3 CDSB Edmonton, Alberta

Soft Skinned Vehicles on display at 3 Canadian Division Support Base Edmonton

The data found on this page has been compiled by the author.  Photos are by the author unless otherwise credited.  Any additions, corrections or amendments to this list of Soft-Skinned Vehicles in Canada would be most welcome.

If you have information and photographs of military vehicles missing from this list that you are willing to share, updates would be most welcome and may be e-mailed to the author at hskaarup@rogers.com.

Artillery, Tanks and Armoured Fighting Vehicles in Alberta are listed on separate pages on this website.

3 CDSB Edmonton

3rd Canadian Division Support Base (3CDSB) Edmonton is a Canadian Forces base located in Sturgeon County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. It is also known as Edmonton Garrison or "Steele Barracks".

The history of CFB Edmonton begins at an airfield called Blatchford Field, a few kilometres south from where CFB Edmonton would eventually be established. The airfield was established in 1927as a private and commercial interest by bush pilots, with support from the Mayor of Edmonton, airfield namesake Kenny Blatchford, opening a few months after he ended his term as mayor with his election as a Member of Parliament representing the city. The airfield became important to the opening up and development of the Canadian north, while also cementing Edmonton's place as the "Gateway to the North".

During the Second World War, Blatchford Field became a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) training station under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. No. 16 Elementary Flying Training School (No. 16 EFTS) and No. 2 Air Observers School (No. 2 AOS) used the aerodrome. The RCAF also ran No. 4 Initial Training School (No. 4 ITS)which was a ground school located at the University of Alberta. No. 16 EFTS closed in 1942 and No. 2 AOS closed in 1944. After No. 2 AOS closed, the station formally became known as RCAF Station Edmonton. Many RCAF squadrons and units were located here, including a survival school and the RCAF Winter Experimental Establishment (WEE). A United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) B-29 bomber detachment also used the station.

During the war, the airfield was a major factor in supporting the Allies of the Second World War, becoming a staging point for the U.S. defence of Alaska, as well as a major waypoint of the Northwest Staging Route supplying equipment and aircraft to the Soviet military. Aircraft had to be ferried and transport aircraft used the aerodrome to support the construction of the Alaska Highway. Air traffic increased significantly and flying activities were becoming hazardous. Since the old airfield could not be expanded because of its proximity to the city of Edmonton, the U.S. Government built a new air facility at Namao, about 11 km(6.8 mi) north of the city.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers built two runways at the base, 03/21 and 12/30, both 2,100 m (6,890ft) long and Canada's longest at the time. The Americans ran the Namao airfield until the end of the war when the Canadian Government took it over. With time, RCAF Station Edmonton also developed severe limitations at Blatchford, and on 1October 1955 all RCAF Squadrons and support units were transferred to the "new" RCAF Station Namao. Blatchford Field was turned over to the Edmonton municipal government and became the commercial Edmonton City Centre (Blatchford Field) Airport.[10]

During the Cold War, RCAF Station Namao was used by the United States Strategic Air Command, which constructed a "Nose Dock" capable of servicing the nose and wings of heavy jet bombers and tankers on the south side of the airfield. The station also hosted the Edmonton Rescue Coordination Centre and served as home base for United Nations Food Aid flights, delivering aid to Ethiopia, Somalia, and Bosnia. Because Namao at that time had a 4,200-metre (13,780 ft) runway, 12/30, it was designated an emergency Space Shuttle landing site by NASA.

In 1968, when Canada's armed force branches were amalgamated, RCAF Station Namao was redesignated Canadian Forces Base Edmonton (Lancaster Park) and was under command of the new Air Transport Command and later Air Command.

Federal Government budget cuts forced the command of the air station to be transferred to the Canadian Forces Land Force Command in 1994. CFB Edmonton (Lancaster Park)/18 Wing Edmonton was redesignated CFB Edmonton.

Although both runways are still visible they are no longer in use except for a 148 ft × 492 ft (45 m × 150 m)section of 03/21 used by helicopters.  In2010–2011, Government of Canada announced the construction of new facilities for visiting Canadian Armed Forces members training at 3 CDSB.

The Operational and Support Units of CFB Edmonton are:

• Land Force Western Area HQ

• ASU Edmonton

• ASU Calgary

• ASU Chilliwack

• 1 Service Battalion

• 742 Signal Squadron

• Canadian Forces Service Prison and DetentionBarracks

• 10 MP Company

• 1 MP Regiment

• 1 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group HQ[15]

• HQ and Signal Squadron

• 1st Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian LightInfantry

• 3rd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian LightInfantry

• Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)

• 1 Combat Engineer Regiment[16]

• 1 Field Ambulance

• 39 CBG HQ

• 5 Royal Canadian Artillery

• 15 Field Artillery RCA

• 6 Field Engineer Squadron

• 44 Field Engineer Squadron

• 12 Service Battalion

• 12 Field Ambulance

• 41 CBG HQ

• 20 Field Regiment

• 15 Service Battalion

• 14 Service Battalion

• 8 Field Engineer Regiment

• 15 Medical Company

• CFAD Dundurn Detachment Edmonton

• 1 Dental Unit Detachment Edmonton

• 7 Canadian Forces Supply Depot

• 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron

• 74 Communication Group Headquarters

• Health Services Group

• 7 Aerospace Control Squadron

• 745 Communication Squadron


The principal function of the CFB Edmonton today is to field a general-purpose combat-effective mechanized brigade group, or any portion thereof, ready for deployment to a minimal-intensity battlefield in accordance with assigned tasks.

CFB Edmonton is the headquarters of3rd Canadian Division, the highest army authority in western Canada, and 1Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1 CMBG), the only Regular Force brigade group in the region. The base is situated at Steele Barracks (named for Sir Sam Steele) just north of the city. The area formerly known as CFB Griesbach within the city itself is no longer operational. All buildings and land having been sold and are no longer Crown assets. The final closure was announced by Minister MacKay in 2012. The base as a collective is an important part of the community surrounding Edmonton and is home to some of the most prestigious and experienced units in the Canadian Military.

The 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, along with elements of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) and 1 Combat Engineer Regiment (all part of 1 CMBG)were chosen to be a part of Canada's military response to the 11 September 2001attacks and were deployed on combat operations to Afghanistan (including Operation Anaconda in 2001 and 2002. Units from the base were deployed to Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of the Canadian Forces command takeover in that area as well. Units from Edmonton were also deployed on domestic operations such as to assist with the Red River Flood in 1997 (where the entire 1 CMBG was deployed) and, more recently, as a part of Operation Peregrine in response to the forest fires in British Columbia in 2003. Units from CFB Edmonton were also deployed on numerous peacekeeping operations, including to Bosnia and Kosovo, among others.

At the end of March 2010 there were 4,237 regular military, 905 reserve Class A, B, and C forces, and 665 civilian workers at CFB Edmonton. CFB Edmonton has around one-third of the Canadian army's fighting power.

In February 2012, it was reported that the Alberta Government had been in contact with the federal government and military officials in Ottawa and Edmonton over the use of the runway for MEDIVAC flights with the planned closure of Edmonton City Centre Airport. It was ultimately decided to operate all medical flights out of a purpose built facility at the Edmonton International Airport.

3 CDSB Edmonton also participated in Operation Unifier in Ukraine, 2015–2016. In August 2016, 3 CDSB Edmonton troops joined the NATO mission in Poland, Operation Reassurance. (CF)


(DND Photo)

M-26A1 Mighty Mouse Tank Recovery Vehicle in Germany.  During the Second World War US Army determined that it had a gap in its ability to recover and haul the increasingly heavy Tanks being brought into service.  They contracted Pacific Car and Foundry Co. of Seattle, Washington, to produce a heavy truck more capable than the M20 Diamond T that was in service until then.  In the end the US Army procured 48 M26/M26A1’s and Canada procured 3 M26A1’s to recover and haul our 54-ton Centurion Tanks.  The US called them "Dragon Wagons", but in Canada they were referred to as the “Mighty Mouse” due to their ability to recover and haul tanks much larger and heavier than the truck was.  RCEME crews were able to attach a heavy haul trailer, similar to what is now in use with the “Tru-Hitch” recovery trailer, but with two 30-ton winches, capable of a combined 60-ton one to one extraction.  Two of these Might Mouse M26A1 trucks were employed in Western Command in Calgary in the 1950s, with the third one used at the RCEME School for training.  These were primarily used by the 53rd Light Aid Detachment, which was attached to Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment.  (Tony Beresford)

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235914)

LdSH (RC) M38 A1 CAN3 2¼ -ton 4 X 4 Jeep on patrol in Cyprus.

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

Canadian Military Pattern Chevrolet CGT Field Artillery Tractor (FAT), (4x4, 101-inch wheelbase) with Limber.  LdSH secure compound, Historical vehicle Troop.

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

Canadian Military Pattern Chevrolet C15A (4 X 4, 101-inch wheelbase, 15 cwt), awaiting restoration.  South Alberta Light Horse (B Sqn).

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

M37 Dodge 3/4-ton truck.

(Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4235928)

M37 Dodge 3/4-ton Truck being lifted by a Boeing Vertol CH-113A Voyageur Helicopter (Serial No. 10411), c1965.

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

M816 5-ton Wrecker, Edmonton Garrison.  

Military Component Canadian Delegation to the International Control Commission in South Viet Nam with ICCS Willys Jeep, ca 1973.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234550)

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

Willys 2¼ -ton 4 X 4 Signals Jeep, 1 CMBG Headquarters.

Canadian Provost Corps mounted in a Willys Jeep on UN duty in Egypt.  (Library and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 4234422)

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

CJ-7 Jeep, awaiting restoration.  South Alberta Light Horse (B Sqn), CFB Edmonton.

(Author Photos)

Caterpillar D7 Bulldozer mounted on a section of Bailey Bridge, RCE Bldg.

Jack Cross Collection, Fort McMurray

(Photos courtesy of Janice Bull)

M816 5 Ton 6X6 Wrecker.  Jack Cross Collection, Fort McMurray.

(Photo courtesy of Janice Bull)

M151A2 1/4-ton, 4 X 4 Jeep (G838), Museum Park, Jack Cross Collection, Fort McMurray

St. Albert, Reg Hodgson Collection

(Anthony Sewards Photos)


(Anthony Sewards Photo)

GPA amphibious Jeep (Seep), St. Albert, Reg Hodgson Collection.

(Libary and Archives Canada Photo, MIKAN No. 3607962)

GPA amphibious Jeep (Seep), the Netherlands, 1944-45.

(Anthony Sewards)


(Anthony Sewards Photo)

CMP trucks.

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

Deuce-and-a-half truck.

(Anthony Sewards Photo)

Staff Car.

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