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Pre-Unification to Post-Unification

Prior to the Unification, military establishments across the country were identified as either Royal Canadian Air Force Station for the Air Force, His/Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship or Naval Radio Station for Naval shore stations or Camp or Barracks for the Army.

Eg: RCAF Station Rockcliffe, HMCS Stadacona, Naval Radio Station Aldergrove, Camp Borden, Work Point Barracks.

After Unification all military establishments were classed as either Canadian Forces Base, for establishments with 2 or more major units, or Canadian Forces Station, for establishments with only one major unit, such as a radar station. Eg: CFB Toronto, CFS Kamloops.

Into the 1990s and the 21st Century, while all bases were still officially Canadian Forces Bases or Canadian Forces Stations, there was somewhat of a push towards re-establishing a separate service identity for Canada’s military bases. Air Force Bases referred to as “Wings”. Army bases are referred to as “Barracks”, “Garrison”, “Camp” or “Area Training Centre”. Even Canada’s two major Navy bases made their former names prominent once again.

Eg: Canadian Forces Base Trenton is commonly known as 8 Wing Trenton.

Canadian Forces Base Edmonton (the former RCAF Station Namao) was referred to as Steele Barracks. Two of the Army’s Training Centres were Camp Wainwright and Land Force Central Area Training Centre Meaford.

The sign outside CFB Halifax (formerly HMCS Stadacona) reads “Maritime Forces Atlantic Stadacona”. Although CFS Mill Cove closed, the radio unit that ran the station was re-named Naval Radio Section Mill Cove to reflect its Naval heritage.

With the restoration of the RCAF, RCN and the Canadian Army names, the army re-named their bases according to divisions reminiscent of First or Second World War divisions. Land Force Quebec Area was re-named 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.

Eg: CFB Petawawa has been re-named 4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa, but is commonly called Petawawa Garrison.  CFB Gagetown was re-named 5th Canadian Division Support Base Gagetown.

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