Rear-Admiral Art McDonald (left), Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, and Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie sign papers to officially relinquish McDonald of his role and appoint Auctherlonie as the new Commander of the Maritime Forces Pacific. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWS

B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all) revels in return to Esquimalt

Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie assumed command of the Maritime Forces Pacific

Members of the Canadian Forces and local officials welcomed back Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie in his new position as the Commander of the Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) and the Joint Task Force Pacific (JTFP) at the CFB Esquimalt on Friday.

Auchterlonie had previously served as the Base Commander for CFB Esquimalt from 2012 to 2013, and as the Commander of the Canadian Pacific Fleet from 2013-2015.

Auchterlonie takes over the position form Rear-Admiral Art McDonald, who will assume his next position as Deputy Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy in Ottawa.

RELATED: Base command changes hands at CFB Esquimalt

McDonald welcomed his friend and colleague into his role, and said he knew and trusted Auchterlonie after being bunk mates in the HMCS Calgary for five years. McDonald joked about tapping into his Cape Breton roots, after he conducted a lengthy speech thanking his staff, colleagues and family.

“I’m immensely proud to have served as Commander of such a hard-working team,” McDonald said. “I wish Rear-Admiral Aucterlonie all the best as he assumes command today. I know his leadership will be an asset to the formation as the Pacific Fleet prepares for another busy year of operations.”

Rear-Admiral Art McDonald (left) Lt.-Gov Janet Austin, Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd, and Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie stand at attention at the beginning of a command switch ceremony. Nicole Crescenzi/VICTORIA NEWSS

Under his two-year role as the Commander, McDonald oversaw extensive sails through the Asia-Pacific, including the longest-completed deployment of a Victoria-class submarine known as HMCS Chicoutimi, which sailed for 197 days.

Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd supervised the Command switch, and said he was proud of both navy members.

“Today we celebrate the accomplishments of Rear-Admiral Art McDonald,” he said. “His outstanding leadership has been critical to the success of this organization.

ALSO READ: Breaking boundaries: Canadian woman serves the military and God

“It is my pleasure to welcome Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie … I could not be more pleased that he is assuming command of Maritime Forces Pacific.”

For Auchterlonie, who described himself as a B.C. man (pick up truck, Lucky Beer poster, and all), being back in Esquimalt is a great joy.

“It feels pretty fantastic, I’m from the Island so it’s great to be back home,” he said. “In the past few years it’s been a great goal of mine and of my family to get back to the coast.”

When asked what his goals are for his new position, Auchterlonie said maintaining the navy’s great work was the top priority.

“We’ve transformed the navy over the last decade,” Auchterlonie said. “We’re really looking at enforcing stability into the armed forces, making sure our people are supported and making sure that our projects are moving forward so we can support the government throughout the world.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Willie Mitchell hosts second annual Fish for the Future derby in Tofino

“We’re really excited to get year number two under our belt.”

120 West Coast kids rock Bruhwiler Surf Classic in Tofino

“Surfing is a gift of this place.”

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Risk of thunderstorm this afternoon for Vancouver Island and Lower Mainland

A special weather statement calls for heavy rain and wind over the next 48 hours

Rain and high winds to hit Vancouver Island this afternoon

Thursday and Friday to see downpour of 20 to 50mm and high winds on Vancouver Island

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

B.C. man who left hospice to run in upcoming election dies

A week after leaving hospice to go to city hall to declare his candidacy, David Hesketh has died.

Most Read