60 years of collaboration
The year 2018 marks the 60th anniversary of the creation of the North American Aerospace Defense Command commonly known as NORAD. The history of CFB Bagotville is closely linked to that of the creation of this organization.
Closed at the beginning of 1945, the Bagotville station became operational on 1 July 1951 to serve as a training base for squadrons for air defense in a new Cold War context. The creation of NORAD in May 1958 played an important role in the defense of North American territory. In 1961, Soviet planes began flying over the Arctic to reach the island of Cuba. Fighters, then stationed in Bagotville, escorted them many times off Newfoundland, outside the NORAD protected area. Following an agreement with the United States in 1963 to deploy a new weapons system, nuclear warheads arrived in Bagotville in May 1965. The last warheads left the Saguenay in the month of April 1984. The main event in the history of NORAD is unquestionably the attacks of September 11, 2001 as two planes hit the towers of the World Trade Center in New York and another crashed on part of the Pentagon in Washington. These events kill 2,979 people in a single day. Authorities suspended all civilian flights within hours. Closed since 1989 with the end of the Cold War, the hangars were reactivated early in the afternoon of September 11th. Today, CFB Bagotville remains one of NORAD’s key elements in the northeastern part of the continent.