CFB Edmonton


CFB Edmonton (also called 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton)[1] is a Canadian Forces base located in Sturgeon County adjacent to the City of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada. It is also known as Edmonton Garrison[1] or "Steele Barracks".

CFB Edmonton / 3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton[1]

BFC Edmonton / Base de soutien de la 3e Division du Canada Edmonton  (French)
1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.jpg
Airport typeMilitary
OwnerGovernment of Canada
OperatorDepartment of National Defence (Canada) and Canadian Armed Forces[2]
LocationSturgeon County, near Edmonton, Alberta
CommanderColonel J.G.P. Lemyre[3]
Occupants3rd Canadian Division
Time zoneMST (UTC−07:00)
 • Summer (DST)MDT (UTC−06:00)
Elevation AMSL2,257 ft / 688 m
Coordinates53°40′09″N 113°28′32″W / 53.66917°N 113.47556°W / 53.66917; -113.47556Coordinates: 53°40′09″N 113°28′32″W / 53.66917°N 113.47556°W / 53.66917; -113.47556 Edit this at Wikidata
CYED is located in Alberta
Location in Alberta
CYED is located in Canada
CYED (Canada)
Number Length Surface
ft m
H03/H21 148 x 492 45 x 150 Asphalt
Helipads, and airside air traffic control tower, at CFB Edmonton


The history of CFB Edmonton begins at an airfield called Blatchford Field,[6] a few kilometres south from where CFB Edmonton would eventually be established. The airfield was established in 1927 as a private and commercial interest by bush pilots, with support from the Mayor of Edmonton, airfield namesake Kenny Blatchford, opening a few months after he ended his term as mayor with his election as a Member of Parliament representing the city. The airfield became important to the opening up and development of the Canadian north, while also cementing Edmonton's place as the "Gateway to the North".

During the Second World War, Blatchford Field became a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) training station under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. No. 16 Elementary Flying Training School (No. 16 EFTS) and No. 2 Air Observers School (No. 2 AOS) used the aerodrome. The RCAF also ran No. 4 Initial Training School (No. 4 ITS) which was a ground school located at the University of Alberta.[7] No. 16 EFTS closed in 1942 and No. 2 AOS closed in 1944. After No. 2 AOS closed, the station formally became known as RCAF Station Edmonton. Many RCAF squadrons and units were located here, including a survival school and the RCAF Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE). A United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) B-29 bomber detachment also used the station.[8]

During the war, the airfield was a major factor in supporting the Allies of World War II, becoming a staging point for the U.S. defence of Alaska, as well as a major waypoint of the Northwest Staging Route supplying equipment and aircraft to the Soviet military. Aircraft had to be ferried and transport aircraft used the aerodrome to support the construction of the Alaska Highway. Air traffic increased significantly and flying activities were becoming hazardous. Since the old airfield could not be expanded because of its proximity to the city of Edmonton, the U.S. Government built a new air facility at Namao, about 11 km (6.8 mi) north of the city. The United States Army Corps of Engineers built two runways at the base, 03/21 and 12/30, both 2,100 m (6,890 ft) long and Canada's longest at the time.[9] The Americans ran the Namao airfield until the end of the war when the Canadian Government took it over. With time, RCAF Station Edmonton also developed severe limitations at Blatchford, and on 1 October 1955 all RCAF Squadrons and support units were transferred to the "new" RCAF Station Namao. Blatchford Field was turned over to the Edmonton municipal government and became the commercial Edmonton City Centre (Blatchford Field) Airport.[10]

During the Cold War, RCAF Station Namao was used by the United States Strategic Air Command, which constructed a "Nose Dock" capable of servicing the nose and wings of heavy jet bombers and tankers on the south side of the airfield. The station also hosted the Edmonton Rescue Coordination Centre, and served as home base for United Nations Food Aid flights, delivering aid to Ethiopia, Somalia, and Bosnia. Because Namao at that time had a 4,200-metre (13,780 ft) runway, 12/30, it was designated an emergency Space Shuttle landing site by NASA.[9]

In 1968, when Canada's armed force branches were amalgamated, RCAF Station Namao was redesignated Canadian Forces Base Edmonton (Lancaster Park) and was under command of the new Air Transport Command and later Air Command.[11]

Federal Government budget cuts forced the command of the air station to be transferred to the Canadian Forces Land Force Command in 1994. CFB Edmonton (Lancaster Park)/18 Wing Edmonton was redesignated CFB Edmonton.[12][6]

Although both runways are still visible they are no longer in use except for a 148 ft × 492 ft (45 m × 150 m) section of 03/21 used by helicopters.[4]

In 2010–2011, Government of Canada announced the construction of new facilities for visiting Canadian Armed Forces members training at CFB Edmonton (3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton (3 CDSB)).[13]


The Operational and Support Units of CFB Edmonton are:[14]


The principal function of the CFB Edmonton today is to field a general purpose combat-effective mechanized brigade group, or any portion thereof, ready for deployment to a minimal-intensity battlefield in accordance with assigned tasks.[17]

CFB Edmonton is the headquarters of 3rd Canadian Division, the highest army authority in western Canada, and 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1 CMBG), the only Regular Force brigade group in the region. The base is situated at Steele Barracks (named for Sir Sam Steele) just north of the city. The area formerly known as CFB Griesbach within the city itself is no longer operational. All buildings and land having been sold and are no longer Crown assets. The final closure was announced by Minister MacKay in 2012.[18] The base as a collective is an important part of the community surrounding Edmonton and is home to some of the most prestigious and experienced units in the Canadian Military.[18][19]

The 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, along with elements of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (all part of 1 CMBG) were chosen to be a part of Canada's military response to the September 11, 2001 attacks and were deployed on combat operations to Afghanistan (including Operation Anaconda[20]) in 2001 and 2002. Units from the base were deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of the Canadian Forces command takeover in that area as well. Units from Edmonton were also deployed on domestic operations such as to assist with the Red River Flood in 1997 (where the entire 1 CMBG was deployed)[15][21] and, more recently, as a part of Operation Peregrine[22] in response to the forest fires in British Columbia in 2003. Units from CFB Edmonton were also deployed on numerous peacekeeping operations, including to Bosnia and Kosovo, among others.[16]

At the end of March 2010 there were 4,237 regular military, 905 reserve Class A, B, and C forces, and 665 civilian workers at CFB Edmonton.[17] CFB Edmonton has around one-third of the Canadian army's fighting power.[23]

In February 2012, it was reported that the Alberta Government had been in contact with the federal government and military officials in Ottawa and Edmonton over the use of the runway for MEDIVAC flights with the planned closure of Edmonton City Centre Airport. Alberta Deputy Premier Doug Horner said that he had spoken with the Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, and the Minister of Public Works, Rona Ambrose for further discussion.[24] It was ultimately decided to operate all medical flights out of a purpose built facility at the Edmonton International Airport.[25]

On June 7, 2013, the base hosted the raising of a rainbow flag to kick off Edmonton Pride, the first time[26] that the flag was flown on a Canadian military base.[27]

CFB Edmonton also participated in Operation Unifier in Ukraine, 2015–2016.[28][29][30][31]

In August 2016 CFB Edmonton troops joined the NATO mission in Poland, Operation Reassurance.[32][33]<


  1. ^ a b c Army, Government of Canada, National Defence, Canadian (25 February 2013). "3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton - Canadian Army". Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  2. ^ Government of Canada, National Defence (19 March 2013). "CFB/Garrison Edmonton - Economic Impact - National Defence - Canadian Forces".
  3. ^ Government of Canada, National Defence (25 February 2013). "3rd Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton - Canadian Army".
  4. ^ a b Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 16 July 2020 to 0901Z 10 September 2020.
  5. ^ Canada, Environment and Climate Change (10 January 2018). "Environment and Climate Change Canada". aem.
  6. ^ a b "CFB Edmonton - Army Technology". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  7. ^ Wings Over Alberta - No. BCATP Site Locations Retrieved: 2010-09-22
  8. ^ Canadian Military History Archived 2010-06-02 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved: 2010-09-22
  9. ^ a b CFB Namao Alberta Online Encyclopedia - Alberta's Aviation Heritage. Retrieved: 2011-03-01
  10. ^ RCAF Air Base Alberta Online Encyclopedia - Alberta's Aviation Heritage. Retrieved: 2011-03-01
  11. ^ "CFB Edmonton".
  12. ^ "ALBERTA – Canadian Military History". Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  13. ^ Canada, Employment and Social Development (12 August 2014). "New accommodations for visiting Canadian Armed Forces members training at 3rd Canadian Division Support Base (3 CDSB) Edmonton". gcnws.
  14. ^ Defence, Government of Canada, National (19 March 2013). "CFB/Garrison Edmonton - Economic Impact - National Defence - Canadian Forces". Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  15. ^ a b Government of Canada, National Defence (25 February 2013). "1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group - Regular Force Brigade - Canadian Army".
  16. ^ a b Government of Canada, National Defence (25 February 2013). "1 Combat Engineer Regiment - Regular Force regiment".
  17. ^ a b Defence, Government of Canada, National (19 March 2013). "CFB/Garrison Edmonton - Economic Impact - National Defence - Canadian Forces". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  18. ^ a b Defence, Government of Canada, National. "National Defence - Canadian Armed Forces - Backgrounder - Minister MacKay Announces New Area Headquarters at CFB Edmonton". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  19. ^ "TAKE A STROLL THROUGH HISTORY". Retrieved 21 November 2018. {{cite web}}: External link in |last= (help)
  20. ^ "'Deadly' Canadian snipers cut down enemy fighters". Retrieved 21 November 2018 – via The Globe and Mail.
  21. ^ "Red River Flood". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  22. ^ Government of Canada, National Defence (16 September 2003). "News Release - Canadian Forces End Firefighting Operations in B.C."
  23. ^ "Cyber warfare, drones are new priorities, defence minister tells Edmonton troops". 14 June 2017. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  24. ^ "Medivac flights may land at Edmonton Garrison". CBC News. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2012.
  25. ^ Alberta, Government of. "New air ambulance base will provide quality care for northern Alberta patients". Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  26. ^ Parrish, Julia (7 June 2013). "A Canadian first, CFB Edmonton the first to fly gay pride flag". Edmonton.
  27. ^ "CFB Edmonton 1st base to raise gay-pride flag". CBC News, June 7, 2013.
  28. ^ "Edmonton-based soldiers return from Ukraine deployment". Edmonton Sun. 12 September 2017.
  29. ^ "Edmonton soldiers leave for 6-month mission to train Ukrainian troops -". 3 March 2017.
  30. ^ "Canadian troops leaving Edmonton for Ukraine as part of Operation UNIFIER". Edmonton Sun. 2 August 2016.
  31. ^ Defence, National (31 July 2015). "Operation UNIFIER". aem.
  32. ^ Defence, National (1 May 2014). "Operation REASSURANCE". aem.
  33. ^ "Edmonton troops join NATO mission in Poland". CBC News. 22 August 2016. Archived from the original on 30 November 2021. Retrieved 30 November 2021.

External linksEdit

  Media related to CFB Edmonton at Wikimedia Commons

  • Official website  
  • CFB Edmonton
  • CFB Edmonton - National Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces