Vice-Admiral Peter William CAIRNS, CMM, CD

Vice-Admiral Peter William CAIRNS, CMM, CD

Vice-Admiral Peter William CAIRNS, CMM, CD

Vice-Admiral Cairns joined the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) as a Cadet in 1956, attending Queen’s University.  From 1958 until 1965 he served in HMC Ships Skeena, Stadacona, Sioux, Chaudière and Gatineau.  In 1965 he specialized in submarines, attending the Royal Navy (RN) submarine officers training at HMS Dolphin followed by an appointment in 1965 to the British submarine HMS Orpheus as Navigating Officer.  In 1967 he was appointed to the submarine HMCS Onondaga on commissioning, and in 1969 as Executive Officer to the submarine HMCS Rainbow, followed in 1970 by the submarine HMCS Okanagan.  In 1971, on completion of the RN Submarine Commanding Officer Qualifying Course (Perisher), he assumed command of the submarine HMCS Onondaga.   On promotion to Commander in 1974, he assumed command of the First Canadian Submarine Squadron, and in 1975 he conducted studies at the US Naval War College in Newport RI. Between 1976 and 1978 he commanded the helicopter-carrying destroyer-escorts HMC Ships Fraser, Margaree and Assiniboine, and was the Deputy Commandant of the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Halifax NS.  Promoted to Captain(N) in 1979, he served as the Command Personnel and Training Officer in Maritime Command Headquarters (MARCOMHQ), and later that year was appointed Commandant of the Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare School.  In 1981 he was appointed Commander Fifth Canadian Destroyer Squadron, and in 1983 he served in National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ) in Ottawa as the Director Personnel Careers Officers.  In 1985, on promotion to Commodore, he was appointed Director-General Personnel Careers Officers in NDHQ. Promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1987, he served as Deputy Chief of Staff Operations to NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic in Norfolk VA.  In 1989 he returned to Canada as the Commander Maritime Forces Pacific and Deputy Commander Maritime Command.

Upon promotion to his current rank in 1992, Vice-Admiral Cairns was appointed Commander Maritime Command in July 1992, in which position he served until his retirement in August 1994.