Vice-Admiral Darren Hawco
Military Representative – Canada
Darren Hawco graduated from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, in 1989 with a Bachelor of Administration. Operationally, he has deployed five times. Following initial naval training and employment as a shipborne air controller, he deployed to the Adriatic for OP SHARP GUARD as a member of the NATO Standing Naval Force Atlantic staff, enforcing a UN embargo against the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1998, he next joined HMCS OTTAWA for her OP MERCATOR deployment to the Persian Gulf as an integrated unit within the USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN Carrier Battle Group, enforcing UN sanctions against Iraq. As Executive Officer of HMCS VANCOUVER and in response to the attacks of September 11th 2001, HMCS VANCOUVER was immediately deployed to the Persian Gulf for OP APOLLO - Canada's commitment to the War on Terrorism - as an integrated unit within the USS JOHN C. STENNIS Carrier Battle Group. As Commanding Officer of HMCS OTTAWA in 2006, he deployed again to the Persian Gulf, this time in support of OPERATION ALTAIR as an integrated unit within the USS BOXER Expeditionary Strike Group, where he was subsequently awarded the Meritorious Service Medal by both Canada and the United States. Finally, in December 2010 he was selected for a one-year deployment to Afghanistan as an Advisor to Commander International Security Assistance Force within his Commander's Initiatives Group Staff.
In his career, Darren Hawco's non-operational shore appointments included Royal Canadian Navy training and operational plans staff appointments on the coasts, and strategic plans and capability development appointments on the naval staff in the National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa. Following promotion to Commodore and Command of the Atlantic Fleet in 2012-2013, he served in successive joint appointments in the National Defence Headquarters, first as Director General Cyberspace and then, on promotion to Rear-Admiral, as Chief of Force Development. In that latter appointment, he was the Canadian Armed Forces staff lead for the development of Canada's Defence Policy, Strong, Secure, and Engaged, for which he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. In 2018, he was appointed Commander of the Order of Military Merit. His academic credentials include a BAdmin from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, a Masters in Defence Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada, and a Masters in Defence Policy and Management from the Royal Military College of Canada. In May of 2018, he was promoted to Vice-Admiral.
Since August 2018, the Vice-Admiral was appointed to serve as Military Representative of Canada to NATO Military Committee in Brussels, Belgium.
Somewhat handy around the house, his hobbies center on keeping his bride and four delightful daughters content.