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It was originally opened as RCAF Station Rivers in May 1942 under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) as the home of No. 1 Air Navigation School. The base remained open after the war, becoming a training centre for Army pilots and flying instructors from the Army, RCN and RCAF. Additionally, the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals and the Air Dispatch School made Rivers their home.
Other post-war units stationed at Rivers included the Canadian Parachute Training Centre, the Army Aviation Tactical Training School, the Joint Air Photo Interpretation School, the Basic Helicopter Training Unit and the Army Air Tactical Training School (AATTS). The Royal Canadian Navy began sending trainees to Rivers after the closure of their own training facility at Shearwater, N.S. Units established at the station included No. 6 Signal Regiment, the Air Support Signals Unit, No. 1 Transport Helicopter Platoon (No. 1 THP), The Canadian Airborne Regiment and 408 Tactical Fighter Squadron. As a result of the unification of the Canadian military, RCAF Station Rivers was renamed CFB Rivers.
The station closed in 1971. In 1982, the base was used for GMT (General Military Training). Future Air Reserve members trained in CFB Rivers for 2 months. A hog farm called Aero Farms Ltd, operated from the site until 2011. The site now sits vacant, with the remaining buildings rapidly crumbling. The airfield is marked as abandoned by the Canada Flight Supplement. Some scenes for the 1993 movie For the Moment, a film about an Australian pilot who comes to Manitoba to train under the BCATP, starring Russell Crowe, were filmed at the former air base.
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