Pinetree Line Miscellaneous

1963 Married Quarters Group III Radar Stations National Archives of Canada

10-80/5 TD 3157 (CAS)


Married Quarters
Group III Radar Stations

  1. Some twenty months have elapsed since the first of the Group III Radar Stations was taken over from the USAF on 1 Oct 1961. Since that time the RCAF have been progressively taking over and manning each of the remaining stations and by 1 July 1963 will have completed this operation on the entire chain of eleven stations. Almost from the moment that the takeover agreement was approved by Privy Council 1961-843 on 12 June 1961, the RCAF have, without success, been continuously and strenuously requesting the approval to construct the much needed married quarters at each of the eleven sites.
  2. Due to the isolated and semi-isolated locations of the Group III Radar Stations local rental accommodation is either non-existent or very limited. Wherever married accommodation cannot be provided at such remote sites it is customary to limit the tour of the unaccompanied married service member to one year. To sustain operations at this rate of turnover both at the Group III Radars and those at existing isolated stations such as Cold Lake, DEW Line, Mid-Canada Line and Heavy Radar Stations, is proving to be most difficult within our present manning capability. Because of the limited establishments in the trades primarily involved at radar units it means frequently repeated postings to isolated sites for individuals. If we are to effectively fulfill our commitment to operate the Group III Radar Sites they must be operated as normal RCAF units, which means provision of married quarters, schools and other standard facilities for dependents of the personnel who man them.
  3. I have prepared, as Appendix "A"; to this memorandum, a tabulation which indicates the married quarters and related school requirements at each of the subject sites. These requirements excepting the reduction at Lowther, are in accordance with our most recent TB submission dated 26 February 1963 which has been favourably reviewed by both the Department and TB staffs and is presently with your Deputy Minister. At a recent meeting the submission was discussed between the DM and my Air Member for Technical Services. While our submission proposed to provide transportable married quarters and classrooms on seven of the sites by the use of government loan funds and rental arrangements, the DM considered that these facilities would be more economically provided if purchased outright. It was further recommended by the DM, (and this followed a similar recommendation by CMHC) that Lowther be considered in addition to the four sites previously proposed for entrepreneur housing. If this can be arranged the requirement for Lowther can be reduced by approximately 30 houses as shown in the appended tabulation. I am in agreement with both of these recommendations.
  4. At the meeting described above, the DM indicated that he wished to discuss the subject matter with yourself and the Secretary of the TB in order to determine the next steps to be taken and to reach some agreement in meeting the overall housing requirement. Such agreement was to form the basis upon which we would prepare the final submission to the TB.
  5. I appreciate that due to the many other pressures of work, presently involving the Department, it has as yet not been possible to resolve this matter. However, because of the need for married accommodation at the Group III sites is of the utmost urgency to me, I consider it necessary to bring it now to your personal attention. At Appendix "B"; hereunder I have combined the currently agreed requirements and proposals for housing at each of the sites and before the related TB submission is prepared for your signature I would request the assurance of your support and agreement for these methods of meeting the overall requirement.

Signed by:

(CR Dunlop)
Air Marhsal
Chief of the Air Staff