Wed, Apr 06, 2005
RAF Shuts Down Newfoundland Base
Britain's RAF has turned over the keys to its last North
American military outpost to the Canadian government. The Queen's
contingent at CFB Goose Bay is gone.
"This place is seen as remote and difficult to get to, and hard
to live in by an awful lot of Canadians," RAF Squadron Leader Paddy
Currie told the CBC. "Brits don't see it that way. This is a great
place for us to come to."
The three barracks that once housed up to 500 British airmen are
empty now. The hangars that once housed Tornado attack aircraft and
C-130 Hercules have been cleaned out as well. Even the Bulldog bar,
which catered to off-duty RAF types with $1.00 drafts of their
favorite British beers was shut down a year ago. Even the base web
site appears to have been shut down.
The British helped build Goose Bay in 1942 to protect maritime
traffic in the North Atlantic. It was occupied by NATO forces --
Brits and Dutch, mostly, during the Cold War. Sparsely populated,
it was a great place to practice low-level maneuvers. But with the
collapse of the Soviet Union, the Dutch pulled out two years ago
and the expensive, high-intensity training just isn't worth what it
once was. There are still small contingents of both German and
Italian units, but the main force is now gone.
The Canadian Department of National Defense will maintain the
physical plant at Goose Bay, hoping to rent it out down the
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