In 1952, the site of Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Cold Lake was
chosen because of the flat terrain, good drainage, gravel
deposits, low population density, similarities of geography to
Europe, accessibility, weather, and the possibility of future
economic development in the region. Construction began that year
for the air weapons training base.
When it was complete in 1954, it had the best facilities in
the world for air training, covering a massive area of 1.17
million hectares. Operations began at the base on 31 March 1954
and, because of the unique facilities, space, and more than 600
targets, it has successfully attracted air forces for training
from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and around
the world. CFB Cold Lake has achieved international renown for
the annual Maple Flag Exercise, which it hosts.
||A colour photograph of the CFB Cold
Lake signboard showing the base crest and two models of
the CF 5 aircraft.