CFB Bagotville

CFB Bagotville

Infobox Airport
name = CFB Bagotville
nativename = Bagotville Airport

type = Military
owner = Government of Canada
operator = DND
city-served =
location = Bagotville, Quebec
elevation-f = 522
elevation-m = 159
coordinates = coord|48|19|50|N|070|59|47|W|type:airport|display=inline
website = []
r1-number = 11/29
r1-length-f = 10,000
r1-length-m = 3,048
r1-surface = Concrete
r2-number = 18/36
r2-length-f = 6,000
r2-length-m = 1,829
r2-surface = Asphalt
footnotes = Source: Canada Flight SupplementCFS]

Canadian Forces Base Bagotville Airport codes|YBG|CYBG, commonly referred to as CFB Bagotville, is a Canadian Forces Base located convert|4.5|NM|abbr=on|lk=in west of Bagotville in the city of Saguenay, Quebec. It is operated as an air force base by Canadian Forces Air Command and is one of two bases in the country using the "CF-18 Hornet" fighter/interceptor. Its primary lodger unit is 3 Wing.

CFB Bagotville's airfield is also used by civilian aircraft, with civilian operations at the base referring to the facility as Bagotville Airport. The airport is classified as an airport of entry by NAV CANADA and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. CBSA officers at this airport currently can handle general aviation aircraft only, with no more than 15 passengers.

RCAF Station Bagotville

At the height of the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) selected a relatively level farming area at the head of navigable waters in the Saguenay Fjord to be the site of several aerodromes during 1941. This area was considered useful for RCAF purposes, given the amount of cleared land in the region, its relative geographic isolation and proximity to the deepwater port of Port-Alfred, as well as access to the adjacent railway network. Construction began that summer and continued through the winter and following spring on RCAF Station St-Honoré near Chicoutimi and RCAF Station Bagotville in La Baie.

The base at St-Honoré opened in June, 1942, followed by Bagotville on July 17, 1942; St-Honoré being operated as a sub-base to Bagotville. RCAF Station Bagotville hosted the 1 Operational Training Unit (1 OTU) which trained pilots from commonwealth nations under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), as well as the 130 Panthère Squadron, which was an operational RCAF air defence unit intended to protect the massive Alcan aluminum smelter in nearby Arvida (one of the largest industrial facilities in Canada at the time), and associated hydro-electric facilities in the Saguenay region. During 1942, Quebec's coastal regions along the lower St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence were witnessing the Battle of the St. Lawrence as German U-boats were sinking Canadian shipping throughout the area. RCAF Station Bagotville was established, along with RCAF Station Mont-Joli to counter the U-boat menace to Canada's war effort and placate local fears.

the 129 Squadron took over from 130 Squadron as the regional air defence unit; 2 months later in December the 129 Squadron was redeployed from Saguenay and the 1 OTU was retasked with regional air defence duties.

Toward the end of the war, RCAF Station Bagotville began to decline in activity as the requirement for BCATP training decreased. On October 28, 1944 the 1 OTU ceased operations, followed by the 12 Radar Detachment. In 29 pilot training courses given by 1 OTU at RCAF Station Bagotville (and St-Honoré), 940 pilots successfully graduated and 41 were killed during training.

In November, 1944 1 OTU was disbanded and the closure of RCAF Station Bagotville and its secondary facilities at RCAF Station St-Honoré was announced; they were officially closed and mothballed on January 5, 1945.

The escalating tensions brought about by the Cold War and the Korean War saw RCAF Station Bagotville reactivated on July 1, 1951 as a training base for air defence squadrons deploying in support of NATO's defence of western Europe from the Warsaw Pact. 413 and 414 squadrons initially trained at Bagotville using "De Havilland Vampire" and "F-86 Sabre" aircraft. On March 7, 1953 both squadrons deployed to Europe and the base was quiet through the rest of that year.

No. 431 (Fighter) Squadron re-formed at RCAF Station Bagotville on 18 January 1954, using the "Sabre". The squadron was formed on a temporary basis until there were enough new CF-100s available to fulfill RCAF squadron needs, and was deactivated on 1 October 1954. Also in 1954, 432 and 440 squadrons were transferred to RCAF Station Bagotville, flying the "CF-100 Canuck" all-weather fighter. In 1957, 440 squadron deployed to West Germany and on May 1, 1957 413 squadron returned to the base flying the "Canuck". That year also saw the "CT-133 Silver Star" arrive at the base as a training aircraft.

In 1961, 413 and 432 squadrons disbanded and 416 squadron was formed at Bagotville, flying the "CF-101 Voodoo"; 416 squadron was moved to RCAF Station Chatham the following year in 1962. In summer of 1962, the 425 Alouette squadron transferred to RCAF Station Bagotville, flying the "Voodoo"; its aircraft were modified to carry the AIR-2 Genie - a nuclear-tipped air-to-air missile, with nuclear warheads being stored at Bagotville until the weapon's decommissioning in the early 1980s.

CFB Bagotville

On February 1, 1968 the RCAF merged with the Royal Canadian Navy and Canadian Army to form the Canadian Forces; RCAF Station Bagotville changed its name to Canadian Forces Base Bagotville.

Later that year, 410 squadron formed at CFB Bagotville to provide training. In September 1969 433 "Porc-Épic" squadron was transferred to Bagotville, flying the "CF-116 Freedom Fighter". In 1982, 410 squadron moved to CFB Cold Lake and was replaced by 434 "Bluenose" squadron.

On July 1, 1984 425 squadron changed from the "CF-101 Voodoo" to the "CF-188 Hornet". On July 9, 1985 434 squadron moved to CFB Chatham. In 1986 433 squadron ceased operations to restructure and reactivated in January 1988, equipped with the "CF-188 Hornet".

On April 1, 1993 CFB Bagotville became home to 3 Wing, which administers all Air Command units on base. The same day, 439 "Tiger" squadron was reformed from elements of the existing Base Flight Bagotvillecite web |url = |title = Bell CH-118 IROQUOIS |date = undated |author = AEROWARE / |accessdate = 2007-10-24 ] , flying the "CT-133 Silver Star" and "CH-118 Huey". The CT-133 fleet was retired in 2001 [cite web |url = |title = CT-133 Silver Star |date = 2007-06-28 |author = Air Force Public Affairs/Department of National Defence |accessdate = 2007-10-12 ] and in 1996 439 squadron's four CH-118s were replaced by three "CH-146 Griffons".

On March 1, 1999 12 Radar Squadron was formed at CFB Bagotville to provide tactical control of fighter/interceptor aircraft; it replaced a radar station at RCAF Station Mont Apica which was closed.

433 Squadron disbanded in 2006, with aircraft and personnel absorbed by 425 Squadron as a dual language Francophone/Anglophone unit.

Today, CFB Bagotville has the following Squadrons and Units:

* 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron (CF-18)
* 439 Combat Support Squadron (search and rescue)
* 3 Air Maintenance Squadron
* 12 Radar Squadron

Top Aces Consulting's Alpha Jet are based here as part of the CF jet training program Contracted Airborne Training Services.

Commercial Flights

* Air Canada
** Air Canada Jazz (Montreal)
* Sunwing Airlines (Punta Cana, Santa Lucia, Varadero)


External links

* [ 3 Wing Bagotville] (official site)

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