Base Service Spotlights

King’s Harbour Master

What are the responsibilities of the King’s Harbour Master team?   

A sub-unit of CFB Halifax’s Port Operations & Emergency Services Branch, King’s Harbour Master (KHM) Halifax is responsible for tasking the Canadian Forces Auxiliary Fleet (Atlantic) to support operations within and outside Halifax Harbour as required.  

The functions of KHM are to: 

  • Assist in the coordination of movements of His Majesty’s Canadian (HMC) Ships, control the movements of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) auxiliary vessels / Department of National Defence (DND) harbour craft operating in Halifax Harbour including Bedford Basin.
  • Provide DND pilot and tug services throughout the Atlantic coastal area.
  • Control the use of all CAF jetties and water lots in Halifax Harbourincluding Bedford Basin to coordinate their maintenance withCFB Halifax and 12 Wing Shearwater as required.
  • Receive and respond to the logistic requirement messages and/or emailsfrom HMC Ships, auxiliary vessels, and foreign warships priorto arrival in Halifax in support of coordinating a timely provision ofrequested facilities and services.
  • Liaise with federal, provincial, municipal authorities, Halifax PortAuthority and other local authorities regarding CAF marine operationswithin the Port of Halifax vicinity as required and representMaritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT) in the Halifax Marine Advisory Committee (HMAC).
  • Act as Marine Pollution Control Officer (MCPO) (Atlantic) and establish liaisons with Canadian Coast Guard, Environment Canada, and oil companies for the purpose of coordinating emergency response to DND marine pollution clean-up operations within Halifax Harbour and Bedford Basin as required.
  • Provide marine pollution control and recovery services. This includes training to all CAF units within MARLANT region of responsibility and training for other CAF units outside MARLANT upon request.
  • Provide harbour craft, floating industrial equipment, and auxiliary vessel services.
  • Provide government marine assets and services in support of CFB Halifax Nuclear Emergency Response Team; and
  • Identify new requirements and advise on plans for the provision of new and upgraded DND berthing facilities at HMC Dockyard and within Halifax Harbour. 


Who can use King’s Harbour Master services?  

KHM Halifax provides support to Maritime Forces Atlantic Fleet (MARLANT), Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott (FMFCS), Defence Research Development Canada Atlantic (DRDC), HMCS Sackville, and various other DND agencies, as well as other government agencies. KHM’s Harbour Control Officer is also responsible for supporting foreign warships when they visit Halifax. The primary customer for KHM’s responsive, adaptive, and effective support is the Canadian Fleet Atlantic (FLTLANT) Fleet Engineering Readiness (FER) Section.  


Where is King’s Harbour Master located?   

KHM’s administration, Harbour control office (HCO) Engineering Branch and Pilots are located at the east end of HMC Dockyard building D200. However, its team extends to various locations: 

  • 3 Glen Tugs and 3 Ville tugs berth in the camber at NH Jetty, 
  • Marine Environmental Emergency Response Officer is located at building D57 with watercraft berthed in the camber at NH Jetty, 
  • Additional crew to support its tugs as well as stores personnel are located at building D20. 


How many people work in the King’s Harbour Master team?    

Ninety people in total, primarily all civilian with a number of Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) personnel included. 


Are there any interesting facts to share about the King’s Harbour Master team?  

  • In 2023, KHM conducted 335 moves of RCN ships and its pollution team moved 400,675 feet of boom.  
  • In 2023, KHM assisted and supported 27 foreign vessels from six different allied nations including the Republic of Korea and several nations during Halifax’s International Fleet Week. 
  • KHM maintains custodial service of the 494 barges in Bedford Basin which allows Defence and Research and Development Canada to conduct scientific, defence-related research. 


How can units contact the King’s Harbour Master team?  

The primary point of Contact for KHM is through the Harbour Control Office (HCO). The HCO can be reached on VHF Channel 10 or by telephone at 427-3199. 



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