Kamloops, BC

1985 - CFS Kamloops Information Booklet - Ren L'Ecuyer


CFS Kamloops is operationally responsible to the Canadian NORAD Region, North Bay, Ontario and administratively responsible to Air Command Headquarters, Winnipeg, Manitoba and Fighter Group Headquarters, North Bay, Ontario.

The primary purpose of CFS Kamloops is to collect, discriminate and transmit to the designated Control Centre the radar data appearing within our area of radar coverage. Kamloops is also tasked to provide and maintain air/ground/air transmit - receive facilities in support of the Air Defence of North America.


CFS Kamloops, the only Canadian Forces Station in the interior of BC, is located 24 km to the northeast of the City of Kamloops. Your route from Kamloops to the station is initially via the North Thompson Highway (No. 5). Approximately 5 km from Kamloops you leave Highway No. 5, turning right, onto what is locally called the Paul Lake Road. This junction is well marked and by staying on the paved road and following the signs, you will arrive at CFS Kamloops.

The station is physically separated into two distinct areas. The Admin are buildings that house our CE Section, Supply Section, Headquarters (CO, CAdO, SCompt, SOR, CPO, Station Exchange, and Communications Section), MSE Section, Combined Dining Hall, small Recreation Centre, JR Ranks Mess, WOs and Sgts Mess, Officers Mess, and living quarters.

Eleven point two km north and nealy 915 meters higher is the Operations area which houses the Operations Section and their associated equipment. This is a RESTRICTED AREA and access to it must be properly authorized by the CO, COpsO, CACSO, and MPs.


The station in Kamloops was built in 1957 to augment the Pinetree chain and to provide aircraft control and warning to the Air Defence System of North America. The buildings were constructed on the site and accepted late in 1957. The following year saw the installation of the radar and communications systems, and a limited degree of operations was achieved by December 1958. The station was designed and manned by American personnel and became the home of the 825th Squadron. It was fully operational by March 1959 under the control of the 25th Air Division at Tacoma, Washington. On 1 April 1962, the Royal Canadian Air Force accepted responsibility for the manning of the American Squadron and the formation and activation of 56 AC&W Squadron Kamloops. Upon the re-designation of AC&W Squadron to Radar Squadron the station became CFS Kamloops, although most of the civilians in the city of Kamloops refer to the station as Mount Lolo.

Reporting In

Upon arrival during normal duty hours, all incoming personnel will report to the Station Orderly Room to receive instructions for signing in and processing. Personnel reporting to the station after normal duty hours should contact the Military Police. During working hours GMT to the station can be arranged by calling dispatch.

Vehicle Registration

All private cars must be issued with a Canadian Forces Station Kamloops decal if the vehicle is to enter beyond the Main Gate. Decals are obtained from the Military Police on presenting proof of insurance.

The province of British Columbia requires each resident to have motor vehicle liability insurance. If your car is registered out of Province, it must be registered with the local Motor Vehicle Branch within 30 days of taking up residence. The ICBC has a program whereby safe drivers receive discount premiums (up to 25% discount) for years of safe driving. Prior to departing your old province, it will be to your advantage to obtain a letter addressed to ICBC on Insurance Company letterhead, providing a claims history. New license plates must be purchased. You will be required to take a written driving test within 6 months.

Weapons Registration

Private ownership of firearms and their possession by personnel residing on station in the trailer park is permitted. However, personnel living in barracks must store their weapons with the Military Police section. All weapons must be registered with the Military Police.

Medical and Dental Services

Sick Parade - Sick Parade is conducted in the MIR between 08:00 hours and 10:00 hours, Monday through Friday. A General Practitioner is under contract in the city of Kamloops for Tuesday and Thursday mornings only. Appointments are arranged by the MIR for those requiring this service.

Emergency Medical Treatment - Available after hours, weekends and holidays by reporting directly to the Emergency Department, Royal Inland Hospital, in Kamloops.

Dental Services - A Dental team from CFB Chilliwack visits this unit every six months.

Dependant Care - There are a number of medical clinics within the city of Kamloops as well as numerous Doctors practicing independent of a clinic. As well, adequate dental, orthodontic and ophthalmic care is available.


There are no married quarters on the station. Twenty DND owned, furnished mobile homes are sited on a privately owned mobile home park situated on the outskirts of the City of Kamloops. These mobile homes are allocated only to Sgts. and below.

Personnel allocated MQs are authorized to store furniture in accordance with CFAO 20-40 paras 53 and 54. If on allocation of MQ you wish to store F&E at origin and subsequently decide to move out of MQ after purchase of a house, etc., your F&E will not normally be restored to you at public expense while you are serving at this unit. If you elect to move your F&E to this unit and are allocated an MQ, storage charges will become your responsibility.

A seven pad Trailer Park is situated adjacent to the Admin area. Each asphalt pad has a storm shed and connections for water, sewage and electricity. Washers and dryers are installed in a permanent wash building with convenient accessibility. Trailer pads are available on a waiting list basis only. In addition there are several Mobile Home Parks in the city and surrounding area.

Three modern permanent type, steamheated buildings quarter single and unaccompanied personnel.

ME Scheduled Runs

Frequency Time
a: To Ops Site: Daily 07:55 hours
Weekdays 09:00 hours
Weekdays 11:00 hours
Weekdays 13:00 hours
Shift Change 15:30 hours
Shift Change 23:15 hours
b: To city of Kamloops Weekdays 08:30 hours
Weekdays 13:30 hours
NOTE: Personnel wishing to use the runs to town must check with the Duty Driver at 358 prior to departure time.

Chaplain Services

There is no chapel on the station, however, churches of all denominations are available in the city of Kamloops. Civilian Officiating Clergy, RC and Protestant, visit the station weekly and are available at other times on an appointment basis.

Social Services

Social Services are available to all military personnel or dependants. The Area Social Services Officer, stationed in Esquimalt, is prepared to give counseling on marriage, child care, and almost all types of personal problems. This officer visits the station as required (minimum of quarterly) and appointments can be made through the Station Administration Officer.

Legal Services

Legal aid and counseling may be obtained from a member of the JAG Branch by appointment through the Station Administration Officer.

Post Office

There is no post office on the station. The Station Orderly Room, Central Registry is open during normal working hours for receipt and dispatch of mail for living-in members.


The Station Exchange is located in the north-east corner of the Administration Building and offers a large range of articles such as giftware, jewelry, household articles, audio equipment, television, cameras and toys. Furniture and large appliances and many other items can be ordered at substantial savings.


A multi-purpose recreation building houses the Jr. Ranks Club, gymnasium, stage, Games Room, Weight Lifting Room, Recreation Office and Sauna. Adjacent to the Admin area is a softball diamond, tennis court, outdoor swimming pool, picnic area and trout pond.

Satellite TV

The station has a satellite disc that receives five stations; two of which are movie channels, and one of which is a sports channel.

Kamloops Community Information

Location and Functions

The city of Kamloops, incorporated in 1893, is located in the Thompson Valley at the junction of the North and South Thompson Rivers. The strategic position of Kamloops makes it a prime trading and distribution centre for a large area of the BC interior. Major industries are lumber, ranching and mining. The city is also the centre of a fast growing tourist trade.

Some of the finest trout and salmon fishing in Canada exists in the immediate area. The ski lift on Mount Tod (approximately 36 miles from Kamloops) is the longest double chair lift in North America. All normal domestic facilities are available such as modern schools, churches, shopping centres etc.

Travel Information

Travel to Kamloops can be accomplished by road, rail and air. If traveling via PMC the Trans-Canada Highway from Calgary to Vancouver passes through Kamloops. In winter the Rogers Pass section of the Trans-Canada Highway is kept in excellent condition. The North Thompson Highway (No. 5) is the best route from Edmonton to Kamloops.

Commercial air is available from Kamloops to Vancouver and Calgary with air time of approximately one hour. Air connections to all American and Canadian points can be made in both Vancouver and Calgary. The airport is approximately 35 km from the station with taxi fares around $25.00

Both CNT and CPR main lines pass through Kamloops. Daily bus service is available to and from Vancouver and Calgary.

Kilometers from Kamloops to: Vancouver 454; Calgary 650; Edmonton 832.


In addition to the regular Provincial school program, School District No. 24 (Kamloops) has instituted a Kindergarten and Grade 1 and 2 French Immersion program for children of English speaking parents. A program, Cadre de Francais, for elementary (1-7) aged children of French speaking parents is also available; as are Roman Catholic and Special Education schooling.


A recent census reveals Kamloops city to have a population of 60,000 with a total trading area population of approximately 100,000. Kamloops is one of the fastest growing centres in Canada, having doubled its population in the past decade.

Terrain and Climate

The city is situated 1,160 feet above sea level surrounded by lakes, streams and mountainous terrain. Sagebrush covers the low lying ground and heavy stands of fir and pine are prevalent on the mountain slopes.

Climatic conditions are very dry with a brief rainy period in the spring. Average temperature is 85 degrees F in the summer. Very seldom does the temperature drop below zero in the winter. The first snow fall can be expected in October, however the annual accumulation is light.


Home delivery service is available. There are two local newspapers; the Kamloops News, which is delivered daily, and the Kamloops Sentinel, which is distributed free of charge Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays.


There are four local radio stations, two AM and two FM. Kamloops has two local TV stations; Kamloops Cablenet, Channel 10, which broadcasts local events frequently, and CFJC-TV.


There are two Alpine Ski resorts in Kamloops, Mount Tod and Mount Harper. There are also many cross-country ski resorts in the area.


There are two curling rinks in Kamloops. Mens, Womens and mixed leagues operate regularly during the winter months.


There are three arenas in Kamloops. Kamloops has a Junior League hockey team, the Kamloops Blazers, that play in the Western Hockey League. The Blazers play out of the Memorial Arena, located in downtown Kamloops.


There are many lakes and rivers in the area for fishing.


In 1812 Alexander Ross of the Pacific (Astor) Fur Company camped on the present Kamloops Indian Reserve and for ten days traded with some 2,000 Indians. Ross bartered five leaves of tobacco for each beaver skin and when he exhausted his tobacco supply, the basis of exchange became one yard of white cotton per 20 prime beaver pelts. In the same year the North West Company opened a trading post and the history of Kamloops began.

In 1813, the North Westers bought out the Pacific Fur Company and they in turn sold out to the Hudsons Bay Company in 1821. Fort Cumcloups, the meeting of the waters, as it was known, became the central headquarters. The Fort was later moved across the river and located in what was formally known as North Kamloops (Kamloops and North Kamloops amalgamated on 4 November 1967).

In 1858 the cry of gold brought the miners to the Thompson area to stake claims and pan for the precious metal. The saga of the Overlanders and their trek from Upper and Lower Canada is too long to recount here. Suffice to say that in 1862 the Overlanders reached Fort Cumcloups too late for the gold rush but in time to farm and develop the Thompson Valley.

Between 1862 and 1868 development was rapid. The Fort was moved to the south side of the Thompson River and the first house and flour mill were built. The Harper brothers received the magnificent price of $1.00 a head for beef.

November 7, 1885 was a momentous day. After four years of labor and bitter hardships, the Canadian Pacific Railway was completed and the first through train stopped at Kamloops. From that day on, the future of the community was assured. In 1893, Kamloops was incorporated as a city and this marked the end of pioneering and the beginning of modern day Kamloops. The growth was steady as more homes were built, new businesses sprang up and more ranchers and farmers worked the land.

Tranquille Sanatorium was built in 1912 and the Royal Inland Hospital was opened. Another railroad, the Canadian National Railway, then forged its way through Kamloops to the coast. Today the city is the heart of British Columbias interior, a city of opportunity and ever expanding growth.

--This booklet was donated anonymously for insertion into the Pinetree Line web site.