Prior to the passage of Bill C-243, The Canadian Forces Reorganization Act in Canada, the Navy, Army and Air Force operated as separate entities: the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army. For those who don’t know the story, between 1964 and 1968, the three service branches were merged into a single entity, “The Canadian Armed Forces”, unified under a single Chief of Defence Staff and a single Defence Staff. The Army, Navy and Air Force would now be elements of the Canadian Armed Forces and were no longer individual entities. Navy and Army pilots became a thing of the past in Canada, as did the RCAF Marine (patrol boat) Squadrons.
On 16 August 2011, National Defence Minister Peter McKay announced that the former names of the service branches had been restored and once again the service branches would be known as the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army, although this was “in name only”, as they remained a part of the tri-service Canadian Forces and not separate entities.
On 8 July 2013, National Defence Minister Peter McKay announced the restoration of traditional titles to a number of Canadian Army corps, shoulder titles for members of these corps will be restored. The intent is also to restore historical rank names for non-commissioned members, the traditional and internationally recognized convention of army insignia of stars and crowns for officers, and gorget patches for colonels and general officers.
The army has also renamed its area commands, now calling them divisions and noting the links to units that fought in the First or Second World Wars. Land Force Quebec Area will be referred to as 2nd Canadian Division, Land Force Western Area as 3rd Canadian Division, Land Force Central Area as 4th Canadian Division, and Land Force Atlantic Area as 5th Canadian Division.
All army bases across the country will soon adopt new names reflecting the new Canadian Divisions. It was revealed in September 2013 that CFB Petawawa has been re-named 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa. CFB Gagetown was re-named 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown. Others will soon follow.
When some bases close, the military pulls up stumps and moves out completely, as with RCAF Station Aylmer. Other times, the base simply downsizes, as with 12 Wing Shearwater or even if the base has officially closed, a small presence remains, as with CFB Gimli’s Royal Canadian Air Cadet Gliding School, or a small portion of the former base is sectioned off and still operates as a military establishment, as with Wolseley Barracks. Therefore, I have arranged this web page to correspond with the following:
Closed Bases That Still Have A Military Presence
Bases That Have Downsized or Changed Their Function