|Canadian Forces Base Uplands|
|IATA: none – ICAO: none|
|Owner||The Queen in Right of Canada|
|Operator||Department of National Defence|
|Commander||Colonel W.J. McLean|
|Occupants||Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Canada Reception Centre, The Central Band of the Canadian Forces, 30th Field Artillery Regiment, Canadian Forces Crypto Support Unit, No. 412 VIP Transport Squadron, Self Help Housing Organization, Canadian Forces Housing Agency|
Canadian Forces Base Uplands (also CFB Uplands) is a Canadian Forces Base located in Ottawa, Ontario. Uplands was created in the 1960s as an Air Force base to fight the growing Cold War threat. Most of the physical land is now part of Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, after being sold off in the 1990s. Today the Canadian Forces operate several military units and housing on the base, and it is formally known as "Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) - Uplands Site."
The Royal Canadian Air Force established RCAF Station Uplands as a wartime training station of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in 1942. The "No. 2 Service Flying Training School" (SFTS) was located at the base from August 1942 to April 1947, which was one of two RCAF facilities in the national capital region; the other being RCAF Station Rockcliffe. When Sabre fighters became operational in 1952, Uplands became the primary Ottawa air base since Sabres couldn't operate from the small Rockcliffe runways.
During the Cold War period of the 1950s, the station was home to several operational squadrons including 416 Squadron, 439 Squadron, 422 Squadron, 428 Squadron, 434 Squadron, 412 (Transport) Squadron, 436 (Transport) Squadron and 410 Squadron.
RCAF Station Uplands was also the location for the No. 3 Air Movement Unit, as well as the Central Experimental and Proving Establishment (later renamed the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment), which moved to Uplands from Rockcliffe in 1957.
The reorganization and unification of the Canadian Armed Forces in the late 1960s saw RCAF Station Uplands renamed Canadian Forces Base Uplands (CFB Uplands) in 1968. In 1972 the facility was redesignated as Canadian Forces Base Ottawa (South) or CFB Ottawa (South) as part of DND's amalgamation of Ottawa area defence properties into CFB Ottawa. Despite this change, the Uplands name remained in popular usage through to the base's eventual decommissioning.
During the 1970s, the base hosted 450 (Heavy Transport) Squadron (later redesignated No. 450 (Transport) Helicopter Squadron) and 426 (Transport Training) Squadron. 450 was one of two squadrons using CH-47 Chinooks. Other units included the Canadian Forces Support Unit Ottawa, and the Canadian Forces Airborne Sensing Unit, a detachment of 414 Electronic Warfare Squadron based at CFB North Bay.
The introduction of the "wing concept" within Air Command in 1993 resulted in CFB Ottawa (South) hosting 7 Wing as its primary lodger unit. Following the end of the Cold War, the Canadian Forces underwent major budget cuts and reorganization, resulting in several bases being closed during the mid-1990s, one of which was all of CFB Ottawa; CFB Ottawa (North) being the former CFB Rockcliffe and CFB Ottawa (South) being the former CFB Uplands.
The Uplands facility was decommissioned as a base in 1996, however the buildings and tarmac remain the property of the Canadian Forces. The Canada Reception Centre is located on the former CFB Uplands.
The area continues to be informally referred to as a "base" or "Canadian Forces Base Uplands" by military personnel. Its official title is "Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) - Uplands Site."
As of May 2013 the Uplands base is administered by the Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa). Similar to other military bases, the Base Commander is the commanding officer of CFSU (Ottawa) and the Base Chief Warrant Officer is the Chief Warrant Officer of CFSU (Ottawa). The Base Commander serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors, which is composed of military and civilian managers from the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency (CFPSA), PSP Ottawa, SHHO, and CFHA.
Units operating out of Uplands
A number of units parade or operate out of the base's existing infrastructure, and new construction projects have sprung up to expand or better accommodate military units operating in Ottawa. These units include:
- The Central Band of the Canadian Forces
- Canadian Forces Crypto Support Unit
- No. 412 VIP Transport Squadron
- 30th Field Artillery Regiment
To accommodate the growing number of personnel being stationed at CFB Uplands, Order in Council PC 1961-10/10-94, dated 26 Jan 1961, authorized the base to build housing over approximately 45 acres of land. As a result over 700 homes were built, varying between single-level bungalows and townhouses. Both models of homes have three bedrooms, one bathroom, and an unfinished basement. The terms of the agreement were for a period of 50 years, and in 2011 the agreement was confirmed as continuing status quo.
As of May 2013 many of the houses continue to stand in their original condition, with over 500 military members and their families currently living there. Accommodations are divided between the Self Help Housing Organization and the Canadian Forces Housing Agency.
Both SHHO and CFHA housing is rented through the minimum of a one-year lease and through direct payroll deductions on the military member's pay.
In April 2013 the CBC published an article noting that the rent for military members living on the base was being increased by more than would legally be allowed under Ontario law. Rent is supposed to be premised on being affordable, low-cost housing, geared towards the member's rank and income: Self Help Housing is geared towards junior non-commissioned members (Privates to Master Corporals), while Housing Agency homes are available to military members of any rank.
The publicly posted rent increase notice raised the monthly rent to $844 per month starting in July 2013. Military members and their families complained this increase was unfair and unsustainable, considering a) the military member's pay increase for that year was only 1.5 percent while the rent increase was 4 percent; and b) the rental units still being in the same condition as when they were built in 1962 did not justify such a high price. As well, 2003 rent was only $550 per month, resulting in a significant increase in rent in a relatively short time period. The military or housing organizations did not respond to the article.
Historical military aircraft at Uplands
Several types of aircraft flew out of Uplands:
- Canadair CT-133 Silver Star fighter/trainer
- de Havilland Vampire fighter
- Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck fighter
- North American Harvard trainer
- Beechcraft Expeditor (C-45) transport
- CL-5 North Star transport
- de Havilland Comet 1A transport
- CL-44 Yukon transport
- CL-66 Cosmopolitan transport
- Dassault Falcon 20 transport
- Lockheed C-130 Hercules E and H transport
- C-47 Dakota transport
- McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo fighter
- Canadair CL-13 Sabre fighter
- North American P-51D Mustang fighter
- Boeing Vertol CH-147 Chinook heavy lift helicopter
- "Inside Uplands"