Rear-Admiral Art McDonald assumed Command of Maritime Forces Pacific and of Joint Task Force Pacific on 22 July 2016.
Immediately prior to assuming Maritime Forces Pacific Command, then-Commodore McDonald served as Director General Naval Force Development (DGNFD) from 2013 to 2016, overseeing planning and conduct of the largest peacetime renewal in RCN history. His previous Chief of Naval Staff experience included serving as Director Naval Requirements from 2012 to 2013 as well as a tour as Executive Secretary to the Chief of the Maritime Staff from 2005 until 2007.
As a sea-going officer, he served in Her Majesty's Canadian Ships VANCOUVER (Bridge Watch Keeper (BWK), 1991-1992), MONTREAL (BWK, 1992-1994), and CALGARY (Above Water Warfare Officer (AWWO), 1994-1996; and Operations/Combat Officer (OpsO/CbtO), 1996-2000). During two six- month deployments in CALGARY, he circumnavigated the globe in 1995 and participated in UN sanctions enforcement in both the Adriatic Sea (1995) and the Arabian Gulf (twice: 1995 and 1999). As the Canadian Fleet Pacific (CANFLTPAC) Weapons Officer 2001-2002, he oversaw the Fleet's exercise missile firing programme and he again deployed to the Arabian Gulf/Sea - this time as a Task Group Watch Officer in flagships OTTAWA and ALGONQUIN for Operation APOLLO (Roto 1), the Canadian contribution to the global war on terrorism. After next serving as Executive Officer (XO) in REGINA 2003-2005, he then commanded HMCS HALIFAX 2007-2009. While commanding Halifax he was also double-hatted in 2008 as Chief-Staff-Officer Operations, Canadian Fleet Atlantic. Upon promotion to Capt(N) and while serving as Commander Fifth Maritime Operations Group (CMOG5) in 2010-2011, he led sea-based humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations as the Maritime Component Commander (MCC) of Canadian Joint Task Force (Haiti) (CJTF(H)) in response to the devastating 2010 earthquake in Haiti. As CMOG5 he also commanded a seven ship combined, multi-national naval and coast guard Task Group in the High Arctic in 2010's Operation NANOOK.
A Bluenoser born in New Waterford, Cape Breton, Rear-Admiral McDonald is 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 Degree. He is also a 2003 graduate of the Canadian Forces College (CFC) Command and Staff Course and a 2012 graduate of the National Security Programme (NSP).
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