|Canadian Forces Base Borden
16 Wing Borden
Sherman tank displayed outside of Waterloo Officers' Mess at CFB Borden
|Owner||Government of Canada|
|Operator||Department of National Defence|
|Commander||Colonel L.P. McGarry|
|Occupants||No. 400 Squadron RCAF|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−05:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−04:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||729 ft / 222 m|
The historic birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force, CFB Borden is home to the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces. The base is run by Canadian Forces Support Training Group (CFSTG) and reports to the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) in Kingston.
At the height of the First World War, the Borden Military Camp opened at a location on a glacial moraine west of Barrie in 1916 to train units for the Canadian Expeditionary Force. It was named for Sir Frederick Borden, Minister of Militia. In May 1916, the Barrie and Collingwood companies of the 157th Battalion (Simcoe Foresters), CEF (perpetuated today by The Grey and Simcoe Foresters ), under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel D.H. MacLaren, began construction of the camp.
Camp Borden was selected in 1917 for a military aerodrome, becoming the first flying station of the Royal Flying Corps Canada. During the inter-war period, the aerodrome was used as the training location for the nascent Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and was renamed RCAF Station Borden. Camp Borden's training grounds were expanded in 1938 to house the Canadian Tank School. The Siskins were a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) aerobatic flying team that was established in 1929 at Camp Borden.
During the Second World War, both Camp Borden and RCAF Station Borden became the most important training facility in Canada, housing both army training and flight training, the latter under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP). The BCATP's No. 1 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) was located here until 1946. Relief landing fields were located at Alliston and Edenvale.
A third landing field, known locally as Leach's Field, was operated by Camp Borden from the 1920s to the 1950s. The L-shaped airstrip was rudimentary; the "runways" at Leach's Field utilized the existing ground surface. It was primarily used for touch-and-go flying.
During the Cold War, Borden's importance as an RCAF facility in Ontario declined in favour of CFB Trenton, CFB Uplands and CFB North Bay. However, its use as an army facility stayed consistent until 1970 when a major reorganization of the combat arms' schools resulted in the transfer of the Infantry School and Armoured School to CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick. On the other hand, numerous "purple" (i.e. tri-service) schools were established or expanded from existing service training establishments, including the Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics, the School of Aerospace Ordnance Engineering and the Canadian Forces Health Service Training Centre.
The February 1, 1968 unification of the RCAF with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army resulted in the creation of the Canadian Forces. The military facilities consisting of Camp Borden and RCAF Station Borden were grouped under a new name, Canadian Forces Base Borden (CFB Borden). The aerodrome was closed in 1970 and the base saw use as a regular and reserve training facility for Canadian Forces Land Force Command (the army), as well as hosting various land-based training courses for Canadian Forces Air Command (the air force). In a 1990s reorganization of the Canadian Forces following the end of the Cold War, CFB Borden's air force training facilities were grouped under the name 16 Wing Borden.
The Ontario Heritage Foundation, Ministry of Culture and Recreation erected a plaque in 1976.
- Camp Borden was established during the First World War as a major training centre of Canadian Expeditionary Force battalions. The Camp (including this structure) was officially opened by Sir Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defence, on July 11, 1916, after two months of intensive building. This military reserve, comprising over twenty square miles, was soon occupied by some 32,000 troops. Training facilities were expanded in 1917 with the institution of an air training programme under the Royal Flying Corps, Canada, and the construction of the first Canadian military aerodrome, regarded as the finest military aviation camp in North America. Following the armistice Camp Borden continued as an important army and air force centre and became one of the largest armed forces bases in Canada.
Activities and facilities
Although originally an air force training base, CFB Borden is now a training base for several elements of the Canadian Forces:
- 2 Canadian Air Division's (2 Cdn Air Div) primary lodger unit, 16 Wing, commonly referred to as 16 Wing Borden, consists of 16 Wing Headquarters and three schools: Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE) and Air Command Academy (ACA); and the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control (CFSACO), located in Cornwall, Ontario.
- The Canadian Army's (CA) Regular Force and reserve force army units use a number of training schools and large portions of the base's 22,300 acres (90 km2) training area for manoeuvres.
In addition to these specific environmental element commands, CFB Borden houses a variety of other purple trades training facilities and headquarters within the Canadian Forces, including a fire-fighting school, Military Police (MP) school, a chaplaincy school, the Canadian Forces Recruiting Group, medical, dental and language schools, and supports local cadet and reserve units. The Toronto Police Service's Emergency Task Force also trains there occasionally.
CFB Borden hosts the Blackdown Cadet Training Centre, a facility established for training army cadets. This facility has also hosted air cadets and sea cadets since 2003, when the Borden Air Cadet Summer Training Centre was closed.
CFB Borden's residential area houses one regulation-sized golf course (Circled Pine Golf Course, par 72). Circled Pine Golf Course opened in 1952. The course is open to the public and serving Military. The base previously housed a 9-hole links style course, Anderson Park, which originally opened in 1917 but closed after the 2015 season.
Base Borden has multiple facilities available to Canadian Armed Forces members that include the Terra theatre, Circled Pine Bowling Centre, two gyms (Buell Fitness & Aquatic Centre and the sub gym, aka 'the bubble'), multiple soccer fields, baseball diamonds, Andy Anderson arena and biking trails.
The Base Borden Military Museum (combining four separate museums) has numerous items, equipment and vehicles from all eras of Canadian military history, including a large number of armoured vehicles and aircraft displayed outside in Worthington Park and around the headquarters area of the base.
Borden used to have two asphalt runways facing east and west:
- 05/23 - approximately 830 m (2,720 ft)
- 18/36 - approximately 1,000 m (3,300 ft)
Only the taxiway and a small section of runway 05/23 remains today (rest is covered with grass), with a helicopter pad at the base of the runway.
Lodger formations and units
- 16 Wing
- No. 400 Squadron RCAF which belongs to 1 Wing. 1 Wing's headquarters is located in Kingston, Ontario
- Canadian Forces Recruiting Group HQ (CFRG HQ)
- 3rd Canadian Ranger Patrol Group (3 CRPG)
- 31 Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (31 CFHSC)
- 1 Dental Unit
- 700 Communication Squadron (70 Comm Group)
- The Grey and Simcoe Foresters (31 Canadian Brigade Group, off-base supported unit, garrisoned at Barrie and Owen Sound)
- Civilian Human Resources Centre (CHRC)
- Regional Cadet Support Unit (Central) (RCSU Central)
- Central Ontario Gliding Centre (COGC)
Lodger training establishments
- Regional Cadet Instructor School (Central) (RCIS Central)
- Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE)
- Canadian Forces Military Police Academy (CFMPA)
- Canadian Forces Health Services Training Centre (CFHSTC)
- Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineering School (RCEMES)
- Canadian Forces Language School (CFLS)
- Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency Training Centre Borden (CFPSA)
- Air Command Academy (ACA)
- Post Recruit Education Training Centre (PRETC)
- Canadian Forces Chaplain School & Centre (CFChSC)
- Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre (CFLTC) (formerly Canadian Forces School of Administration and Logistics (CFSAL))
- Canadian Forces Training Development Centre (CFTDC)
- Canadian Forces Fire and CBRN Academy (CFFCA) amalgamation between Canadian Forces Fire Academy and Canadian Forces Nuclear Biological Chemical School(CFNBCS)
- Blackdown Cadet Training Centre (Blackdown Park)
The aircraft Control Tower is dedicated to the memory of Royal Flying Corps Cadet James Harold Talbot. Talbot became the first fatality at Camp Borden when his Curtiss J.N.4 'Jenny' aeroplane crashed on April 8, 1917.
Worthington Park, a part of the Base Borden Military Museum complex, is named after Major-General Frederic Franklin Worthington / F.F. Worthington, the father of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. General Worthington is buried in Worthington Park.
CFB Borden has several Federal Heritage buildings on the Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings.
- Alexander Dunn Public School P-148 Recognized - 1995
- Barrie Armoury Recognized - 1997
- Croil Hall Building A-142 Recognized - 2003
- Dyte Hall A-78 Recognized - 1995
- Hangars 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 & 13 Classified - 1988
- Headquarters Building O-102 Recognized - 1995
- Hennessy Block Building S-136 Recognized - 1995
- Junior Ranks Quarters T-114 & T-115 Recognized - 1995
- Maple Mess A-74 Recognized - 1995
- Museum Building E-108 Recognized - 1995
- Non Commissioned Officer Building O-109 Recognized - 1995
- Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 29 March 2018 to 0901Z 24 May 2018.
- "16 Wing Borden". Royal Canadian Air Force. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
- Royal Flying Corps Hangars, Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance of Canada
- Royal Flying Corps Hangars. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
- Ontario Heritage Foundation plaque
- "DND/CF - Backgrounder - Defence Infrastructure Projects At CFB Borden". Archived from the original on 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- CFB Borden Aerodrome Archived 2012-03-30 at the Wayback Machine.
- Central Ontario Gliding Centre Archived 2011-02-08 at the Wayback Machine.
- Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings.[permanent dead link]
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