Network of Partners
Canada’s maritime forces build global
relationships through engagement, cooperation
What role does the concept of a global presence play in the Royal Canadian Navy?
NORMAN: We talk frequently about the global commons and the notion that we are all contributing in
some way, shape or form to this large, complex and
integrated network of partners at sea. And that’s more
than just a bumper sticker. It actually has significant
When you look around the world and you see
active hot spots or areas of relative stability, or you see
emerging areas of interest and concern, they all have
something in common: either the regional partners or
the global partners are all coming together in a way
that communicates on a global scale that these do not
just involve interests of individual nations but the collective interest of the global community.
Specifically, in the RCN’s activities and our interests
as far as partnerships are concerned, those are essential
to our success. We talk openly and frequently about
excellence at sea as being our No. 1 priority. Excellence
at sea is entirely dependent on the key partnerships —
the traditional partnerships, developing new partner-
ships. Not just the partnerships at the senior level, but
the ability to integrate and interoperate at the tactical
and unit level, and now even to the point where we’re
working almost at the individual sailor level with some
of our traditional and new partners.
Can you elaborate on some of the RCN’s partnerships?
NORMAN: Obviously, there is no denying that the most
important relationship we have is with the United
States Navy. We then look at the Five Eyes partners
[the intelligence alliance of Australia, Canada, New
Zealand, the United States and United Kingdom]. We
then look at the broader NATO community and now,
increasingly, we’re starting to look more and more at
newer relationships. They’re not new; they’re newer.
And, in particular, I would speak to the relationship
that we’re building with the Chilean Navy as one of our
Vice Adm. Mark A.G. Norman took over the command of the
Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) in June 2013. The eldest son of an Army
officer, Norman joined the Naval Reserves in 1980, later transferring
to the regular force in 1985.
A specialist in Above Water Warfare, he has served on both frigates
and destroyers. He has held key senior appointments on the naval
staff and within the Canadian Forces, such as assistant chief of
transformation. During his tenure as commander of the RCN, Norman
helped shepherd the service through a major upgrade of its surface
combatants and the launch of the renewal of its fleet for the future.
At the end of June, he will move to his new job as vice chief of the
Norman spoke about the importance of international engagement
for Canada’s maritime forces with Seapower Special Correspondent
WWW.SEAPOWERMAGAZINE.ORG 38 SEAPOWER / MAY 2016