Canadian Forces Base Borden (also CFB Borden, French: Base des Forces canadiennes Borden or BFC Borden), formerly RCAF Station Camp Borden, is a large Canadian Forces base located in Ontario. The historic birthplace of the Royal Canadian Air Force,[2] CFB Borden is home to the largest training wing in the Canadian Armed Forces.[3] The base is run by Canadian Forces Support Training Group (CFSTG) and reports to the Canadian Defence Academy (CDA) in Kingston.

Canadian Forces Base Borden

16 Wing Borden
A CF-104 Starfighter on display at CFB Borden Military Museum
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerGovernment of Canada
OperatorDepartment of National Defence
CommanderColonel Jonathan Michaud
OccupantsNo. 400 Squadron RCAF
Time zoneEST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST)EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL729 ft / 222 m
Coordinates44°16′18″N 079°54′45″W / 44.27167°N 79.91250°W / 44.27167; -79.91250
CYBN is located in Ontario
Location of CFB Borden in Ontario
CYBN is located in Canada
CYBN (Canada)
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 100 30 Asphalt

History edit

Map of the base

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 William Borden, former Minister of Militia.[4] 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 for veteran pilot refresher training by the Canadian Air Force (CAF), a part-time, non-permanent air militia. This militia training scheme began in July 1920 and ended in March 1922. Although this training had ended, the CAF continued, reorganized, and eventually evolved into the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Pilot training resumed in May 1923. The air force also conducted specialist courses. Other schools included an Army Co-operation School, an Air Armament & Bombing School and a Technical Training School. When the air force became “royal” in 1924, the station was renamed RCAF Station Camp Borden.[5][6][7]

Camp Borden's training grounds were expanded in 1938 to house the Canadian Tank School. The Siskins were a RCAF aerobatic flying team that was established in 1929 at Camp Borden.

During the Second World War, both Camp Borden and RCAF Station Camp 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.

Royal Canadian Air Force fire house, Camp Borden, Ontario
Soldiers training for trench warfare at Camp Borden in 1916

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 Camp 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 eight surviving Royal Flying Corps hangars at the base have been designated a National Historic Site of Canada.[8][9]

Plaque edit

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.[10]

Activities and facilities edit

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: the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering (CFSATE), the Royal Canadian Air Force Academy (RCAF Academy), and the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Control (CFSACO), located in Cornwall, Ontario.
  • The Canadian Army's (CA) Regular Force and Primary Reserve 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. In December 2017, a military parade of the RCAF took place in honour of the anniversary of the Battle of Britain.[11] In August 2010, the Canadian department of Defence announced a C$209 million series of projects to construct new facilities, and upgrade existing facilities, at CFB Borden.[12]
  • A voluntary Canadian military band is maintained at the base. A band at Borden was first formed in the late 1930s, before becoming the No. 6 Bomber Group Band under the leadership of Clifford Hunt. It was stationed in the United Kingdom from 1942-1946.[13] The modern band is organized only during the summer and consists of reservists from all three services who serve at the Canadian Forces Logistics Training Centre.[14]

Aerodrome edit

In approximately 1942, the aerodrome was listed at 44°16′N 79°56′W / 44.267°N 79.933°W / 44.267; -79.933 with a variation of 8 degrees west and elevation of 730 ft (220 m). Three runways were listed as follows:[15]

Runway name Length Width Surface
5/23 3,500 ft (1,100 m) 550 ft (170 m) Hard surfaced
11/29 3,500 ft (1,100 m) 550 ft (170 m) Hard surfaced
18/36 3,500 ft (1,100 m) 550 ft (170 m) Hard surfaced

At some point after the Second World War, runway 11/29 was abandoned and the other two runways were shortened. Just prior to 2004, the runways were listed as follows:[16]

Runway name Length
5/23 830 m (2,720 ft)
18/36 1,000 m (3,300 ft)

In 2004, the decision was made to close the remaining runways to all aircraft other than helicopters.[17] Only the taxiway and a small section of runway 05/23 remain today (the rest is covered with grass). A helicopter pad is still active at the base of the former runway.

Units edit

The main units of Canadian Forces Base Borden are:[18]

Integral edit

Lodger edit

MPGTG edit

Tributes edit

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. The Air Force Annex of the Base Borden Military Museum is dedicated in memory of First World War Victoria Cross recipient Lieutenant Alan Arnett McLeod, the youngest Canadian airman to receive the award. Worthington Park, a part of the Base Borden Military Museum complex, is named after Major-General F. F. Worthington (Frederic Franklin Worthington), the father of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps. General Worthington is buried in Worthington Park.

Air shows edit

Snowbird 10 sporting the 40th season anniversary sticker above the Canadian flag. 431 squadron was in town for the CFB Borden Canadian Forces Day and Air Show.

On specific days, CFB Borden organised air shows. For example:

Economy edit

  • CFB Borden local spending impact: $296,062,000[23]
  • CFB Borden estimated local spending impacts: $472,387,000 (direct & indirect)[23]
  • CFB Borden estimated direct employment: 5,158[23]
  • CFB Borden estimated indirect employment: 518[23]

Federal heritage edit

The Building O-102 at CFB Borden was recognized as a federal heritage building in 1995.[24] Constructed in 1948 to plans prepared in 1945, Building O-102 is associated with the massive construction and modernization program undertaken by the Department of National Defence at the end of WWII.[24]

Architecture edit

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[25]
  • Barrie Armoury Recognized - 1997[26]
  • Croil Hall Building A-142 Recognized - 2003[27]
  • Dyte Hall A-78 Recognized - 1995[28]
  • Hangars 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13 Classified - 1988[9]
  • Headquarters Building O-102 Recognized - 1995[24]
  • Hennessy Block Building S-136 Recognized - 1995[29]
  • Junior Ranks Quarters T-114[30] and T-115[31] Recognized - 1995
  • Maple Mess A-74 Recognized - 1995[32]
  • Museum Building E-108 Recognized - 1995[33]
  • Non Commissioned Officer Building O-109 Recognized - 1995[34]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b Canadian Forces Day and Air Show
  3. ^ "16 Wing Borden". Royal Canadian Air Force. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. ^ Busting a myth about Canadian Forces Base Borden's namesake
  5. ^ "RCAF Celebrates Centennial With Monument Unveiling at CFB Borden". 5 April 2024.
  6. ^ Milberry, Larry (1984). Sixty Years—The RCAF and CF Air Command 1924–1984. Toronto: Canav Books. p. 17,21, 42-43. ISBN 0-9690703-4-9.
  7. ^ "16 Wing History". 16 October 2020.
  8. ^ Royal Flying Corps Hangars National Historic Site of Canada
  9. ^ a b Royal Flying Corps Hangars. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  10. ^ Ontario Heritage Foundation plaque
  11. ^ "Military parade at CFB Borden". 17 September 2017.
  12. ^ "DND/CF - Backgrounder - Defence Infrastructure Projects At CFB Borden". Archived from the original on 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
  13. ^ "Clifford Hunt | the Canadian Encyclopedia".
  14. ^ "Band marches into Barrie".
  15. ^ Staff writer (c. 1942). Pilots Handbook of Aerodromes and Seaplane Bases Vol. 1. Royal Canadian Air Force. p. 100.
  16. ^ "CFB Borden Aerodrome". Archived from the original on 2012-03-30.
  17. ^ "Borden Flying Club".
  18. ^ Canadian Forces Base Borden
  19. ^ 9 things to know about the CFB Borden air show
  20. ^ Canada Day Air Show, CFB Borden
  21. ^ Borden Air Show
  22. ^ Canadian Armed Forces Day and Air Show 2018 on June 03, 2018
  23. ^ a b c d CFB Borden
  24. ^ a b c Building O-102. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  25. ^ Building P-148 (School). Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  26. ^ Barrie Armoury. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  27. ^ Croil Hall (Building A142). Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  28. ^ Building A-78. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  29. ^ Building S-136. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  30. ^ Junior Ranks Quarters (Building T-114). Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  31. ^ Junior Ranks Quarters (Building T-115). Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  32. ^ Building A-74 (Maple Mess). Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  33. ^ Building E-108. Canadian Register of Historic Places.
  34. ^ Building O-109 (NCO Building). Canadian Register of Historic Places.

External links edit