Apparently, I brought the sun when I arrived in Edmonton – it had been according to the locals been raining for what seemed to be weeks and a few days of sunshine was most welcomed!
Fergus was up bright and early and headed off to the local “Tim’s” to get everyone their early morning “double, double” – it’s really quite handy to have a Tim Horton’s right on the base. Apparently, it’s one of the busiest Tim’s in Alberta – go figure…That coffee was really appreciated.
It was decided that we should take a “Cook’s Tour” of the Garrison, since it’s one of the largest Canadian Forces bases. Off we went.
Here, rather than provide you with a ‘blow by blow’ description of our exploration of the Garrison I have decided to simply provide the photographic record…
There were several things that really stood out for me. The first, was that this base was an Air Force Base until that base was move to Cold Lake, Alberta and the main runways which are now used a Parade Grounds and generally parking equipment were at on time one oif two or three alternate/emergency landing runways for NASA’s Space Shuttle. There are three runways and thefirst two are: 6,890 feet long which makes them the longest runways in Canada and the third is the actual Space Shuttle alternate runway measuring 13,780 feet long. All are currently not in use.
Secondly, this is where the only ‘long term’ Military Prison is located…that is to say Forces members who are sentenced to a penetentiary term of “2 years less a day” are sent here to serve their time. If they are sentenced to more than the “2 years less a day” then their time is served in a Regular Federal Penetentiary which are located across the country.
According to Fergus, this building has to be the cleanest one on base…I wonder why that would be?
Thirdly, the Canadian Armed Forces also have a Cavalry Unit, and it is based here in Edmonton. Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) (LdSH [RC]) is a regular armoured regiment of the Canadian Army. Currently based in Edmonton, Alberta, the regiment is part of 3rd Canadian Division’s 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.
It was one of the last regiments in the British Empire to be created and raised by a private individual, Donald Alexander Smith, 1st Baron Strathcona and Mount Royal.
The regiment is currently composed of a regimental headquarters and four primary squadrons: A, B, Reconnaissance (‘Recce’) and Headquarters. In September 2006, B Squadron deployed to Afghanistan using the Leopard C2 Main Battle Tank, the first NATO deployment of main battle tanks (MBTs) to Afghanistan.
The Regiment also has a troop of ‘Old Style’ Cavalry which is generally used for ceremonial reasons only. They have stables and other facilities on the bases.
Lastly, on the them of Afganistan, there is a section of the base which is cordonned off and used primarily for the training of personnel who were to be deployed to Afganistan. It is a life sized mock up of an actual Afgan Village…
For secrity reasons the area is in an isolated area of the base and can only be seen from a distance.
But wait! There’s more…there are over 100 Police Cars parked on the unused runway. Now that we a puzzlement to me. How about you? Here take a look! What’s that all about? Someone expecting trouble?
No, there is trouble brewing. It’s just that they are used by the local Police Forces (the RCMP, the Edmonton Police Service and probably others) use the facility for training purpose away from the public were there is no one in harm’s way…pretty cool, if you ask me…
Well, that’s it for now. Join us later this week when we visit our first church in this part of Canada.