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42 Radar Squadron Cold Lake

See “Abandoned Military Bases – Alberta”

43 Radar Squadron:

One of the last Pinetree stations to open, the facility opened in 1964 at a site 14 miles from RCAF Station Penhold, who provided support to the facility.  The radar station was SAGE-capable station with the FPR-27 Search, FPS-26 and FPS-506 Height Finder radars as well as the FTS-2 Data Processor and the GATR site.

The squadron had actually opened 2 years earlier and operated out of a hangar at Penhold until the new site opened.  Most radar personnel lived at the newly constructed Vista Village PMQ area in Red Deer until the mid 1970s.

During 1973-74, an Air Defence Command school was formed to administer the Junior Leadership Course offered to Non-Commissioned Officers within ADC. The school was closed on 23 June 1986.

In August 1984, the squadron became part of Canada West ROCC.

43 Radar Squadron disbanded on 1 August 1986 and the radar site was closed.

All the buildings were demolished in 2001 and other than the road leading to the radar site, nothing remains of it today. The station’s FPS-6X Height Finder radar was moved and mounted at CFB Penhold as a monument to the men and women of 43 Radar Squadron.

Canadian Forces Station Beaverlodge:

Opened 5 miles northeast of Beaverlodge in February 1953 as Saskatoon Mountain Air Force Station of the United States Air Force, with the radar functions being run by No. 919 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. The station was equipped with AN/FPS-3C, AN/FPS-502, AN/FPS-20A; AN/TPS-502, and AN/FPS-6B radars.

As a GCI base, the 915th’s role was to guide interceptor aircraft toward unidentified intruders picked up on the unit’s radar scopes. These interceptors were based at Larson Air Force Base in Washington.

The Ground Air Transmitting Receiving (GATR) Site for communications was located approximately 1 mile southwest from the main site.

Control of the station was transferred to the RCAF on 1 April 1963, with the radar functions being run by No. 57 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron. This was part of an arrangement with the United States that came as a result of the cancellation of the Avro Arrow. Canada would lease 66 F-101 Voodoo fighters and take over operation of 12 Pinetree radar bases. The operating unit was re-designated 57 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron and the base, RCAF Station Saskatoon Mountain.

In November 1963, 57 AC&W Squadron, RCAF Station Saskatoon Mountain became 57 Radar Squadron, RCAF Station Beaverlodge.

On 1 May 1964 radar operations at 57 Squadron were automated with the implementation of the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, and the station became a long-range radar site. It would no longer guide interceptors but only look for enemy aircraft, feeding data to the Spokane Air Defense Sector SAGE DC-15 Direction Center of the 25th NORAD Region at Larson AFB, Washington.

As a result of the Unification of the Forces, the station was re-named Canadian Forces Station Beaverlodge in 1966. Also in 1966, the facilities at Larson AFB were closed, and CFS Beaverlodge was switched to the SAGE Direction Center at McChord AFB, Washington.

The station was administratively accountable to Canadian Forces Air Defence Command, and its successor Fighter Group. In August 1984, Beaverlodge became part of the Canada West ROCC. The station carried on its assigned duties until operations ceased on 1 April 1988.

Several of the former CFS Beaverlodge’s buildings remained until the mid 1990s, when they were all demolished, except for the recreation centre, which was moved to Beaverlodge.   Not even building foundations remain.

Permanent link to this article: https://militarybruce.com/abandoned-canadian-military-bases/pinetree-line/alberta/

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