The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) formally commissioned His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) Max Bernays into service at a ceremony held at Burrard Drydock Pier in North Vancouver.

A ship’s commissioning ceremony is both a long-standing naval tradition, and a special event for the ship’s company and Canadian Fleet Pacific. HMCS Max Bernays, the RCN’s third Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel, has the honour of being the first ship of its class to be attached to Canada’s Pacific Fleet in Esquimalt, British Columbia. During this milestone occasion, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, attended in her role as Commodore-in-Chief, Canadian Fleet Pacific to present the commissioning pennant to the ship.

The commissioning of HMCS Max Bernays included a symbolic presentation of the “keys to the ship” to the Commanding Officer, Commander Collin Forsberg, along with the breaking of the ship’s commissioning pennant, and three cheers by the ships company.

The official introduction of HMCS Max Bernaysinto naval service enhances the Royal Canadian Navy’s ability to enforce sovereignty in Canada’s western waters, and better meet future defence challenges in the north. These multifunctional ships will be at the core of an enhanced Arctic presence and will strategically complement the capabilities of our current and future warships through surveillance operations.

“The commissioning of HMCS Max Bernays marks a significant milestone for the defence of Canada. The addition of this ship to the Pacific Fleet will enhance our ability to be present in the North, and it will support the goals laid out in Our North, Strong and Free: A Renewed Vision for Canada’s Defence. I thank the shipbuilders who worked hard to construct this vessel, and I congratulate the sailors of the Royal Canadian Navy on this important occasion.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

“It is a great day for our Pacific Fleet and the Royal Canadian Navy as a whole as we officially welcome our first Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel to the West Coast and into service with Canada’s Navy. Achieving this naval tradition today is a testament to the dedication and commitment of HMCS Max Bernays‘ captain and crew as well as those who built the ship and prepared it for service. This highly capable warship will enable the Navy to expand its presence throughout our Arctic and across the Pacific.”

Vice-Admiral Angus Topshee, Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy

“Today’s commissioning ceremony is the culmination of thousands of hours of collective effort and dedication – both at sea and alongside. Supported by crews and naval staff from both the east and west coast – this truly was a team effort that brought us here today. The crew has spent months working hard to prepare for, then successfully conducting, our recent coastal transfer. As HMCS Max Bernays proudly flies our commissioning pennant, we are proud to officially join Canada’s Pacific Fleet. For all of the sailors who have served on board, this is a rewarding day.”

Commander Collin Forsberg, Commanding Officer, HMCS Max Bernays


  • HMCS Max Bernays is named in honour of Chief Petty Officer Max Bernays, a Canadian naval hero who served as the Coxswain of HMCS Assiniboine during the Second World War’s Battle of the Atlantic.
  • HMCS Max Bernays was successfully launched into the water on October 23, 2021, and the ship’s delivery occurred on September 2, 2022. The ship’s naming ceremony was held on May 29, 2022, and was affiliated with the Kitikmeot Region, Cambridge Bay, Nunavut on November 8, 2023.
  • The future HMCS Robert Hampton Gray will become the second Arctic and Offshore Patrol Vessel to be attached to Canada’s Pacific Fleet.
  • With considerable space to transport cargo and the capacity to embark small vehicles, deployable boats, and in the future, a CH-148 Cyclone helicopter, HMCS Max Bernays will contribute to global peace and security in coordination with our allies and partners, at home and abroad.
  • All currently serving members of the Harry DeWolf-class are well equipped to provide an armed presence that can conduct surveillance operations, contribute to humanitarian assistance, emergency response and disaster relief.