Some of the most used equipment at 9 Wing Gander, NL will soon have a new facility in place for proper care and storage.

A 1,000-m2 wash bay and storage facility is now at 80 per cent completion at the base. The facility will offer 103 SAR Squadron the opportunity to better care for the three CH-149 Cormorant helicopters that call the base home—and provide interim storage for a fourth helicopter that will be shared with 415 Squadron at 14 Wing Greenwood during higher rescue seasons.

“It’s definitely an asset to the base here – it’s going to benefit the maintenance crews, in more ways than one,” said Paul Leavitt, DCC Coordinator, Construction Services at 9 Wing. “They are extremely excited as they watch it being constructed."

Along with providing facilities specifically for washing the CH-149 Cormorants, the facility will provide better protection for the aircraft—in particular a high-expansion foam fire suppression system that includes large collection tanks that retain the foam for activation in the event of fire.

Construction on the project, since award in October 2020, has gone smoothly though work on an active airfield has added hurdles to logistics, in particular, timing. This is in addition to the scheduling challenges posed by work on an island—where access is often cut off or delayed due to poor weather. Nonetheless, the project is scheduled to be complete on time.

When complete, the facility will meet Green Globe standards for energy efficiency and reduced environmental footprint. That includes choosing specific materials, from paint to lighting, sealants, and fire suppression foam also reduces the impact on the environment.

The $8.4-million project is expected to be complete in May 2022.

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