Friday, May 17, 2013

Canadian SIGINT sites past and present 3.1

Here's another update of my list of the main Canadian SIGINT operating sites past and present and their years of operation (previous version here). The major change is the addition of the RCN HFDF site that operated in Lambeth, Ontario from 1943 until ca. 1945. Thanks to Jerry Proc for tipping me off to its existence and to the Westminster Historical Society for providing further information about the station! As noted on earlier versions, available information on the Second World War sites still tends to be somewhat spotty, so a lot of the dates associated with those remain uncertain. Also, my guesswork still differs in a few places from the estimates made by Jerry and others (and maybe all of us are wrong on some dates), so further refinement is undoubtedly needed.


Canadian SIGINT sites past and present

Location Years of operation
Aklavik, Northwest Territories (RCN) 1949 - 1961
Alert, Nunavut (RCAF/RCCS/SRS/CFIOG) - experimental ops began in 1956 1958 - present
Alliford Bay, British Columbia (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1943
Amherst, Nova Scotia (RCCS) 1941 - 1942
Anchorage, Alaska, USA (CFIOG det @ Elmendorf AFB) 2009? - present?
Augsburg, Germany (SRS det) 1989 - 1993
Aurora, Colorado, USA (CFIOG det @ Buckley AFB) 2009? - present?
Bermuda (RCN/SRS) 1963 - 1993
Botwood, Newfoundland (DOT) 1939 - 1946
Cap D’Espoir, Quebec (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1946?
Cheltenham, UK (CANSLO @ GCHQ + SRS/CFIOG det from 1953?) 1953 - present
Churchill, Manitoba (RCN/SRS) 1948 - 1968
Coal Harbour, British Columbia (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1942
Coverdale, New Brunswick (RCN/SRS) 1944 - 1971
Darwin, Australia: McMillan’s Road Camp (RCCS) 1945 - 1945
Digby, United Kingdom (CFIOG det @ RAF Digby) 2011? - present?
Eastcote (London), UK (CANSLO @ GCHQ) 1949 - 1953
Esquimalt, British Columbia (RCN intercept for RN) 1925 - 1940?
Esquimalt, British Columbia (MARPAC support element) ? - present?
Flin Flon, Manitoba (AFTAC only) 1959? - ?
Forrest, Manitoba (DOT) 1940 - 1942
Fort Chimo (now Kuujjuaq), Quebec (RCN) 1949 - 1952
Fort Gordon, Georgia, USA (CFIOG det @ Gordon RSOC) 2003 - present?
Fort Meade, Maryland, USA (CANSLO @ NSA HQ + SRS/CFIOG det from 1993) 1956 - present
Frobisher Bay (now Iqaluit), Nunavut (RCN) 1953 - 1967
Gander, Newfoundland (RCN/SRS/CFIOG) 1942 - present
Gloucester, Ontario (RCN HF-DF/training/admin site) 1943 - 1972
Gordon Head, British Columbia (RCN) 1940 - 1945
Grande Prairie, Alberta (RCCS) 1942 - 1947
Halifax, Nova Scotia (MARLANT support element) ? - present?
Harbour Grace, Newfoundland (RCN) 1940 - 1946?
Hartlen Point, Nova Scotia (DOT) 1941 - 1946
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (CFIOG det @ NSA Hawaii) 2009? - present?
Inuvik, NWT (RCN/SRS) 1961 - 1986
Kingston, Ontario (SRS/CFIOG training) 1972 - present
Kingston, Ontario (21 EW Regt/2 EW Sqn of 1 CSR/1CDHSR/CFJSR) ? - present
Kingston, Ontario (Res EW Sqn/772 EW Sqn) - merged with 21 EW Regt in 2010 1986 - 2010
Ladner, British Columbia (RCCS/SRS) 1949 - 1971
Lambeth, Ontario (RCN) 1943 - 1945?
Leitrim, Ontario (RCCS/SRS/CFIOG) 1942 - present
Louisbourg, Nova Scotia (DOT) 1939 - 1946
Lulu Island, British Columbia (DOT) (AKA Steveston) 1944? - 1945
Masset, British Columbia (RCN/SRS/CFIOG) 1942 - 1945 and 1949 - present
Nanaimo, British Columbia (DF outstation for Victoria) 1942? - ?
Norfolk, Virgina, USA (CFIOG det @ NIOC Norfolk) 2009? - present?
Northwest, Virginia, USA (SRS/CFIOG det @ NSGA Northwest) 1997 - 2001
Ottawa, Ontario (various headquarters) 1939 - present
Ottawa, Ontario (DOT) 1940 - 1945
Ottawa, Ontario (RCN Stn CFF) 1940 - 1947
Ottawa, Ontario (771 CRS) 1987 - 2002
Pennfield, New Brunswick (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1945?
Point Grey, British Columbia (DOT) 1940 - 1945?
Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1945?
Prince Rupert, British Columbia (RCN) 1946 - 1948?
Resolute, Nunavut (RCAF) - experimental site only 1956 - 1956?
Riske Creek, British Columbia (RCCS; never operational) 1944 - 1946
Rivers, Manitoba (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1945?
Rockcliffe, Ontario (RCCS) 1939 – 1942
San Antonio, Texas, USA (SRS/CFIOG det @ Medina RSOC) 1995 - present?
Shediac, New Brunswick (DOT) 1939 - 1946
St. Hubert, Quebec (DOT) 1939 - 1946
Ste. Hyacinthe, Quebec (training) 1944 - 1945?
Strathburn, Ontario (DOT) 1939 - 1945?
Sydney, Nova Scotia (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1945?
Ucluelet, British Columbia (RCN @ RCAF) 1941 - 1942
Victoria, British Columbia (RCCS) 1942 - 1949
Washington, DC, USA (CANSLO @ AFSA/NSA) 1949 - 1956
Whidbey Island, Washington, USA (SRS/CFIOG det @ NSGA Whidbey Island) 1997 - 2002
Whitehorse, Yukon Territory (RCAF/SRS) 1948- 1968
Winnipeg, Manitoba (DOT) 1942 - 1945
Winnipeg, Manitoba (1 Cdn Air Div support element) ? - present?

The list does not include the various operating sites of the Special Wireless Sections Type “A” and Type “B” in Britain, Italy, and North-West Europe from 1941 to 1945 or similar operations that may have taken place in the years since the Second World War when Canadian forces have been operationally deployed. Also not included are the covert intercept sites reported to operate in some Canadian embassies and consulates.

In addition to the personnel posted to the Canadian Special Liaison Offices (CANSLO) at NSA and GCHQ, a number of CSE personnel are posted to exchange positions inside the agencies of Canada's UKUSA partners. Canadian military personnel are also posted to a number of U.S. sites under the CF-USN Personnel Exchange Program (PEP). The History of Canadian Signals Intelligence and Direction Finding (p. 18) listed the following PEP locations as of 2005: Naval Security Group Headquarters (now the Naval Network Warfare Command Information Operations Directorate, Fort Meade, Maryland); NSGA Norfolk (now Naval Information Operations Command Norfolk), Virginia; Kunia RSOC, Hawaii; and Gordon RSOC, Georgia. The Gordon RSOC is also listed as the location of a CFIOG detachment (p. 133); these listings may refer to the same personnel. In the list above "det" is used to refer both to detachment locations and to sites where exchange personnel have been posted. Sites reported in 2009 are listed here. At various times, Canadians have also been posted to other U.S. sites under the PEP program, including Homestead, FL; Skaggs Island, CA; Imperial Beach, CA; and Wahiawa, HI. There was also at one point during the Cold War a personnel exchange program with the British Army that saw Canadian personnel serving with the 13th Signal Regiment at Birgelen, West Germany.

Update 12 March 2015: Changed dates on the Ottawa DOT station and added RCN station CFF based on information here.

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