|Owner||Government of Canada|
|Location||Shilo, Rural Municipality of North Cypress / Rural Municipality of South Cypress|
|Time zone||CST (UTC−06:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC−05:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||1,225 ft / 373 m|
Canadian Forces Base Shilo (or CFB Shilo) is an Operations and Training base of the Canadian Forces, located 35 km (22 mi) east of Brandon, Manitoba. During the 1990s, Canadian Forces Base Shilo was also designated as an Area Support Unit, which acts as a local base of operations for south-west Manitoba in times of military and civil emergency.
It is located at the very southwest corner of the Rural Municipality of North Cypress, and the very northwest corner of the Rural Municipality of South Cypress. Additionally, it lies adjacent to the eastern border of the Rural Municipality of Cornwallis. The unincorporated community of Sprucewoods is located adjacent to the north gate of the base. The base has an 18-hole golf course. The course hosts numerous military and civilian golf events.
History and demographics
CFB Shilo has been a training facility for the Canadian Army since 1910, and saw an increase in its use as a training facility following the outbreak of World War I. A World War I era War trophy Field Gun 77mm s/n 3316 is on display at CFB Shilo.
The principal purpose of this base is for training in artillery and munitions, activities audibly recognized, though not begrudged, by generations of nearby residents. In 1942, training of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was transferred here from Fort Benning, Georgia. The existence of the base has enhanced the economic stability of the surrounding area through contracted employment with the Department of National Defence, and provision of off-base services to staff and trainees. CFB Shilo provides employment for approximately 1,400 military personnel, as well as an additional estimated 450 civilian personnel. The base is located within the federal electoral district of Brandon—Souris.
The landscape in this area is particularly well suited to these operations. The rolling hills are well suited to hidden target firing drills. Soil compositions of loose sand/gravel aggregates are also ideal for Artillery and Munitions training. The lack of surface bedrock outcropping greatly reduces the chances of hazardous ricochets during live-fire exercises and also assists in the safe retrieval and secure disposal of both detonated and un-detonated ordnance.
CFB Shilo is the home of the:
- 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery
- 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
- Home Station of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery
In addition, CFB Shilo lodges training units such as:
- 3rd Canadian Division Training Centre C Company Shilo
Other supported units include 26th Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, RCA Brandon's Reserve Unit and 38 Canadian Brigade Group, headquartered in Winnipeg.
In addition to the many Canadian Regular Force and reserve soldiers who train at Shilo, troops from several foreign countries, including Germany, France, Denmark and the United States, have trained here. Germany, in particular, trained over 140,000 soldiers from 1974 to 2000 under the direction of the German Army Training Establishment Shilo (GATES). Many signs of the 27-year legacy left by the Germans remain at Shilo and throughout the southwest Manitoba region. CFB Shilo has also seen use by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers and employees of the Manitoba Department of Corrections.
Since the late 1970s, CFB Shilo has been the subject of much political debate regarding the possibility of ceasing operations due primarily to the costs associated with operating and maintaining the base. These political arguments arise regardless of which political party forms the respective Federal and Provincial governments. At this point, the issue has been debated for approximately 25 years and there are still no definitive decisions as to the continuation or cessation of operations.
Despite this uncertainty, recent years have seen government investment into the base. In the period from 2004–2008, over $50 million was spent on expansion of base facilities.
The base is 8 km (5.0 mi) south of the Trans-Canada Highway on PR 340. There are two heliports associated with the base. Shilo Heliport is located on the base while Shilo (Flewin Field) (TC LID: CKN9), with a 66 ft × 66 ft (20 m × 20 m) pad, is located 1.1 nautical miles (2.0 km; 1.3 mi) south.