5 Wing Goose Bay

We are a vibrant air base conducting a wide variety of operations including both joint and combined training. Located on the Northeast coast of Canada, our strategic location enables us to play a key role in protecting the sovereignty of Canada and the air defence of North America.

"Premier airspace to challenge the best"

Motto

"SULIAKAKATIGeJUT" Means "Working Together" in Inuktitut.

Mission

The mission of 5 Wing Goose Bay is to support Allied, NORAD and Canadian Forces (CF) training and operations.

Vision

Through dynamic, innovative and cost-effective practices, the 5 Wing Goose Bay Team will provide flexible airspace in a world-class military facility. We will excel at meeting the diverse training objectives of our current Allies and future users. Happy Valley-Goose Bay represent nearly one third of the total Labrador population.

Location

Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador is located in Canada's most easterly province, Newfoundland and Labrador. More precisely, Happy Valley-Goose Bay is located at the extreme western end of Lake Melville, a long salt water lake that extends 210 km inland from the Labrador Sea, and ultimately empties into the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate

The daily weather forecast for 5 Wing Goose Bay is located on the Environment Canada Weather Network.

Population

The approximately 7,500 residents of Happy Valley-Goose Bay represent nearly one third of the total Labrador population. The Base provides employment for a large local civilian workforce of permanent and seasonal employees, many of whom are of native ancestry.

Economic Impact

Military activities at 5 Wing Goose Bay will continue to have an economic impact on the Zone, the Labrador Region and the Province. A socio-economic report completed for the Institute for Environmental Monitoring and Research in 2008 indicates that military activity contributed to the Province a total of 853 person years of employment (196 direct, 405 indirect, 252 induced) for a total of $ 74.2 million contribution to the Gross Domestic Product of the Province in the 2006/2007 fiscal year. 5 Wing contributes $16.8 million to provincial government coffers annually.

History

5 Wing Goose Bay is presently operated as an Air Force Base by Canadian Forces Air Command within the Department of National Defence. The base was the home of permanent detachments of the Luftwaffe (Germany), the Aeronautica Militaire (Italy), as well as hosting temporary training deployments from the Royal Air Force (United Kingdom), the Royal Netherlands Air Force and deployments from several other NATO countries. Goose Bay was a very attractive training facility for these air forces in light of the high population concentration in their countries, as well as numerous laws preventing low-level flying. Many of the ranges surrounding 5 Wing Goose Bay are larger than some European countries.

In 1941 Canada and the United States built an airfield on the present site for anti-submarine patrol aircraft and staging aircraft to Britain. The site was selected because of the excellent flying weather, ease of construction, accessibility by sea during the summer months and strategic location. Three runways of 7,000 feet were built in record time in the triangular pattern typical of Commonwealth airfields. From October 1942 until the end of the war, 22,500 Canadian and American built fighters and bombers staged through Goose Bay on their way to Europe.

The Data Maintenance Control Centre (DMCC), as it was called, was originally the Melville Manual NORAD Control Centre (MNCC) and had its beginnings in the early fifties. With the start of the Cold War, a line of radar sites was built from Newfoundland along the Labrador coast to join the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line at Cape Dyer. The Melville MNCC was constructed by Fraser-Bruce Terminal Ltd., and was completed in the spring of 1953. The complex was built along with sister sites at Cartwright, Hopedale, Sagalek and Resolution Island, all of which were eventually de-activated by the United States Air Force (USAF) in the sixties.

The 641 Aircraft Control and Warning (AC&W) Squadron (USAF) at Melville was activated on 1 August 1953 under the command of Major Joseph A. Kuhborn. The site's responsibilities were surveillance, identification and interceptor control for the Labrador area. This was accomplished by the outlying Radar Sites reporting to Melville where the overall command was exercised.

Along with these Pinetree radars, the USAF increased its strategic presence by deploying KC-97 tankers in support of B-47 bombers. Air Defense Command stationed a full squadron of F-106 interceptors here and by the early 60's, KC-135's were operating from Goose Bay in support of B-52 bombers.

Most of the construction on the American Side took place between 1951 and 1965 and the infrastructure was capable of supporting 12,000 servicemen and dependants.

From its origin under the North East Air Command, Melville was maintained and manned by the USAF through many organizational changes within NORAD, until finally being handed over to the Canadian Forces on 1 July 1971.

Melville was officially handed over from LCol W.S. Humphreys (USAF) to LCol J.E. Lind (CF) at a ceremony attended by local military and civilian officials. The Melville MNCC then became a part of the Canadian Forces Air Defence Command System which stretches from "Coast to Coast" across Canada. In July 1975 the MNCC then became a limited Long Range Radar (LRR) in that the radar inputs are now automatically passed to the Control Centre in North Bay. The DMCC was responsible for the quality of radar inputs to 22 NORAD Region as well as the usual control of interceptor Aircraft whenever assigned. In February 1988 the closure of the Melville DMCC was announced and on 1 July 1988 it ceased operations.

By 1976, all Strategic Air Command units had been withdrawn and the USAF operation was reduced to a Military Airlift Command detachment committed to transient servicing of C-5, C-141 and C-130 transport Aircraft.

The 1970's saw the RCAF move from the Canadian end of the airfield to the southern portion - still referred to as the Canadian and American sides respectively. As well, the CF reduced its presence in Goose Bay and the Station's principal reason for being was solely to support the Melville Radar Site.

The role of 5 Wing Goose Bay has changed remarkably in the past few years from that of a small Station supporting a Long Range Radar (LRR) site to a medium-sized base sustaining multinational flying operations and hosting a wide array of many international guests, both military and civilian.

Squadrons

Aircraft

Our Contact Details

5 Wing Goose Bay
PO Box 7002, Station A
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Labrador A0P 1S0

5 Wing Public Affairs Officer

Office: (709) 896-6928
Cellular: (709) 896-1456
Facsimile: (709) 896-6997
E-mail: Bowen.D2@forces.gc.ca

All general or media enquiries, including all questions or suggestions regarding any section of the 5 Wing web site, can be addressed to the 5 Wing Public Affairs officer.

SERCO Customer Service Help Desk

Open 24 hours a day, 7 days/week
(709) 896-6900 local 6946
E-mail: csc@forces.gc.ca