Cold Lake, AB

1997 - General History - The NBC Group

42 Radar Squadron Cold Lake (C-36) originated as Cold Lake Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron on 1 August 1954. The squadron was primarily formed to control the numerous flying activities underway at Cold Lake and the Primrose Lake Evaluation Range. Their secondary, but no less important, task was aircraft control and warning within Air Defence Command.

On 1 October 1958, the Cold Lake AC&W Squadron was amalgamated with the Controllers Proficiency Unit to become 42 Radar Squadron Cold Lake. The squadron was operational on SAGE in June 1963. 42 Radar was the first Western Canadian site to become fully operational with SAGE and was also the first Canadian radar site to begin reporting to the Great Falls Air Defence Sector. In 1967, the squadron was officially re-designated as simply 42 Radar Squadron.

The squadron is still in existence and operates from Cold Lake to provide tactical control of fighter aircraft and radar data for the training of pilots, air weapons controllers, and air defence technicians. On 12 December 1991, the squadron was certified by the Chief of Staff (Operations) at Air Command to operate as an Air Defence Control Facility. With this certification, the Squadron now controls aircraft in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) as well as the more traditional Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC).

They are now a mobile unit equipped with the TPS-70 and have been known to deploy as far afield as California. Because they operate the TPS-70, the squadron trains CELE Officers, Radar and Radio Technicians selected to maintain this radar. Technicians have been trained from other units such as 12 Radar, CFS Bagotville (originally formed at Mont Apica), CFB Ottawa, and CFB North Bay.

--The NBC Group - Don Nicks, John Bradley, Chris Charland.