Maritime Forces Pacific

Vancouver Island has had a significant naval presence since the 1840s. In view of the importance of establishing such a permanent presence on British territory in the North Pacific, a naval base was established in Esquimalt in 1855. This base has been expanded over the years, with the Esquimalt dry dock being built there in 1876. It was very important in the development of the local economy and continues to play a leading role in naval operations.

In 1910, the Royal Canadian Navy inherited the Royal Navy Dockyard in Esquimalt, British Columbia. Since then, the Canadian Armed Forces have become the third largest employer in Greater Victoria, employing some 4,000 military personnel and 2,000 civilians. Today, the Royal Canadian Navy's Pacific formation is referred to as the Maritime Forces Pacific. From its headquarters at Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, it provides maritime security in the North Pacific.

Maritime Forces Pacific ensure the surveillance of all ships in their area of responsibility and defend free movement on the oceans by protecting the right of innocent passage for the purposes of lawful trade. The maritime security services they provide are essential to the physical and economic security of Canada as a maritime state surrounded by three oceans.

The Maritime Forces Pacific is home to the 13 ships and two submarines of the Canadian Fleet Pacific. With the support of His Majesty's Canadian Armory, the Pacific Fleet builds and operates balanced and versatile maritime forces in support of operations undertaken at home and abroad to ensure the security of Canada.

Quick facts

  • Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt is Canada‚Äôs Pacific Coast naval base. It encompasses 12,000 acres and 1,500 buildings.
  • CFB Esquimalt contributes nearly $600 million into the local community annually.
  • Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton employs 1,200 skilled trade workers and provides all necessary naval engineering, repair and maintenance for the Canadian Pacific Fleet.
  • Canadian Forces Fleet School Esquimalt employs over 300 military and civilian professionals that conduct hard sea trades training for the naval defence team.
  • Fleet Diving Unit Pacific provides diving support to Maritime Forces Pacific. The unit was established after World War Two as a Mine Counter diving unit. Today, the unit can be deployed throughout the world to carry out weapon neutralization operations on land, sea, or air.

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