CFB Valcartier

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Valcartier (W/C J.H.L. (Joe) Lecomte) Heliport
2nd Canadian Division Support Base, Valcartier
Base des Forces canadiennes Valcartier
Valcartier.jpg
Actros Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System trucks in Valcartier
IATA: YOYICAO: CYOY
Summary
Airport type Military
Owner Government of Canada
Operator DND
Location Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, Quebec
Built 1914
Commander Colonel Jean-Marc Lanthier
Occupants 5 CMBG
Time zone EST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL 550 ft / 168 m
Coordinates 46°54′10″N 071°30′13″W / 46.90278°N 71.50361°W / 46.90278; -71.50361
Website www.army.forces.gc.ca/5gbmc
Map
CYOY is located in Quebec
CYOY
CYOY
Location of CFB Valcartier in Quebec
Helipads
Number Length Surface
ft m
1 150 46 n/a
Source: Canada Flight Supplement[1]
Map showing the main buildings on the base.

Canadian Forces Base Valcartier is a Canadian Forces Base located in the municipality of Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, approximately 25 km (16 mi) north of Quebec City. It is home to 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

Origins[edit]

Le chez nous du soldat" – a soldiers' canteen in 1918

CFB Valcartier was originally erected as a military training camp in August 1914 as part of the mobilization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the onset of World War I.[2] A 10-foot-6-inch (3.20 m)-high bronze figure of a World War I soldier (1995) by André Gauthier (sculptor) at the entrance to CFB Valcartier commemorates the training of Canadian Army volunteers for the European battlefields in World War I.

The site was also used as an internment camp for "enemy aliens", mainly eastern Europeans. The name Valcartier comes from the town of Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, of which a large section was expropriated in order to create the military training camp.[3] Due to its proximity to the Port of Quebec, Valcartier became the largest military camp on Canadian soil, including some 32,000 men and 8,000 horses.[4]

In 1968, after unification of the Canadian Forces, the title 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was assigned to the brigade group established in CFB Valcartier.

Military presence[edit]

Postcard of the tents hastily erected to accommodate thousands of troops during the First World War

Currently, Valcartier Garrison is home to 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

The following units are stationed at Valcartier:

Rifle range and manoeuvre grounds on the base.

The base also houses 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, 5 Service Battalion (which also provides services from ASU Saint-Jean and CFB Montreal), CI SQFT (Land Force Quebec Area Training Centre), in addition to providing training facilities for most Quebec-based reserve units. The Myriam Bédard Biathlon Training Centre is also located on the base.[5]

CFB Valcartier is also home to a Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) location, which conducts military research for the Canadian Forces.

Cadets[edit]

The Governor General and his prime minister inspecting troops in 1940

ASU Valcartier is also home of the Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Valcartier, which trains Royal Canadian Army Cadets of the Eastern Region / Province of Quebec.

In July 1974, an explosives safety training accident involving "D" Company killed six cadets and injured over 50. A coroners inquiry found the instructor criminally responsible.[6] An account of the explosion, its cause and effects are detailed in the book "As You Were: The Tragedy at Valcartier" by Gerry Fostaty[7] and published by Goose Lane Editions.[8]

Contaminated water[edit]

In 1997 a cancer-causing chemical, trichloroethylene, was found in the water supply of CFB Valcartier and the nearby town of Shannon, Quebec. Trichloroethylene, which has been linked to liver cancer, was used for degreasing metal parts at the base in the 1970s. The Department of National Defence, which was accused of a cover-up, reached a legal settlement with the town in 2004.[9][10][11]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 46°53′35″N 071°29′35″W / 46.89306°N 71.49306°W / 46.89306; -71.49306 (CFB Valcartier)

External links[edit]

Media related to CFB Valcartier at Wikimedia Commons