CFB Halifax

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CFB Halifax - former Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
426 - Halifax NS.JPG
HMCS Fredericton (FFH 337) docked at CFB Halifax
Coordinates 44°39′23.63″N 63°34′44.69″W / 44.6565639°N 63.5790806°W / 44.6565639; -63.5790806Coordinates: 44°39′23.63″N 63°34′44.69″W / 44.6565639°N 63.5790806°W / 44.6565639; -63.5790806
Type Naval base
Site information
Controlled by Canadian Forces
Site history
In use 1759-present
Garrison information
Garrison Maritime Forces Atlantic

Canadian Forces Base Halifax (CFB Halifax) is Canada's east coast navy base and home port to the Atlantic fleet, known as Maritime Forces Atlantic.

It is the largest Canadian Forces Base in terms of the number of posted personnel and is formed from an amalgamation of military properties situated around the strategic Halifax Harbour in Nova Scotia.

Her Majesty's Canadian Dockyard (HMC Dockyard)[edit]

HMC Dockyard was acquired by the Canadian government from the Royal Navy following the withdrawal of British military forces from Canada in 1906. Prior to 1906, it was known as Royal Naval Dockyard, Halifax and is one of the oldest defence establishments in Canada, having been established by the Royal Navy during the 18th century as HM Dockyard.

HMC Dockyard is located on the western side of Halifax Harbour at the southern end of The Narrows. It hosts the headquarters of Maritime Forces Atlantic (MARLANT), the formal name for the Atlantic Fleet. HMC Dockyard contains berths for Canadian and foreign warships, Formation Supply Facility, Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Scott, shore-based training facilities as well as operations buildings for MARLANT and other organizations such as Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Halifax (JRCC Halifax).

HMC Dockyard also has an adjunct facility directly across the harbour on the Dartmouth shoreline with jetties and various buildings, including Defence Research and Development Canada - Atlantic.

HMC Dockyard maintains exclusive control of several anchorage areas within the limits of Halifax Harbour and prevents civilian vessels from sailing in the vicinity of military facilities; a floating force protection boom system is currently being constructed to prevent small vessels from unauthorized passage near warships and pierside facilities.

The original Naval Yard clock has been restored and moved to the Halifax Ferry Terminal entrance while the original Naval Yard bell is preserved at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, a museum which also features a large diorama depicting the Naval Yard in 1813 at its height in the Age of Sail. The dockyard was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1923,[1] while Admiralty House was designated a National Historic Site in 1978.[2]

Stadacona[edit]

Stadacona, referred to as HMCS Stadacona before 1968 and frequently referred to as "Stad", is an adjunct to HMC Dockyard located west of the waterfront in the North End of the Halifax peninsula. Prior to the arrival of the French, the location that would become Quebec was the home of a small Iroquois village called "Stadacona", after which the base is named.[3] Stadacona contains the Canadian Forces Naval Engineering School (with facilities at Herring Cove/York Redoubt, south of Halifax), the Canadian Forces Naval Operations School, the base hospital, the Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre, and various messes. Stadacona is also home to the headquarters of 5th Canadian Division and the Maritime Command Museum.

Stadacona was built as the British Army's Wellington Barracks, later known as the Nelson Barracks, as part of the Halifax Defence Complex. The British military forces departed from Canada in 1906. During WW2, the Royal Canadian Navy appropriated the site from the army and it was transformed into HMCS Stadacona.

Historic structures[edit]

Admiralty's Residence[edit]

Almost all the original Royal Navy 18th and 19th century buildings were demolished in World War II to make way for machine shops, stores buildings and drill halls needed to man and maintain the hundreds of corvettes being commissioned during the crash expansion of the Royal Canadian Navy during the Battle of the Atlantic. Only one residence from 1814 and the Admiral's Residence from 1819 survived. The Admiral's residence (Admiralty House) is now the Maritime Command Museum.

Wellington Gate[edit]

Wellington Gate, Gottingen Street (1850)

Wellington Gate was created in 1850 and named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. The gate is lined on either side with two columns of Battles and Campaigns fought by Canadian Forces. The two columns read from left to right:

Northwest Rebellion

Second Boer War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

  • "Korea, 1951-1953" (plaque posted on the door).

Admiralty Garden[edit]

Admiralty Garden CFB Halifax

The Admiralty Garden was created c. 1814 and has plaques and monuments displayed to honour persons and mark events, significant to Halifax's naval history. In 1972 the "Wall of Valour" was created to recognize the bravery decorations awarded to member of the Canadian Navy and the Naval Reserves. They are listed as follows:

Cross of Valour (Canada)

Star of Courage (Canada)

Medal of Bravery (Canada)

There are plaques of Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada to commemorate the following:

Faith Centre[edit]

The Faith Centre has numerous plaques and stainglass windows that are dedicated to naval personnel who died from Nazi U-Boats torpedoing ships in the Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945) unless otherwise indicated.

Windows[edit]
Exterior plaques[edit]
South row of Faith Centre plaques, CFB Halifax
East row of Faith Centre plaques, CFB Halifax

WW1

WW2

Korea

Shearwater Heliport[edit]

Shearwater Heliport is an airfield located on the eastern shore of Halifax Harbour in the community of Eastern Passage that supports CH-124 Sea King helicopters used on the RCN's warships based at CFB Halifax.

Formerly a separate base known as CFB Shearwater, the airfield was realigned as part of CFB Halifax during the mid-1990s. 12 Wing, a Royal Canadian Air Force unit that reports to 1 Canadian Air Division, is the primary user of the Shearwater Heliport and is headquartered there. DND properties that were formerly aligned to CFB Shearwater, such as the Hartlen Point Golf Course and the Shearwater Jetty, are now part of CFB Halifax.

12 Wing operates from two locations with four squadrons:

  • Shearwater Heliport
    • 406 Maritime Operational Training Squadron is an operational training squadron for training all maritime helicopter aircrew in the Canadian Forces.
    • 423 Maritime Helicopter Squadron is an operational squadron at Shearwater Heliport which provides CH-124 Sea King helicopters for Maritime Forces Atlantic warships.
    • 12 Air Maintenance Squadron provides aircraft maintenance and engineering support to 12 Wing's operational squadrons.
    • Helicopter Operational Evaluation and Test Facility (HOTEF) is responsible for researching and testing state-of-the-art equipment for the CH-124 Sea King to enable crews to operate efficiently, ashore or while deployed.
  • Patricia Bay Heliport

Royal Artillery Park[edit]

Cambridge Military Library, Royal Artillery Park

Royal Artillery Park (Halifax) is a military park, which is part of CFB Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the far corner of the Royal Artillery Park, a diminutive red brick building, is the Cambridge Military Library. This building was the social and literary centre of military Halifax. The Library opened in 1817 at Grafton Street, as an alternative to the more notorious choices of city entertainment. It moved to its present location in Royal Artillery Park in 1886 and was renamed Cambridge Military Library in 1902. The library was funded in part from Customs receipts gathered during the War of 1812 at the Battle of Hampden.

CFAD Bedford[edit]

The Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot Bedford, informally referred to as the "Bedford Magazine", is a major Canadian Forces property occupying the entire northern shore of Bedford Basin. It houses all of the ordnance for MARLANT vessels and has a loading jetty and several nearby anchorages.

HMCS Trinity[edit]

HMCS Trinity is the organization housed at Stadacona which is tasked with maintaining MARLANT communications with vessels and other Canadian Forces and allied units, as well as developing strategic and tactical operational intelligence for unit commanders.

HMCS Trinity operates two remote radio transmitter/receiver stations near Halifax:

Windsor Park[edit]

Windsor Park contains the Military Police Department, the Military Family Resource Centre, CFB Curling Club as well as the Canex.

Housing[edit]

Housing for CFB Halifax is provided to Canadian Forces personnel and their dependants at Windsor Park, a housing area built by the Department of National Defence in the West End of Halifax. Stadacona is home to the Atlantic Block, a barracks for single ratings. Base housing also used to be provided at Shannon Park and Wallis Heights in the North End of Dartmouth, however with defence cutbacks in the 1990s, this area has been sold for civilian use. Housing is available at the 12 Wing Shearwater site, which is part of CFB Halifax. A large number of service personnel own or rent civilian property in the area.

Commemorations and monuments[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]