The Command Team

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy
Vice-Admiral Art Mcdonald

Art Mcdonald

Biography

A Bluenoser born in New Waterford, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1967, Vice-Admiral Art McDonald became Chief of the Naval Staff and assumed command of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) 12 June 2019, becoming the thirty-sixth CRCN in the RCN’s 109 years. Prior to his appointment as CRCN, VAdm McDonald commanded at the ship (HMCS Halifax 2007-2009), Operations Group / Fleet (Maritime Operations Group Five 2010-2011), and Formation (Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific 2016-2018) levels.

After completing basic Naval Warfare Officer training and then becoming an Above Water Warfare specialist in the early nineties, he spent most of the next two-decades as a sea-going officer while serving in HMC Ships Vancouver, Halifax, Montreal, and Calgary, with the Canadian Fleet Pacific staff, as Executive Officer in Regina 2003-2005, and as Commanding Officer in Halifax 2007-2009. In so doing, he deployed repeatedly – including three Arabian Gulf and one Adriatic Sea tours – and also circumnavigated the globe (Calgary, 1995). As a Capt(N), he was the Maritime Component Commander of Canadian Joint Task Force (Haiti), leading sea-based humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. He then commanded a seven-ship combined, multi-national Task Group in the High Arctic later in 2010 during the annual Op NANOOK. Later, as a RAdm, he also led the CAF’s recurring Op LENTUS responses to historic fires and floods in BC while commanding Joint Task Force Pacific 2016-2018.

As a staff officer, VAdm McDonald served four tours on the Naval Staff in National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. In addition to service as Deputy Commander RCN 2018-2019, he was Director General Naval Force Development (DGNFD) 2013-2016, Director Naval Requirements (DNR) 2012-2013, and Executive Secretary to the Chief of the Maritime Staff 2005-2007.

A 1990 graduate of the Royal Military College (RMC) of Canada who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Military and Strategic Studies and a Masters of Defence Studies, VAdm McDonald is also a graduate of the 2003 Canadian Forces College (CFC) Command and Staff Course, the 2012 CFC National Security Studies Programme, and the 2014 US GOFO Capstone Program. A 2016 alumnus of the Asia-Pacific Centre for Security Studies, he is also a graduate of the Senior Executives in National and International Security program at Harvard University (2017).


Commander Maritime Forces Pacific
Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie

Biography

Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie was born in Cumberland, British Columbia in 1969. He entered the Canadian Forces in 1987 as an ROTP cadet and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Kingston, in 1991, with a BA in Economics and as Captain of the Varsity Hockey Team.

RAdm Auchterlonie completed his Maritime Surface Classification training in 1992 and was fortunate to spend the bulk of the next two decades at sea in Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship’s in both the Pacific and Atlantic Fleets. Rear-Admiral Auchterlonie had the honour to Command HMCS FREDERICTON (2007-2009), CFB Esquimalt (2012-2013) and the Canadian Pacific Fleet (2013-2015).

RAdm Auchterlonie has served 3 tours in NDHQ, namely as a Staff Officer within the Naval Staff, as Director within VCDS Chief of Programme and as Director General within the Strategic Joint Staff. He was promoted to his current rank and assumed his appointment as Deputy Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command in the summer of 2016.

He is a graduate of the Canadian Forces Command and Staff College, the Naval Command College at the US Naval War College and has completed a Masters Degree in Defence Studies (MDS) at the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) Kingston. He was invested as an Officer of the Order of Military Merit in 2013.

RAdm Auchterlonie is still married to his very supportive and understanding first wife and they have managed to raise two well-travelled, reasonably adjusted and exceptionally fit young men. Bob used to golf, play hockey and spend time on his boat.

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Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific
Commodore Angus Topshee

Biography

Commodore Angus Topshee was born in Nepean, Ontario and joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1990. His first four years were spent attending university at the Royal Military College of Canada and included a six-month term on exchange at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Upon graduation from RMC in 1994, he was awarded the Canada Memorial Scholarship and, in 1996, earned a Masters of Literature in Strategic Studies from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.

After six years of schooling and a short posting to the Directorate of Maritime Force Development at National Defence Headquarters, Cmdre Topshee finally started formal MARS training in 1996 and then joined his first ship, HMCS Winnipeg, in 1997.

He was incredibly fortunate to spend the next nine years largely at sea and completed a succession of very rewarding tours and operational deployments as a Navigating Officer, Operations Officer, and Combat Officer on Canada’s Pacific coast.

In 2005, he was selected to attend the “NSC 10” course at the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. That fantastic year was followed by appointment as the Executive Officer of HMCS St. John’s in 2006 and then HMCS Toronto in July 2007. As penance for two exciting years at sea as an XO, Cmdre Topshee was posted to the Directorate of Maritime Strategy at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa where he was assigned to assist in developing a new strategy for the Royal Canadian Navy.

In July 2009, he was delighted to be given the best job in the Navy – command of HMCS Algonquin, the flagship of Canada’s Pacific Fleet. His time aboard Algonquin was easily the highlight of his career and included high readiness workups, Op PODIUM (security for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics), and Op PACIFIC AMISTAD (a five-month deployment in the central and western Pacific). He very reluctantly turned over command at the end of 2010 and was somewhat surprised to find himself immediately heading to Afghanistan as part of the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A) where he spent a year based in Kabul as the Director of Afghan National Police Training Operations. Upon his return from Afghanistan, Cmdre Topshee spent six months working with the Canadian Fleet Pacific Staff leading up to his role as the Director of Operations for RIMPAC 2012.

In the summer of 2012 Cmdre Topshee was honoured to assume command of Canadian Forces Base Halifax, a position he held for three years. He then attended the National Security Programme (NSP 8) at the Canadian Forces College in Toronto before being promoted to his current rank and being assigned as the Deputy Director of the Strategy, Policy and Plans Directorate North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), Peterson AFB, Colorado.

In July 2018, Cmdre Topshee will take command of Canadian Fleet Pacific and is very much looking forward to returning to the west coast of Canada in a sea-going position.

Cmdre Topshee is blessed with a fantastically supportive wife and four tremendous daughters.

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CFB Esquimalt Base Commander
Captain (Navy) Sam Sader, CD

2015-Website-design-3_21The Commander, Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt is the institutional head of the Pacific Naval Base in Esquimalt, British Columbia.

Biography

Captain(N) Sam Sader enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1996 and graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada with a Bachelor degree of Business Administration in 2000. The opportunity to discover operational sustainment at sea came aboard HMCS Vancouver where he completed the Logistics Head of Department training and Sea-Logistics qualification from 2002-2003.

His most cherished sea time was serving from 2005 to 2007 as the Head of the Logistics Department in HMCS Ottawa while deployed on OP ALTAIR Task Force Arabian Sea. Operational highlights included leading the Forward Logistics Site Team and being seconded to the Naval Boarding Team. He held the shore Branch Head position of Base Comptroller at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt following the completion of his MBA in 2011.

His second operational tour from 2012-2014 was spent as the Logistics Officer of Maritime Operations Group Four enabling OP CARRIBE deployments and participating in RIMPAC in support of HMCS Victoria’s first operational deployment and MK48 SINKEX.

Captain(N) Sader is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff Programme 41 and was the recipient of the General Morelos Sabre of Honour award for top graduate. On completion of a Master of Defence Studies at Canadian Forces College Toronto in 2015, he joined the National Defense Headquarters Naval Staff as section head within the Directorate of Naval Logistics. While in Ottawa, he assumed the role of Royal Canadian Navy lead for strategic supply chain analytics and developed a passion for modernizing the Navy’s supply systems.

In July 2017, he was thrilled to be back to the beloved West Coast as the Commanding Officer of Base Logistics Esquimalt where he could support deploying ships while implementing Logistics strategic initiatives and digital transformation. He was promoted to his current rank in June 2019.

Captain(N) Sam Sader is grateful for the boundless support from his wife Irena and together they enjoy spending time with family, traveling, and actively supporting community cultural events.

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