class) are known as petty officers, and together with OR-6 (petty officer 2nd class, referred to as senior non-commissioned officer) form the senior cadre of the non-commissioned (enlisted) members of the military. OR-5 (master seaman) and OR-4 (leading seaman) are referred to as junior non-commissioned officers, while OR-3 (able seaman) and OR-2 (ordinary seaman) are referred to as junior ranks.
All Regular Force non-commissioned members of the Canadian Forces undergo basic training at the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Recruits then attend occupation-specific training at various locations across Canada.
|Non-commissioned member rank structure of the Royal Canadian Navy|
|Chief Petty Officer 1st class||Chief Petty Officer 2nd class||Petty Officer 1st class||Petty Officer 2nd class||Master Seaman||Leading Seaman||Able Seaman||Ordinary Seaman|
Traditions[edit | edit source]
Colours[edit | edit source]
The Queen's or King's Ceremonial colours (also referred to as the Sovereign's Colour) for the navy have been consecrated and presented four times: in 1939 by King George VI in Esquimalt, BC, in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip in Halifax, NS, in 1979 by the Queen Mother in Halifax, NS and in 2009 by the Governor General of Canada and Commander-in-Chief Michaëlle Jean in Halifax, NS. On each occasion two identical colours were presented, one for the Atlantic fleet and one for the Pacific fleet. The current colours consist of a ceremonial standard with the Maple Leaf flag in the top left canton, the monarch's royal cypher for Canada (a capital E on a blue background, surrounded by a circlet of gold Tudor roses and laurels, surmounted by a crown) and an anchor (from the Royal Canadian Navy's naval jack) on the lower right fly. These elements are found on the 1979 and 2009 colours. The colours from 1959 and 1939 consisted of a Royal Navy white ensign with the Queen's or King's cipher in the middle.
The use of the service colours of the Royal Navy were granted to the RCN in 1925. Two service colours were sent to Halifax and Esquimalt. In 1937 they were retired, and new colours sent. The official presentation of the King's Colour was not completed until 1939. The Royal Canadian Navy's retired colours are laid up at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa, Ontario.
Heritage[edit | edit source]
This history of Royal Canadian Navy is preserved and presented at the Maritime Command Museum in Halifax, the Canadian War Museum, the Naval Museum of Alberta and naval museums at Naval Reserve Headquarters in Quebec City and at CFB Esquimalt as well as the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. Several Royal Canadian Navy ships and submarines have been preserved including the destroyer HMCS Haida, the hydrofoil HMCS Bras d'Or and the submarines Ojibwa and Onondaga. The corvette HMCS Sackville serves as Canada's Naval Memorial. The Royal Canadian Navy Monument is located on the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa. A monument at Point Pleasant Park in Halifax commemorates members of Royal Canadian Navy who have died in peacetime and there are valour memorials in Halifax, Quebec City and Esquimalt.
Memorials[edit | edit source]
- "Royal Canadian Naval Association Naval Memorial (1995)" by André Gauthier (sculptor) was erected on the shore of Lake Ontario in Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, Ontario. The 6’4” high cast bronze statue depicts a WWII Canadian sailor in the position of attention saluting his lost shipmates. The model for the statue was a local Sea Cadet wearing Mike Vencel's naval service uniform. On the black granite base, the names of Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Merchant Navy ships sunk during WWII are engraved.
- A commemorative plaque in SS Point Pleasant Park, Halifax, Nova Scotia unveilled in 1967, "When the United Kingdom declared war on Germany in 1914, Canada and Newfoundland's participation was virtually unquestioned. With the onset of the Second World War in 1939 Canadians and Newfoundlanders once more rushed to enlist and were a major factor in the Allied victories in both conflicts. During two world wars the main duty of the Royal Canadian Navy was to escort convoys in the Atlantic and guard merchant vessels against the threat of attack by German submarines. In the Second World War, it also escorted ships in the Mediterranean and to Russia and supported the Allied landings in Sicilian, Italian and Normandy campaigns as well as in the Pacific. The Canadian Merchant Navy's duties included the transportation of troops and supplies to the Allied armies and food for the United Kingdom, extremely dangerous work which resulted in considerable losses."
- at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia. "In memory of 2200 known Canadian Merchant Seamen and 91 Canadian vessels lost by enemy action and those who served in the cause of freedom - World War I 1914-1918; World War II 1939-1945; Korean Conflict 1950-1953"
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- The Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces
- "Canada’s Navy at a Glance". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 16 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/610zOp2Br.
- "Senior Officer Biography: Vice-Admiral Norman M.A.G. , CMM, CD". Royal Canadian Navy. 2013-06-25. http://www.navy.forces.gc.ca/cms/3/3-a_eng.asp?id=945. Retrieved 2013-07-13.
- "Maritime Forces Atlantic". Royal Canadian Navy. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/611CB8bTJ.
- "Rear-Admiral Nigel S. Greenwood". Royal Canadian Navy. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/6119KhuTm.
- "Canada Begins Joint Support Ships Procurement for the Canadian Forces". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 14 July 2010. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/610yExx6N.
- "Arctic/Offshore Patrol Ships". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 5 August 2011. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/610ydJfQl.
- "Halifax-Class Modernization And Life Extension". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 1 October 2010. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/610z3xuTu.
- "Maritime Helicopter Project". National Defence and the Canadian Forces. 26 July 2010. Archived from the original on 17 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/610zEcnaJ.
- "Royal Canadian Navy Rank and Appointment Insignia". Royal Canadian Navy. 16 August 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. http://www.webcitation.org/614HhxBDj.
- Other references
- Tucker, Gibert Norman. The Naval Service of Canada: Volume I: Origins and Early Years. Ottawa: King's Printer, 1952, p. 137.
- Milner, Marc. "Walter Hose To The Rescue: Navy, Part 13." Legion Magazine, 1 January 2006. Retrieved: 2 May 2010.
- Schull, Joseph. Far Distant Ships: An Official Account of Canadian Naval Operations in World War II. Ottawa: King's Printer, 1952 – reprinted by Stoddart Publishing, Toronto, 1987, p. 1. ISBN 0-7737-2160-6.
- Schull, Joseph, p.430-1
- http://collectionscanada.gc.ca/ourl/res.php?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_tim=2012-07-14T14%3A20%3A40Z&url_ctx_fmt=info%3Aofi%2Ffmt%3Akev%3Amtx%3Actx&rft_dat=893484&rfr_id=info%3Asid%2Fcollectionscanada.gc.ca%3Apam&lang=eng Royal Canadian Naval Reserve – Scheme for Training Yacht Club Members
- Thorgrimsson, Thor and E.C. Russell. Canadian Naval Operations in Korean Waters, 1950–1955. Ottawa: Queen's Printer, 1965. Retrieved: 9 May 2010.
- Milner. Marc. Canada's Navy: The First Century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999, pp. 207–209. ISBN 0-8020-4281-3.
- "Canada May Buy Nuclear Submarines". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 27 October 2011. http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2011/10/27/submarines-british-nuclear.html.
- "Queen's Colours (Canada)". Flagspot. http://flagspot.net/flags/ca%5Eqclrs.html. Retrieved 4 March 2011.
- Royal Canadian Naval Association Naval Memorial
- Royal Canadian Naval Association Naval Memorial
- Douglas, W. A. B. and Michael Whitby. A Blue Water Navy: The Official Operational History of the Royal Canadian Navy in the Second World War, 1943–1945.
- Hadley, Michael L (1992-01-03). "A nation's navy: in quest of Canadian naval identity". McGill-Queen's University Press, 1996. ISBN 0-7735-1506-2. http://books.google.ca/books?id=pDFFeppU93MC&lpg=PA339&dq=Canadian%20Forces%20Maritime%20Command&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=true.
- Milner, Marc (2010-01-02). "Canada's Navy: The First Century". Univ. of Toronto Press, 2010. ISBN 0-8020-9604-2. http://books.google.ca/books?id=afOEdO8mh1gC&lpg=PP1&dq=Canada's%20Navy%3A&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=true.
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Schull, Joseph. Lointoins navires: compte rendu official des operations de la Marine canadienne au cours de la seconde Grande Guerre. Ottawa, Ont.: E. Cloutier, 1953. N.B.: "Publié d'ordre [sic] du ministre de la Défense nationale."
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