Previous Events

Trip to CFB Trenton Follow Up

On Tuesday, September 15th, the NATO Council brought a large group of visitors on an exciting tour of Canadian Forces Base Trenton. In the day long event which included complimentary lunch and dinner with high ranking air force and army officers, the group toured a number of facilities on the base, and were given access to some of Canada’s most advanced training facilities, hangars, and aircraft.

Home to 8 Wing, CFB Trenton is one of Canada’s largest air bases, and houses the majority of its tactical airlift and strategic airlift capabilities. The base is responsible for coordinating and supplying key air lift operations across Canada and abroad, and is home to some of the Air Force’s largest aircraft, including the CC-117 Globemaster. Canada’s Disaster Assistance Response Team, otherwise known as DART, is also stationed at Trenton.

Upon arriving at the base the group was given a presentation by military officials of Trenton’s current activities, as well as an enlightening and entertaining presentation of the current combat gear worn by Canadian soldiers in the field, which can typically weigh well in excess of 60 pounds.

Afterwards, the tour group visited the National Air Force Museum and had lunch. The museum is home to a number of famous planes that have flown in the Canadian Air Force over the years, including a fully restored Halifax Bomber that was rescued from a Norwegian lake after being shot down in 1945.

Members of the tour visit the cockpit of a CC-117

After lunch, the group was treated to an extensive tour of one of Trenton’s most notable facilities; the staging warehouse for DART’s strategic operations. All of DART’s equipment used in international emergencies was on display, and were given in-depth explanations of their use and development by Canadian Forces personnel.

Once the viewing of the DART facility was completed, the tour took a brief moment to visit the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial, a recently erected site built to honour Canadian soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan. Those in attendance had the opportunity to participate in a short memorial service for the fallen.

The tour was then split into two groups to view the next two high tech facilities on base; the virtual shooting range and the pilot simulators and training aircraft. The shooting range proved to be one of the most lively activities, in which the two groups were shown how to load, aim, fire, and reload air powered replicas of the Canadian Forces’ standard C-7 rifles. The extensive training facilities located next to the range that we also visited, are some of the most advanced in the world, and are saving the Canadian military hundreds of millions of dollars with fully simulated training programs for airplane pilots and operators. Alongside two fully maneuverable simulated cockpits, the base has a full sized replica of a CC-117 fuselage, which operators use to train in.

Finally, the tour group was given full access to what was for many the highlight of the trip; one of the military’s four CC-117s. One of the largest transport planes in the world and the largest in the Canadian Air Forces’ airlift arsenal, the CC-117 has seen service in such places as Haiti and Afghanistan. Those in attendance were able to meet the aircraft’s pilots and operators, sit in the cockpit, walk around in the cargo area, and even see a demonstration of the plane’s massive load bay doors opening and closing.

Upon the completion of the CC-117 tour, the group was treated to a substantial dinner in the Officer’s Mess, and had the opportunity to thank the Canadian Forces personnel who had accompanied them on the tour. Once the speeches were made and gratitude was expressed, the tour left to return to Toronto. It was a grand event for all involved, and was an excellent prelude to the NATO tour of Europe that is now taking place.

We would like to thank the Canadian Forces personnel who brought us on this tour. Lieutenant Colonel David Alexander, Major John Lewis, and Captain Chris Daniel.

NATO Association of Canada
The NATO Association of Canada (NAOC) strives to educate and engage Canadians about NATO and its goals of peace, prosperity and security. The NAOC ensures Canada has an informed citizenry able to participate in discussions about its role on the world stage.