8 Wing Trenton

From delivering supplies to the high Arctic to airlifting troops, equipment and humanitarian loads worldwide, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton is the hub of air mobility operations in Canada. 8 Wing is responsible for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations over a large area under the jurisdiction of the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC) Trenton. CFB Trenton is home to the famous Skyhawks; this parachute demonstration team is a sub-unit of the Canadian Army Advanced Warfare Center (CAAWC).

8 Wing/CFB Trenton is at the forefront of Canadian military airlift with its fleets of tactical and strategic transport and SAR aircraft. Daily flights to the four corners of the globe are routine for this wing which is highly responsive to international events.

Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, this base's history began during the interwar period - building at the base began in the early 1930's, to be further expanded during the Second World War. CFB Trenton is once again undergoing considerable transformation, with the construction of new office buildings, hangars and a control tower; 8 Wing Trenton is arguably becoming one of Canada’s busiest air force bases.

As the hub of air transport operations, 8 Wing is involved in virtually every Canadian Forces operation. Most personnel and equipment deployed to any destination within Canada or around the world pass through Trenton at some point.

Along with higher-profile deployments, aircraft and personnel from CFB Trenton are often involved with resupplying Canadian Forces Station Alert, the world's northernmost inhabited location. CFB Trenton’s 424 Squadron is responsible for providing SAR coverage to a million square-kilometer area in central Canada and has supported international missions in Haiti and Jamaica.

CFB Trenton also provides the equipment warehouse for the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART). This quick response team has provided humanitarian aid to Pakistan following a devastating earthquake in 2005 (Operation PLATEAU), to Sri Lanka in 2005 following the tsunami that hit the region (Operation STRUCTURE), to Turkey in 1999 after a severe earthquake (Operation TORRENT), and to Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 (Operation HESTIA). 8 Wing assets have also supported missions to Libya (Operation MOBILE) and celebrated 10 years of continuous service in Afghanistan Task Force Canuk.

Currently there are approximately 3,200 regular force, 600 reserve force and 500 civilian members who make-up the workforce at 8 Wing/CFB Trenton. Living in many of the communities located in the Quinte Region, members and their families comprise many of the 17,000 Trentonians and 50,000 residents of the City of Belleville.

8 Wing is the largest employer in the Quinte Regions with an annual payroll of more than $110 Million, creating a significant economic impact in the local economy.

Situated on the beautiful North shore of Lake Ontario, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton is located 160 km East of Toronto, and 280 km Southwest of Ottawa. The Wing is located within the newly-formed City of Quinte West; the nearest population centre is Trenton, 3 km West of the Base. Belleville is 13 km to the East.

8 Wing Mission

To provide responsive and flexible Air Mobility, Search & Rescue and globally deployable combat capable Expeditionary Forces serving Canada’s interests.

8 Wing Vision

8 Wing will be the preeminent wing in delivering global effect - fully integrated, responsive and the leader in operational excellence.


Born on the eve of the Great Depression, Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Station Trenton was destined to grow from the original few hundred acres of farmland to the present modern air centre from which transport aircraft are launched to the four corners of the globe.

The station came into being when the RCAF, numbering less than a thousand men and scraping by on a budget of 1.75 million dollars, was not able to afford the luxury of a base as grand as Camp Borden.

Consequently, 968 acres were purchased at Trenton due to its natural advantages as a land plane and seaplane station, moderate climate, as well as its proximity to such industrial and populated centres of Canada as Toronto and Ottawa.

Trenton was conceived by an Order in Council in 1929 and officially opened in August 1931. The commemorative cornerstone was laid by Lord Bessborough, the Governor General at the time. Into the granite were cut the words, "Per Ardua ad Rem," or "Through Adversity to the Good." Prophetic post the dreams of the men who devised it, that motto was long the unspoken watchword of Trenton's airmen.

The first two units to move into Trenton were No. 1 Fighter and No. 3 Army Cooperation Flights, flying Siskin fighters and Tiger Moths. This started a thirty year run of training airmen for Canada, highlighted by the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan during the war, the Korean Airlift, and the innumerable ventures around the world from military assistance in the Middle East, aid to developing African countries, or humanitarian assistance to areas struck by war or natural disaster.

Today, 8 Wing/CFB Trenton is at the forefront of military aviation with its large modern fleet of heavy transport and SAR aircraft.

Contact Details

8 Wing / CFB Trenton
P.O. Box 1000 Station Forces
Astra, Ontario K0K 3W0

Canada Base switchboard: (613) 392-2811 

Wing Community Outreach and Heritage Officer: (613) 392-2811 x3492

Wing Public Affairs Officer for Current Operations: (613) 392-2811 x4565

Wing Public Affairs Officer for Strategic Planning: (613) 392-2811 x2041