Passing the Pacific Fleet Command watch

CANFLTPAC change of command

With the sun smiling down on the trio, Cmdre Bob Auchterlonie (right) assumed command of Canadian Fleet Pacific from Cmdre Scott Bishop (left) July 3. Commander Maritime Forces Pacific/Joint Task Force Pacific, RAdm Bill Truelove (centre), oversaw the signing of the Change of Command certificate.

Against the backdrop of HMCS Regina, and under the shining summer sun, Cmdre Scott Bishop passed on command of Canadian Fleet Pacific (CANFLTPAC) to Cmdre Bob Auchterlonie.

The July 3 ceremony was attended by friends, family, distinguished public officials, past and present military officers, and overseen by RAdm Bill Truelove.
Cmdre Bishop spoke about his time as Commander CANFLTPAC, and his appreciation of those he worked with in that time.

“In my time at CFB Esquimalt the West Coast has become a home away from home, and I’m going to miss it dearly,” he says. “At the same time, I know the men and women of the Pacific Fleet will be in good hands with Cmdre Auchterlonie.”

Cmdre Bishop also addressed RAdm Truelove for his leadership and support.

“Sir, it has been a real pleasure to work with you. I’m truly grateful for the friendship, support, and leadership you have shown me and my team,” he said. “I can say that none of the advancements the Pacific Fleet has enjoyed in the last year would have been possible without you. Thank you, sir.”

CPO1 David Bliss, Fleet Chief Petty Officer, then presented Cmdre Bishop with his pennant, which was lowered for the last time as his command was relinquished to Cmdre Auchterlonie.

RAdm Truelove then took the podium to thank Cmdre Bishop, and wish him luck on his new position.

“Your dedication to getting this fleet in fighting shape, and working with the soldiers, sailors, airmen and women of our armed forces has been truly inspirational,” he says. “I wish you the best of luck on the east coast, and look forward to working with you to make our navy the organization it deserves to be.”

RAdm Truelove also addressed Cmdre Auchterlonie, welcoming him to his new position.

“I know that you’re going to fit right in as Commander CANFLTPAC. You’re going to have a lot of fun, and if you’re not having fun then we’ll need to talk,” he says. “I look forward to working side by side with you, and wish you every success in your position.”

Cmdre Auchterlonie, Cmdre Bishop, and RAdm Truelove then performed the traditional signing of the change of command certificates, which officially acknowledges the passing of command of CANFLTPAC from Cmdre Bishop to Cmdre Auchterlonie.

Taking the podium for the first time as Commander CANFLTPAC, Cmdre Auchterlonie spoke on his hopes and ambitions for his new position.

“Commander of a fleet is a complex and complicated job. It’s going to be a challenge for me, it’s going be a challenge for my deputy fleet commander, and it’s going to be a challenge for the commanding officers,” he says. “My promise to them, to you, and to the Canadian people is this: I aim to provide command and support to those ready and able forces, which the people of Canada need. Sir, I have the watch.”

-Shawn O’Hara, Staff Writer

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