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CFB Cold Lake

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The Military After WW II

Royal Canadian Air Force Following the Second World War, Alberta became the host to two Royal Canadian Air Force bases. In 1952, the region around Cold Lake was chosen as an air weapons testing range because it had flat terrain, gravel deposits, drainage, and a low population. Importantly, it had many geographic features that were the same as Europe. Over the years, the air weapons range developed as an internationally desirable location for air training. However, CFB Cold Lake became the focus of public and political controversy when the American Cruise Missile was tested there starting in the 1980s.

Another military air base, CFB Namao, was established on the Namao airfield. The Namao airfield was originally built by the Americans who found that Edmonton’s Blatchford Field was too busy during the Second World War. At that time, the Americans needed a base for the Northwest Staging Route, and a starting point for ferrying aircraft needed for the Lend-Lease Program, that brought American aircraft to Russia. The airfield was host to the 418 Intruder Squadron that was renamed several times before it was disbanded in 1994.

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