Kamloops was a long range radar station with a complex radar and antenna system built on the summit of Mount Lolo, a mile above sea level. A winding and often treacherous road made its way around the mountain to the summit. It was a beautiful drive with outstanding views of the countryside around Kamloops. It was up here that the radar and communications technicians who supported the operational staff of radar operators worked. The various targets picked up by the radar were electronically identified and passed to NORAD computers and major command centers. Canada and the US airspace is completely covered by these radars so that all flying objects can be identified and tracked. In former days much of this was done manually by trained operators. Times had changed and much of the work was done automatically and electronically. There remained a small staff to monitor the equipment’s operation and if necessary to return to a manual system should major parts of the complex communications break down in the event of war.
The radar operations up the hill were supported by an administration center on the lower slopes but still well above the City of Kamloops. This community was a little town in itself with all its own facilities. We had living quarters for single personnel, Messes and various clubs. The station included workshops for maintaining mobile equipment. It had its own supply buildings and construction engineering workshops. A power plant and sewage disposal systems completed the complex. It was here that service personnel lived and worked. Those who were married rented houses in Kamloops and made the daily drive up the mountain to the Station. It was a beautiful area surrounded by rather typical cowboy country and rolling meadows and sage brush.
The Station was organized into several Sections. There was the Chief Ground Environment Officer responsible for the Long Range Radar operations. He ensured that we could provide continuous radar coverage of our Air Defense Area, the main responsibility of the Station. The Ground Environment Operations Officer, was responsible for monitoring the radar signals and providing manual inputs and aircraft control if the automatic systems failed to operate. The Chief Administration Officer for the Station looked after all personnel matters. The Comptroller looked after the financial running of the station. He provided accountancy services for both Public and Non Public Funds. The Station Logistics Officer looked after supplies for the unit and finally the Construction Engineering Officer who was responsible for maintenance and new construction of the Station’s buildings and infrastructure.
This article was written by John (Jack) Jackaman and was provided to the Pinetree Line web site in December 1998. Jack was stationed at CFS Kamloops in 1977 and 1978.