Kamloops, BC

1997 - General History - The NBC Group

Canadian Forces Station Kamloops (site SM-153/C-153) was located 282 miles northeast of Vancouver and was situated northeast of the city of Kamloops. Kamloops is located in the Thompson Valley at the junction of the North and South Thompson Rivers. The operations section of CFS Kamloops sat atop of Mount Lolo, at a "not-so-low" altitude of 5,750 feet above sea level, while the domestic portion of the station lay 3,000 below and 6.5 miles away.

The site was constructed in 1957 to augment the Pinetree Line and provide more thorough aircraft control and warning to the air defence systems. It became operational the following year when radar and communications gear were installed, but it was only used on a limited basis.

The resident unit, 825th Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, United States Air Force, arrived and the station was declared limited operational on 3 December 1958 with early warning status reports being forwarded to 5 Air Division in Vancouver. They were declared fully operational on 2 March 1959 and reported to the 25th Air Division at McChord AFB in Tacoma Washington.

The station was handed over to the RCAF on 1 April 1962 and the new occupants of the station were designated 56 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, RCAF Station Kamloops. 56 AC&W took over the duties of providing radar coverage for their assigned area. They were also SAGE-capable on 1 May 1963. As a result of unification the RCAF Station was re-designated CFS Kamloops, and the Air Defence Command unit changed their name to 56 Radar Squadron. Then it became Canadian Forces Station Kamloops on 10 August 1967. In August 1984, Kamloops was brought on-line with Canada West ROCC.

The men and women of 56 Radar Squadron carried on at Kamloops until new government direction brought about the creation of the North Warning System. CFS Kamloops was officially closed on 1 April 1988.

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