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CFB Esquimalt – former Esquimalt Royal Navy Dockyard
Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada
Cfb-esquimalt-aerial.id.jpg
Canadian naval ships docked at CFB Esquimalt
Coordinates 48°25′52″N 123°25′54″W / 48.43111°N 123.43167°W / 48.43111; -123.43167Coordinates: 48°25′52″N 123°25′54″W / 48.43111°N 123.43167°W / 48.43111; -123.43167
Type Naval base
Site information
Controlled by Canadian Forces
Site history
Built 1860 to present
In use 1860 –present
Battles/wars
Official name: Esquimalt Naval Sites National Historic Site of Canada
Designated: 1995
Garrison information
Garrison Royal Canadian Navy

Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt (CFB Esquimalt) is Canada's Pacific Coast naval base and home port to Maritime Forces Pacific and Joint Task Force Pacific Headquarters. As of 2018, 4,411 military personnel and 2,762 civilians work at CFB Esquimalt.


Geography

The base occupies approximately 41 km2 (10,000 acres) at the southern tip of Vancouver Island on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in the municipality of Esquimalt, adjacent to the western limit of the provincial capital, Victoria.

Facilities

CFB Esquimalt comprises facilities that include Naden (formerly HMCS Naden), Her Majesty's Canadian (HMC) Dockyard Esquimalt, Fleet Maintenance Facility – Cape Breton (FMF CB), a Fire Fighting and Damage Control School, the Naval Officer Training Centre (NOTC) Venture, and extensive housing including 716 personnel married quarters located at nine sites such as Belmont Park, WorkPoint, and Royal Roads.

The present dockyard and dry dock, known as HMC Dockyard Esquimalt, dates to the Royal Navy's Esquimalt Royal Navy Dockyard (1842–1905) and was the Royal Navy's Pacific Station until 1911. Today it serves as the Canadian Naval Headquarters in the Pacific.

Operational and support units

Major units of the base are:

  • Campus Pacific
  • Fleet Diving Unit (Pacific)
  • 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron
  • Canadian Forces Health Services Centre (Pacific)
  • Naval Provost Marshal (Pacific)
  • 5th (British Columbia) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
  • The Canadian Scottish Regiment
  • 11 Service Battalion
  • 4th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group
  • Acoustic Data Analysis Centre
  • Regional Cadets (Pacific)

Historic site

Due to their significance in Canadian naval history, four sites at CFB Esquimalt (the Dockyard, the former Royal Navy Hospital, the Veterans' Cemetery, and the Cole Island Magazine) have been designated the Esquimalt Naval Sites National Historic Site of Canada.

Ships

HMCS Aurora Patriot Patrician Esquimalt 1921 E-6546-2
HMCS Aurora, HMCS Patriot, and HMCS Patrician at Esquimalt in 1921.
Orca55gulfislands
Orca of the Orca-class patrol vessels cruises among the Gulf Islands, 1 August 2007.
HMCS-Brandon-Minesweeperhig
HMCS Brandon, minesweeper based out of CFB Esquimalt.

As of March 2013, CFB Esquimalt services the following ships assigned to Canadian Fleet Pacific

  • Halifax-class patrol frigates
    • HMCS Vancouver (FFH 331)
    • HMCS Regina (FFH 334)
    • HMCS Calgary (FFH 335)
    • HMCS Winnipeg (FFH 338)
    • HMCS Ottawa (FFH 341)
  • Kingston-class coastal defence vessels
    • HMCS Nanaimo (MM 702)
    • HMCS Edmonton (MM 703)
    • HMCS Whitehorse (MM 705)
    • HMCS Yellowknife (MM 706)
    • HMCS Saskatoon (MM 709)
    • HMCS Brandon (MM 710)
  • Victoria-class patrol submarines
    • HMCS Victoria (SSK 876)
    • HMCS Corner Brook (SSK 878)
    • HMCS Chicoutimi (SSK 879)
  • Auxiliary vessels
    • CFAV Tillicum (YTM 555), tugboat
    • Fire-class fireboat
      • CFAV Firebrand (YTR 562), fireboat
    • Ville-class tugs
      • CFAV Lawrenceville (YTL 590), tugboat
      • CFAV Parksville (YTL 591), tugboat
    • Glen-class tugs
      • CFAV Glendyne (YTB 640), tugboat
      • CFAV Glendale (YTB 641), tugboat
  • Orca-class patrol craft training tender
    • Orca (PCT 55)
    • Raven (PCT 56)
    • Caribou (PCT 57)
    • Renard (PCT 58)
    • Wolf (PCT 59)
    • Grizzly (PCT 60)
    • Cougar (PCT 61)
    • Moose (PCT 62)

Architecture

Esquimalt, Olympic Peninsula, 1974
CFB Esquimalt on Vancouver Island, in the background the Olympic Peninsula.
CFB Esquimalt map
Map showing the three areas of the base.

CFB Esquimalt contains several recognized and classified federal heritage buildings on the Register of the Government of Canada Heritage Buildings.

  • Colwood Site
    • Guard House Building 38 Recognized – 2002
    • Belmont Road Main Gatehouse BEL 13 Recognized – 2000
    • Cow Barn / Dairy RR6 Recognized – 2000
    • Gatehouse Lodge RR8 Recognized – 2000
    • Grant Block, Building 24 Recognized – 1990
    • Gymnasium RR22 Recognized – 2000
    • Hatley Castle Classified – 1986
    • Nixon Block RR24A Recognized – 2000
    • Stable / Garage RR4 Recognized – 2000
    • Swimming Pool RR22A Recognized – 2000
  • Dockyard
    • Admiral's Residence, former Naval Storekeeper's Residence, Building D101 Classified – 1991
    • Aldergrove Building DY 199 Recognized – 2001
    • Bickford Tower, Building D118 Recognized – 1988
    • Clothing / Receiving Stores, Building D211 Recognized – 1991
    • Cordage / Furniture Stores, Building D80 Recognized – 1991
    • Dry Dock Pumphouse, Building D175 Recognized – 1991
    • Electrical Shop Building DY 141 Recognized – 2001
    • Engineer's Residence, Building D1 Recognized – 1991
    • Factory, Building 51 Recognized – 1991
    • Guard House Building D214 Recognized – 1991
    • Main Office, Building D70 Recognized – 1991
    • Oil Stores Building D83 Recognized – 1991
    • Ordnance Stores, Building D77 Recognized – 1991
    • Pump House, Graving Dock No. 1 Recognized – 1991
    • Royal Navy Prison, Building D26 Recognized – 1991
    • Rum / Salt Meats Stores, Building D75-D76 Recognized – 1991
    • Sail Loft / Oil Stores, Building D109 Recognized – 1991
    • Shipwrights' Shed / Spar Shed, Building D113 Recognized – 1991
    • Stone Frigate Building D38 Recognized – 1991
    • Transformer House, Graving Dock No. 11 Recognized – 1991
    • Veterans' Cemetery Chapel Recognized – 1996
    • Warehouse Building D85 Recognized – 1986
    • Fleet Maintenance Facility Cape Breton, Buildings D250 & D252 Recognized – 1991; Final Construction Completed – 2020
  • Naden
    • Administration Block, Building 37 Recognized – 1990
    • Administration Office, former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge, Building 5 Recognized – 1991
    • Catholic Chapel, Building 35 Recognized – 1990
    • Communications School, Building 67 Recognized – 1991
    • Drill Hall Building 33-33A-33B Recognized – 1991
    • Gunnery School, former Building 50 Recognized – 1991
    • Nelles Block, Building 34 Recognized – 1994
    • Officer's Ward / Base Museum, Building 20 Recognized – 1990
    • Protestant Chapel Building 39 Recognized – 1990
    • Radar Training Building 92A Recognized – 2006
    • Stores / Museum Warehouse, Building 29 Recognized – 1990
    • Torpedo School, former Building 2 Recognized – 1991
    • Trades Training Building 92 Recognized – 2006
  • Signal Hill
    • Armament Artificer's and Sergeant's Quarters, former Building 522 Recognized – 1991
    • Gun Emplacement, Building 578 Recognized – 1990
    • Private Married Quarters, former Building 523 Recognized – 1991
    • Reserve Ordnance Stores, former Building 508 Recognized – 1991
  • Work Point Barracks
    • Administration Building 1020 Recognized – 1991
    • Artillery Barracks, Building 1075 Recognized – 1991
    • Barracks Building 1004 Recognized – 1991
    • Work Point Guard House Recognized – 2011

The Institute for Stained Glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at the Multi-Faith Naval Chapel and the stained glass at the Old Naval and Garrison Church (1866), now known as St Paul's Anglican.

Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum

Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum
Location HMCS Naden, Naden Museum Square, Building 37, Esquimalt, British Columbia

CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum is located at HMCS Naden. Building 20 (c. 1891), part of Naden Museum Square is a Municipal Heritage Property. Building 37 (c. 1889) part of the Naden Museum Square is also a Municipal Heritage Property and is also on the Canadian Register of Historic Places. HMCS Naden was named after the Dominion Government Ship Naden, which was commissioned as a tender for the Royal Naval College of Canada from 1918 to 1922 for training in sail. The museum is affiliated with: Canadian Museums Association (CMA), Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), Organization of Military Museums of Canada (OMMC) and Virtual Museum of Canada.

Other facilities

CFB Esquimalt operates a bus service to provide intra-base transportation. The Lookout is the base newspaper, which covers local, national and international news with specific interest to Navy and Canadian Forces members and family issues.

Other properties that are part of CFB Esquimalt include the Albert Head training area near Albert Head, Metchosin, located approximately 30 km (19 mi) by road southwest of downtown Victoria. It occupies approximately 88 hectares (220 acres), four of which are developed as training facilities. Fort Albert Head was established in the late 1800s along with Fort Rodd Hill and other installations, to provide shore defence for the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Victoria Harbour. The training area is used for Regular and Reserve Force training throughout nine months of the year and is home to the Regional Cadet Instructor School (Pacific) that trains Canadian Forces Cadet Instructors Cadre (CIC) Branch that deliver the cadet program. During the summer months of June, July and August the area houses the Albert Head Air Cadet Summer Training Centre. Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental Test Range at Nanoose Bay is also part of CFB Esquimalt. The facility provides non-explosive technical testing of sonobuoys, torpedoes and other equipment. Naval Radio Section Aldergrove in the Fraser Valley houses transmitting and receiving equipment for long distance communications. Also, the CFB Esquimalt Base Fire Hall & Emergency Response Centre was founded to provide services to CFB Esquimalt and the civil community in the way of fire intervention and emergency response.

Economic facts

  • CFB Esquimalt contributes nearly $600 million into the local community annually.
  • CFB Esquimalt is the largest community employer.
  • CFB Esquimalt provides 7,866 jobs in the community.
  • CFB Esquimalt spends locally 770,847,000 dollars annually.
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