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Canadian Forces Station Alert:
Located on the northeastern tip of Ellesmere Island
approximately 817 km from the North Pole, this is Canada's most
northerly station. The Alert Wireless Station was originally
established on 9 April 1950 by the RCAF as a part of the Joint Arctic
Weather Station System, a co-operative effort of the Canadian Department
of Transport and the United States Weather Bureau.
In 1958 the station took on the function of a High Frequency
Direction Finding and Signal Intelligence station operated by the RCAF.
In 1959, the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals assumed control of the
station. By 1961, members of the Royal Canadian Navy were also posted
to the station.
Alert is named after the British ship HMS, which spent the
winter 1875-1876 at Ellesmere Island near the site of the present
As a result of the Unification, the station was re-named CFS Alert and
became a part of the Canadian Forces Supplementary Radio System.
In the mid 1990s, a reorganization and consolidation occurred
within the Canadian Military. Several bases were either downsized,
merged or closed. As a result, CFS Alert was downsized and converted to
remote operation in 1998, along with CFS Masset and CFB Gander's Radio
Station. Staffing levels at Alert were reduced from 215 to 74
personnel. In 2006, further reductions in the military staffing
On 1 April 2009, CFS Alert became an Air Force component and
unit of 8 Wing Trenton.
Today, Alert's mission remains signals intelligence collection and radar
station in support of search and rescue. Currently, Alert has 55
personnel: 2 military, 30 commercial contractors and 4 Environment
Source material: DND press release from February 1994 and
September 1998, Communications & Electronics Museum site -
www.c-and-e-museum.org & CFS Alert site -
Forward Operating Location Iqaluit:
Originally opened as Naval Radio Station Frobisher Bay in 1953
as a High Frequency Direction Finding Station, replacing the former NRS
Fort Chimo, one of Canada's National Signals Intelligence (SIGINT)
organization. The airfield at the station had existed since 1944, when
it was build by American engineers and later transferred to the Canadian
No. 926 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron (USAF) operated the
radar facilities at the station from 1953 to 1961. The RCAF assumed
control of Frobisher Bay during the summer of 1958.
The "Upper site" of the station was abandoned in 1974. The "Lower
site", renamed Iqaluit, has been a Forward Operating Location since the
early 1990s. The airfield is still in use.
Source Material: Canada's national Signals Intelligence
(SIGINT) organization web site - http://www.tscm.com/cse.html,
Communications & Electronics Museum site www.c-and-e-museum.org
& the Pinetree Line web site -
For the full story of NRS Frobisher Bay, visit Pinetree Line
web site - http://www.pinetreeline.org.