Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt
Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt is located just west of Victoria, British Columbia and is home to the Canadian Pacific Naval Fleet. First established as a military installation by the Royal Navy in 1855, CFB Esquimalt has been serving the Canadian Navy from its inception in 1910 to this, its centennial year.
The base is responsible for providing support services to all ships and personnel of both Maritime Forces Pacific, which is responsible for maintaining multi-purpose, combat-capable maritime forces, and Joint Task Force Pacific, which is focussed on the defence of Canada and all civil support operations within the Pacific Region.
In addition to providing support services to both Regular and Reserve Force units, CFB Esquimalt houses organizations such as the Canadian Forces Fleet School, Venture, the Naval Officers Training Centre and Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton. The base is essentially a community within a community, with its own services including police, fire, ambulance, postal, legal, social work and chaplains to name a few. The base’s security forces, along with the Queen’s Harbour Master are responsible for the safety and security of Esquimalt Harbour.
The Base Commander is the landlord of 1,500 buildings spread over 23 sites on nearly 5,000 hectares ranging from Masset to Matsqui. CFB Esquimalt and Maritime Forces Pacific contribute over half a billion dollars annually to the local economy and employ approximately 4000 military personnel and 2000 civilians. The Defence Team is proud of its contributions to the local community through fundraising and volunteering.
443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron
443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron works with the Navy supporting government efforts to combat drug, fisheries and environmental violations in Canadian waters. Internationally, the squadron supports the Navy in operations of surface and subsurface surveillance, as well as peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.
How we do it
The squadron provides Maritime helicopter air detachments, known as HELAIRDETS, in the defence of Canada and Canadian interests at home and abroad.
Did you know?
443 (MH) Squadron is a west coast Sea King operational Squadron.
Headquarters are based in Patricia Bay, BC.
Serves and supports the Maritime Operations Group, based in CFB Esquimalt, manning various ships in the fleet,.
Includes 248 military personnel and 3 civilian personnel.
Founded in 1942.
Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot (CFAD) Rocky Point
Canadian Forces Ammunition Depot (CFAD) Rocky Point is one of four ammunition depots strategically located across Canada. It provides ammunition, explosives and related support services to CF operations and DND activities.
Opened in 1955, CFAD Rocky Point is located southwest of Victoria and occupies approximately 500 acres of property on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. CFAD Rocky Point is a lodger unit of CFB Esquimalt and reports directly to the Commander Canadian Materiel Support Group (CMSG) in Ottawa. As a field unit assigned to CMSG, CFAD Rocky Point falls under the Canadian Operational Support Command (CANOSCOM).
- Organizational structure: CANOSCOM/CMSG > CFAD Rocky Point
- Officer in Charge: Commanding Officer
- # of military personnel: 3
- # of civilian personnel: 57
- Location: Rocky Point
- Date stood up: July 1955
Canadian Forces Fleet School Esquimalt (CFFSE)
The mission of Canadian Forces Fleet School Esquimalt (CFFSE) is to train the naval defence team, particularly sailors, in the general knowledge and skills required for naval operations.
How we do it
- CFFSE comprises a military and civilian team of more than 300 professionals who conduct hard sea trades training. There are five training divisions:
- Marine systems engineering
- Combat systems engineering
- Damage control
- The school continues to modernize its learning environment. It has moved from a traditional ‘chalk and talk’ approach to computer-based learning applications and increased emphasis on network-based distributed learning. CFFSE operates several state-of-the-art computer-based training systems such as the Naval Combat Operations Trainer, the Damage Control Training Facility, the CANTASS Mission Simulator (Pacific), the Command and Control System Trainer, and the Naval Small Arms Trainer. The recently commissioned Damage Control Training Facility, Galiano is now operational, providing near real-world simulations of a variety of shipboard damage control scenarios.
- Camosun College is a training partner that provides academic training previously conducted on the East Coast. This partnership significantly reduces time spent away from home for the West Coast sailors attending career technical courses.
Did you know?
- CFFSE first opened on October 8, 1958 as the Naval Technical School.
- Occupies upwards of 35 buildings at CFB Esquimalt and throughout the region.
- Is the Iroquois Class Centre of Excellence.
- Operated by 305 military personnel and 27 civilian personnel.
- Includes approximately 50 training systems which range from actual equipment to simulators and emulators of a wide variety of systems.
Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre Victoria
- JRCC Victoria is responsible for coordinating the Search and Rescue (SAR) response to air and marine incidents within the region. The Victoria Search and Rescue Region (SRR) is made up of B.C., the Yukon, and a portion of the north-eastern Pacific ocean including:
- Approximately 490,000 square miles of mainly mountainous terrain
- 275,000 square miles of ocean
- 20,000 miles of coastline (the oceanic area extends westward 900 miles in the south and 350 miles in the north)
- As a secondary role, JRCC Victoria coordinates requests for humanitarian assistance from other levels of government. JRCC Victoria uses federal SAR resources to assist with incidents that fall within provincial or municipal jurisdiction. Examples include, searching for missing hunters, hoisting injured hikers and medical evacuation.
How we do it
- The Air Force and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) jointly staff the JRCC Victoria 24 hours a day, year-round. Two marine coordinators (CCG officers), an air coordinator (Air Force pilot or navigator) and an air assistant (aerospace control operator) respond to tens-of-thousands of radio and telephone calls that result in nearly 4,000 SAR cases annually. Approximately 70 percent of these cases are marine related, with the busiest months being May to August.
- Search & Rescue is truly an international activity. JRCC Victoria works closely and shares resources freely with three adjacent RCCs: Juneau, Alaska to the north, Trenton to the east, and Seattle, Washington to the south. It is not unusual for American or Canadian rescue units to respond to distress calls in each other's area when they are the closest available unit. Joint operating agreements and special customs procedures promote maximum cooperation that provides an optimal response to any distress.
- One of the most useful tools in the Canadian SAR system is the Search and Rescue Satellite or SARSAT/COSPAS satellite surveillance system; jointly founded in 1981 by Canada, USA, France and USSR. At present, 18 countries participate. The Canadian system uses three earth stations: Edmonton, Churchill and Goose Bay, to monitor six satellites in polar orbit. These satellites detect and locate air and marine emergency beacons, referred to as Electronic Location Transmitters (ELTs) and Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs), which transmit on 121.5, 243.0 and 406.0 MHZ.
Did you know?
- JRCC Victoria is located in HMC Dockyard at CFB Esquimalt and reports to the SRR Commander, also the Commander of MARPAC and Joint Task Force (Pacific).
- The Victoria Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) is one of three Canadian JRCCs; the others being in Trenton, Ontario and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- The Department of National Defence (DND) has overall responsibility for the operation of the coordinated federal SAR system.
- Includes 16 military personnel and 15 civilian personnel.
- The Coast Guard is a large and integral part of the SAR system, providing the primary marine resources to the federal SAR system (two vessels continually patrolling the North/South SAR areas, plus 11 rescue cutters and 2 hovercraft located at 12 fixed bases on 30 minute standby).
- Canadian Naval ships are considered secondary SAR resources under the National SAR Plan and regularly respond.
- The Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA) is a national organization of volunteers who actively participate in aircraft searches (980 members and operate 100 private aircraft in many areas of the Victoria SRR).
- The Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary (CGA) is a national volunteer marine group with 1,100 members that operate 380 private rescue boats (they are well organized and train regularly; these community-based volunteers can often provide the fastest response).
- The primary SAR air resource in this region is 442 Transport and Rescue Squadron located at 19 Wing Comox on Vancouver Island.
Contacting the JRCC
- The toll-free emergency phone number for JRCC is 1-800-567-5111 that is only available in BC and the Yukon. Cellular users can contact JRCC toll-free by calling Pound SAR (#727) – a free community service provided by Telus Mobility and Rogers. Members of the media are requested to call 250-413-8937 to speak to a representative of the JRCC.