1969 – General Briefing Notes – National Archives of Canada
COLONEL JD RICHARDS, CD
CANADIAN FORCES STATION YORKTON
WHITE SPRUCE, SASKATCHEWAN
12 JUNE, 1969
- First of all Sir, I would like to officially welcome you to CFS Yorkton on behalf of all the officers and men of the unit. It is always a pleasure for us to entertain visitors and it is especially so when it is the Commander’s representative.
- In deference to your position and knowledge of Radar Stations in general, we have endeavored to make our official briefing as short and to-the-point as possible. We will concentrate on those problems and achievements that are important to this unit. I am sure that if there are areas in which you have a special interest and we do not cover them at this time you will make the necessary inquiries. All my officers and Section Heads are present and are anxious to answer any questions you may have, either here or when you meet them later in their particular domains.
- We are in the process of preparing a General Station Briefing using slides. This is a more time consuming project than I had originally envisaged and will take a few months to complete. It will be directed towards visitors with a less intimate knowledge of Radar Stations than yourself and will be unclassified. General Garton made reference to this subject at the Commanders Conference.
- Major Bert Sheasby, the CGEO, will brief you on the operational aspects and I will then return and cover the Station support.
- It was necessary to classify the briefing as confidential and therefore if you would prefer the CAdO will take your copy before you leave and forward it to North Bay.
Radar Operations and Maintenance
Chief Ground Environment Officer
- This unit has been operational since October 1963. The operations area uses the familiar three pronged organization of TelMaintO, TelOpsO and SSTO reporting to the CGEO. All maintenance is conducted by service personnel and manning is adequate in all operations areas. Operations facilities consist of:
one AN/FPS-7 Search Radar
one AN/FPS-507 Height Finder
one AN/FPS-6 Height Finder
one AN/FST-2 Data Processing Unit
one GATR site including both high and low power transmitting facilities with associated digital translators.
- Search Radar FPS-7. This radar is relatively trouble free and continues to provide good service. One source of constant minor trouble was in the waveguide pressurizing system, however this has been overcome by a modification.
- Height Finder FPS-507. Has been the source of waveguide pressurizing problems and antenna linkage wear but considering the design vintage performs fairly well. Recent authorization for shut down of antenna during quiet hours will lengthen life. Most parts seem to be in good supply and breakages are normally quickly overcome by replacement parts.
- Height Finder FPS-26. This radar is well known as a constant source of trouble but of recent months we have had good service from it. Many of the troubles occur in the cooling system as it is complex and the cleanliness requirements are stringent. Parts are not so readily available and Code 1 demands for some items are sometimes not filled. This radar is housed under a pressurized radome while others have rigid radomes. Thus additional maintenance is required.
- Data processing equipment FST-2. Has an excellent serviceability record.
- GATR. Also has an excellent serviceability record. This unit is evaluating a CFHQ project to substitute solid state for vacuum tube diodes in the main power supply of the FRT-49. Outside plant modification to replace rigid co-ax transmission with flexible Heliax line was completed last June. This has almost eliminated pressurizing leaks except in the very cold weather when a slight leak is evident.
Data Maintenance Control Centre
- DMCC manning is adequate and operator competence is maintained by on the job training as well as training at North Bay in AJO procedures. However, familiarization training (ADCO 3.01/6) to the SAGE and BUIC NCO’s has been very limited because of restrictions on travel funds. We have been unsuccessful in obtaining additional funds for this purpose.
- Installation of autovan switching has been a boon to communications both from the administrative and operational view point.
- The Training section is headed by a Captain with one Sgt. Handling the classroom instruction for formal courses. Two such courses of ten weeks duration were held on the FPS-7 during the past year during which a total of 11 personnel were trained. Practical training is supplemented with NCO’s in the FPS-7 section. Negotiations are also underway with your Headquarters to conduct two FPS-26 courses at Yorkton annually. This represents approximately 18 students. This course is presently held at Clinton. In addition to the formal ADC course, the SSTO also co-ordinates all other training on the station. In this capacity 8 courses were conducted including Volunteer Fire Brigade, Projectionist, Cpls. QE, Defensive Driving, NBC Warfare, ECM Training of AD Techs, First Aid and ASF Training. A total of 211 trainees attended these courses.
- Sections provide OJT for their own personnel with SSTO monitoring. The results of Trade Examinations could hardly be called enviable with 8 out of 13 in the November and 5 out of 8 in the April sessions credited with a pass. OJT will continue to strive to bring these personnel up to standard.
- A total of 30 personnel are improving their educational standard through facilities in Yorkton. This ranges from full time attendance at day school through University level night classes to Vocational classes. One Cpl. Radar Tech was successful applicant to UTPM in Aug 68.
- Although reimbursement funds for academic training have been insufficient to meet the needs of this station and some personnel therefore are not reimbursed for Tuition fees, enrollment in academic courses increased in Feb 69 as compared with the latter half of 68. However, additional funds are sorely needed to add further impetus to this worthwhile self help program.
- Standards section maintains records and monitors PEGE and QB flights. Complete and detailed records are maintained on all equipment failures, Supply delays, downtime, CF31 data, and ESR error rates. An all out effort in November 68 succeeded in bringing our ESR error rate well below the ADC accepted standard of 5%.
- Test equipment rotation through the Winnipeg Test Equipment Centre is controlled by standards, and servicing of all unit repairable test gear is accomplished by the same section.
16. - We have 90 modern, three bedroom, transportable homes on the station that are suitable for families with three or perhaps four children providing that the children are of compatible age. Unfortunately some of our families boast five or six teenage children which does pose a problem. The over-crowding results in a deterioration in family relations and by April of each year, after a long and severe winter, many are suffering from "Cabin Fever". We have forwarded a submission to your Headquarters requesting that families with more than three or perhaps four children, especially in the support trades, not be posted to units with transportable homes. We have the concurrence of Command and the submission has been passed to CFHQ for consideration. Suitable four bedroom accommodation is scarce and expensive in the Yorkton area. Our PMQ population averages 450. Officers, Senior NCO’s and Airmen all live within segregated areas in PMQs.
- There is a DND school on the unit which offers classes from kindergarten to Grade VIII. There are 150 pupils enrolled in the school with 7 full time and one part time teachers. In addition, there are 30 dependant children attending High Schools in Yorkton for which a bus is provided. We enjoy excellent relations with our school staff and therefore we have a small turnover of teachers.
- We have no major personnel problems at the moment. Since the last Commander’s Inspection we have had 19 releases. Only 3 of these releases were to CRA. On the civilian side we only have two positions frozen.
- The Station has a MIR staffed by a Sgt. And Cpl. MedA for basic emergency treatment. Weekly average of personnel referred to the civilian doctor is four. Emergencies and serious medical occurrence’s are referred to the Yorkton Union Hospital, a modern new hospital with 234 beds and a competent staff of 15 doctors. The hospital also boasts an excellent psychiatric wing in case the pace gets too much for us.
- Sports on the station naturally centre around the Unit Recreation Centre. Here we have active bowling, volleyball, broomball, softball, floor hockey and basketball leagues. There are also facilities for badminton and weight lifting. In the last year this unit has had participants representing the Unit at Zone III playoffs in bowling, curling, softball and golf.
- The Unit participates in local softball and hockey leagues as well. We have a regulation size outdoor rink on the Unit, a nine hole golf course with sand greens and a 60 x 20 foot outdoor heated swimming pool.
- Entertainment usually centres around the Officer’s, Sergeants, and Airmen’s Messes of the Unit, with each club carrying on their own entertainment programs.
- For the younger people there are Cubs, Scouts, Brownies, Guides and a Teen Club on the Unit. The ladies also have a Woman’s Auxiliary.
- The 5th Annual Winter Carnival was held on 26 Feb to 1 Mar. This is a relaxation and fun time for all members of the Station family. It results in a full programme of social and sports activities. It is a must in our annual events and temporarily halts the spread of "cabin Fever".
Messes and Quarters
- Ample single quarters are available on the station for all ranks, with 30 living-in members. Each of the three messes - Officer’s, Senior NCO’s and Airmen’s - has its own dining room and lounge facilities. The Jr. Ranks Club have renovated their club with the official opening held 17 May 69. The Officer’s Mess also have plans to renovate their Mess and the Senior NCO’s have completed the renovations on their bar.
Suggestion Award Program
- In the past year personnel on the unit have been taking special interest in this program. This year we have had a one thousand percent increase over last year. Out of the ten suggestions proposed, four were accepted by CFHQ for a total of $1,685.00 being awarded for the suggestions. It should be interesting to note that all this amount was awarded to one person.
- We have a very active NPF programme on the unit and have increased our income more than 100 percent during the past six months. All personnel contribute to this programme through a 46% of net bar profit assessment. There is no specific assessment of individuals for sports.
- We have a retail gas outlet which has been a success from the opening day. Our store is now showing a very healthy profit and is providing a needed service to its customers. The snack bar cannot be considered a financial success but it has taken on a new image and is becoming very popular with our young people.
- There are two outstanding A for Ps at CFHQ for which we are awaiting approval. These A for Ps include a public contribution of two Butler Buildings. One will be used as an Auto Hobby Shop to be located adjacent to the existing gas pumps and the other as an Exchange, Post Office and Station Library abutting on the Rec. Hall.
- The logistics organization is similar to other radar sites in that it is two pronged including supply and transportation. This works well at unit level but it is obvious to me that this is not a satisfactory arrangement when it comes to dealing with your Headquarters. The transportation section at ADCHQ appear very reluctant to use normal unit channels when dealing with transportation matters and insist in annotating correspondence "For UNTO". They recently went so far as to insist that the SLogO must not release a TN message without approval of the UNTO.
- At this unit the Records Management section have been instructed to pass all correspondence on transportation matters, no matter how insignificant through the SLogO.
- There are no major personnel problems in the Station Logistics organization.
- The operational spares is adequately provided through the Centralized Demand System. Occasionally long delivery delays occur when it is necessary to procure spares from civilian contractors or through the USAF. We enjoy an excellent lateral supply agreement with our neighboring radar sites. A duty Supply Technician is on call for operational requirements during after duty hours and on weekends.
- The MSE vehicle establishment of 21 vehicles is 100% filled. We are fortunate in having received a number of new vehicles during the past year including an ambulance, snow plow, 15 passenger bus and three station wagons. Two B-20 cargo trucks, ½ ton and a B-45 stake truck which are due for replacement this year are in fair condition. The remainder of the fleet is in good condition.
- I won’t bore you with all our financial statistics other than to say there never seems to be enough money to carry on all the things we would like to do. This is particularly so under the vote for minor new-construction. However, I think you will agree after your inspection tour that the plant is not suffering.
- Except for one RM Tech, all established positions are filled. In accordance with current policy the fire section has been reduced to four civilians and a Sgt. These personnel are supplemented by a 20 man volunteer fire brigade who undergo continual training. In addition, all station personnel are receiving basic fire training.
- Major requirements for this fiscal year are as follows:
- Repair broken water main at Operations site.
- Repaint exterior trim of station buildings.
- Repaint interior of DND school.
- Further repairs to manholes.
- Rework ditches and culverts to improve drainage.
- Supervise erection and finishing of two Butler Buildings for Auto Hobby Club and PSP extension to Rec. Hall.
Outstanding A for Ps 70-71
- An A for P has been submitted covering the paving of station roads. We are not overly optimistic of having this A for P approved. However, we have made our requirement known. We also have an A for P in the mill for modifying our main gate and Guard House. If approved, it will eliminate a separate building for the Operations entrance and reduce our Commissionaire requirement.
- Considerable time and effort goes into ground maintenance each year. There have been approximately 2000 White Spruce planted and this year we added 700 Ash and Elm. These are small trees which we receive free from the Indian Head Nursery. We plan to plant as many as possible each year.
- In conclusion Sir, you can see that we do not have any services problems. On the whole the Station is healthy and we plan to keep it that way.