Canadian Forces Maritime Command (MARCOM), also known as the Canadian Navy, is the maritime force of the Canadian Forces. While equal in rank and position, The Chief of the Maritime Staff takes precedence over the Chiefs of the Land and Air Staffs following the tradition of the Royal Navy.
MARCOM is the descendant of the the Canadian Naval Service created by the Canadian Naval Service Act May 4,1910 and later on Aug. 29, 1911 designated by royal authority as the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) which was Canada's navy until 1 February 1968. Prior to 1910, the Royal Navy provided the maritime defence of Canada. In 1968, the RCN was merged with the army and air force to form the Canadian Armed Forces. MARCOM's ships are commissioned as Her Majesty's Canadian ships, and the initialism HMCS designates them as the ships of Her Majesty's Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2008, there were 33 warships including 4 submarines, 9,000 regular force sailors in MARCOM and 4,000 reserve sailors.
With its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, MARCOM has command and control of three formations:
- Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) comprises the Canadian Fleet Atlantic, and has responsibility for Canada's Atlantic Area of Responsibility including the eastern Arctic. MARLANTHQ is based at CFB Halifax in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) comprises the Canadian Fleet Pacific and has responsibility for Canada's Pacific Area of Responsibility that includes the Western half of the Canadian Arctic. MARPACHQ is based at CFB Esquimalt near Victoria, British Columbia.
- The third formation is the Naval Reserve Headquarters (NAVRESHQ), located at the Pointe-a-Carcy Naval Complex, in Quebec City, Quebec, responsible for 24 Naval Reserve Divisions across the country. The base is also home to Canadian Forces Fleet School Quebec and HMCS Montcalm