MARLANT Command Team

Commander JTFA and Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic

Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, MSC, CD

Rear-Admiral Craig Baines, MSC, CD

DND

Rear-Admiral Craig Baines enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces Regular Officer Training Program in 1987. After completing initial naval training, he served as a Bridge Watchkeeping Officer in HMCS SAGUENAY and Deck Officer in HMCS THUNDER.

In 1991, he completed the Destroyer Navigation Officer course and was employed as Navigation Officer in HMC Ships CHIGNECTO and ANNAPOLIS. He graduated from the Maritime Advanced Navigation Officer Course in 1992 and was employed as the Navigation Officer of HMCS PROVIDER. Following the year-long Operations Room Officer course, he served as Operations Officer in HMCS REGINA and Combat Officer in HMCS WINNIPEG.

Returning to sea in 2004, he served as Executive Officer in HMCS CALGARY. In 2007, he was appointed Commanding Officer of HMCS WINNIPEG where he received the Meritorious Service Cross for his leadership during WINNIPEG's counter-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa.

Rear-Admiral Baines’ staff appointments include Staff Officer at HMCS UNICORN, the Naval Reserve Division in Saskatoon.  He served abroad in Norfolk, Virginia with the US Navy's Second Fleet.  He worked at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa in both the Directorate of Maritime Training and Education and as the Maritime Staff Director of Strategic Communications. In 2010, he was appointed as the Base Commander of Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt.  Prior to becoming Fleet Commander of Canadian Fleet Atlantic, he served as Special Advisor to the Chief of Defence Staff.

His education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Manitoba. While on exchange in Norfolk, he completed the US Naval War College program and a graduate certificate program in the History of Strategy and Policy at Old Dominion University. He completed the Canadian Forces College Joint Command and Staff Program concurrent with his Master of Defence Studies. In 2013, he completed the National Security Program and a Master of Public Administration.

He was appointed as Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic in July 2014. During his 3 year posting as Fleet Commander, he sailed extensively with the Fleet and participated in major international exercises including Trident Juncture 2015, Joint Warrior 152 and Cutlass Fury 2016. Rear-Admiral Baines will assume Command of Maritime Forces Atlantic in August.

Formation Chief Petty Officer

CHIEF PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS Pierre Auger

CHIEF PETTY OFFICER 1ST CLASS Pierre Auger

DND

Chief Petty Officer First Class Pierre Auger enrolled in the Canadian Forces in 1981 as a Naval Signalman. He served in HMCS ANNAPOLIS, SKEENA, ATHABASKAN, OTTAWA, and as Yeoman of Signals in HMCS ALGONQUIN, ATHABASKAN, MONTREAL, and TERRA NOVA. He subsequently served as Combat Chief in HMCS ATHABASKAN, Sea Training Atlantic as Chief NAV COMM, and as Coxswain in HMCS PRESERVER.    

His shore postings include HMCS CHAMPLAIN, CFRC Quebec, CFNOS Halifax Communication Section as Senior Visual Instructor and Department Chief, MFRC Halifax, DMHRR in Ottawa for the Naval Combat Operator Occupational Analysis, NRS Halifax, MARLANTHQ HALIFAX N61, and as AJAG Atlantic Chief Petty Officer. On 18 July 2012 CPO1 Auger was appointed as the JAG CWO, become a member of the Order of Military Merit in 2013, and on the 7 April 2015 assumed the responsibilities of Formation Chief Petty Officer for Maritime Forces Atlantic and Joint Task Force Atlantic.

Commander Canadian Fleet Atlantic

COMMODORE C.T. SKJERPEN, MSM, CD

COMMODORE C.T. SKJERPEN, MSM, CD

DND

Commodore Craig Skjerpen joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 1988 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After completing his initial naval training, Commodore Skjerpen was posted to HMCS ALGONQUIN where he received his Bridge Watch Keeping Certificate in 1992. He completed the Destroyer Navigating Officer course and was employed as the Navigation Officer in HMC Ships MIRAMICHI and ANNAPOLIS from 1994 to 1996.

After completing the Operations Room Officer course in 1999, he was posted to HMCS WINNIPEG as the Weapons Officer and Combat Officer. As Combat Officer, he deployed with the USS CONSTELLATION Battle Group in support of OP AUGMENTATION in the Arabian Gulf. As Executive Officer in HMCS IROQUOIS 2005-2007, he deployed for OP SIRIUS and OP SEXTANT/ OP ACTIVE ENDEAVOUR while IROQUOIS was the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 Flagship. As Commanding Officer of HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN, 2009 to 2011, he participated in OP UNIFIED PROTECTOR, the NATO operation in Libya.  HMCS CHARLOTTETOWN received a CDS Unit Commendation, due to the work conducted by the ship’s company during the Operation. 

Commodore Skjerpen's staff appointments include VENTURE, the Naval Officer Training Centre, Canadian Fleet Pacific Headquarters, and the Maritime Staff Headquarters. He was the Director of Programmes at Canadian Forces College and later worked in Operations in Canadian Joint Operations Command as J3.

Commodore Skjerpen received his Bachelor's degree in Maritime Studies from Memorial University of Newfoundland. He is a graduate of the Joint Command and Staff College in the United Kingdom and holds a Master's degree in Defence Studies from King's College of London. He is also a graduate of the Canadian Forces College National Securities Programme.

He served as the Commander of Maritime Operations Group Five and Commander Sea Training Group from 2014-2017.

Commander 5th Maritime Operations Group

CAPTAIN(N) J.M. HAMILTON, MSM, CD

CAPTAIN(N) J.M. HAMILTON, MSM, CD

DND

Captain(N) Jeff Hamilton enrolled in the Canadian Armed Forces in 1990 as a Non-Commissioned Member in the Communication Reserve. He transferred to the Regular Force as a Maritime Surface and Sub-surface Officer in September 1991.

His first operational ship was HMCS HALIFAX, where he served as a Bridge Watchkeeping Officer, Deck Officer, Communications Officer and Boarding Officer. While employed in HALIFAX he deployed on OP SHARP GUARD as part of the Standing Naval Force Atlantic (SNFL). He then served as the Above Water Warfare Officer in HMCS MONTREAL, deploying a third time with SNFL.  He sailed in HMCS ALGONQUIN as Combat Officer and specialized as an Anti-Air Warfare Controller (AAWC), where he deployed to the Arabian Gulf on OP APOLLO. He was appointed as the Executive Officer of HMCS HALIFAX from 2007 to 2009. As Commanding Officer of HMCS IROQUOIS, the ship performed duties as flagship of the Atlantic Fleet and deployed on OP CARIBBE and numerous major exercises. He was later appointed as Commanding Officer of HMCS TORONTO and was deployed on OP ARTEMIS. While there, he performed the duties as Task Force Commander under the Command of CTF 150 in support of maritime security operations and counter-terrorism in the Arabian Sea. Under his Command, HMCS TORONTO seized six major narcotic shipments and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Citation from the United States Navy for their outstanding contribution and dedication.

Capt(N) Hamilton’s staff appointments include Fleet Weapons Officer and AAWC for Commander Canadian Fleet Pacific. He served as MARLANT Staff N31 Surface Operations and Deputy Chief of Staff for the Maritime Component Commander.  He spent one year as the Director of Naval Operations and Plans on the Naval Staff at National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ), followed by a tour as Director of Strategic Coordination under the Chief of Force Development at NDHQ.

 Capt(N) Hamilton received a Bachelor’s Degree in Military Arts and Science from the Royal Military College of Canada.  He is a graduate of the Canadian Forces College Joint Command and Staff Program.