CFS Leitrim Detachment
CFS Leitrim Detachment's remote operation operates and maintains signals intelligence collection and geo-location facilities in support of the Canadian cryptologic program. It also operates and maintains radio frequency finding facilities in support of search & rescue and other programs.
The history of Supplementary Radio activity goes back to 1945 when the RCN officially assumed control of the High Frequency Direction Finder (HFDF) station at Gander. In l949, when Newfoundland joined Confederation, the RCN formally acquired the property known as the "Old NavySite" and Naval Radio station Gander was born.
Less than a year later, the RCN and USN formed the CANUS Atlantic HFDF Network with Naval Radio Station Gander, along with NRS Coverdale, the major participants.
Throughout the 1950's and early 1960's, NRS Gander remained a small HFDF station, reaching a maximum complement of 30 personnel in l962. NRS Coverdale, on the other hand, grew quickly in the l950s with responsibilities beyond their HFDF role and in 1958, HMCS Coverdale assumed the additional responsibilities of the Alternative Net Control Station for the Atlantic HFDF Net. HMCS Coverdale also peaked in l962 with a total of 174 Officers and Men.
In 1965, it became obvious that the new facilities would be required to replace the World War II construction in both Gander and Coverdale. At the same time, new technology equipment was being contemplated that would both greatly increase the cost of the facilities and potentially render one of the stations redundant. In late 1966, it was announced that a new facility would be constructed in Gander and that it would assume the duties of NRS Gander and HMCS Coverdale. With that announcement, CFS Gander was established as the largest station in the Supplementary Radio System.
It was in 1977, as Air Command was preparing to assume control of CFS Gander from Communications Command that the most significant change occurred. On February 9, 1977, 770 Communications Research Squadron was formed to take over the communications research functions formally carried out by CFS Gander.
Throughout the 80's, the Squadron continued to evolve in line with the changing world situation. In the summer of 1988, it returned once again to its naval roots with the formation of a sea-going team within the Squadron, tasked to support the Commander of Maritime Command.
Continuing advancements in technology has enabled 770 Communication Research Squadron to advance throughout the 90s and beyond with the remoting of 770 Communication Research Squadron Operations to CFS Leitrim. On July 25, 1997, 770 Communication Research Squadron stood down and returned as CFS Leitrim Detachment Gander.
Today, this remote site is maintained by a handful of dedicated personnel.