CFB Gagetown was officially opened in 1958 as a training facility. It boasts an 1100 square kilometres training area, 1500 kms of roads, 900 kms of tracks, 740 buildings and some 6000 military and civilian personnel at the main base and lodger units across New Brunswick and PEI. As such, CFB Gagetown is the second largest military base in Canada and the largest military facility in Eastern Canada.
CFB Gagetown is also the second largest public sector employer, after the province itself, in New Brunswick and third (behind Irving) as the largest employer in the province. The Base and its lodger units provide full-time employment to approximately 4500 military members and 1500 civilians. The Base contributes over 220 million dollars to the local economy and more than 500 million to the provincial economy annually.
The main garrison, located in the town of Oromocto, New Brunswick, has a large impact on the local community. Base employees and their families represent roughly 75% of the more than 10 thousand residents of Oromocto and surrounding communities. CFB Gagetown provides services to the town of Oromocto, including water treatment services to the whole town and sewage treatment to half of the local residents.
The total number of personnel at CFB Gagetown increases dramatically at different times of the year. The training areas and facilities are also used regularly by units from other Canadian Forces Bases, Reserve units, Cadets, civilian police forces and even American military units from across the nearby border. At any one time there is normally an additional 1000 personnel training on the base and up to 5000 additional personnel during the summer training period.
The Base consists of two large formations and numerous lodger units. The Combat Training Centre is organized around a core of five distinct schools: Armour, Artillery, Infantry, Tactics and Canadian Forces School of Military Engineering. The other formation, 3 Area Support Group, supports housing, feeding, equipment repair and general care for all military and civilian personnel, not only on the Base, but throughout New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Also providing support to the soldiers are 42 Health Services, 1 Dental Unit and the Joint Personnel Support Unit, which are integral to CFB Gagetown’s health and welfare support structure.
The Base is also home to five operational units: 2nd Battalion, the Royal Canadian Regiment, 4 Air Defence Regiment, 4 Engineer Support Regiment, 403 Operational (Helicopter) Training Squadron and C Squadron, The Royal Canadian Dragoons. More than a third of CFB Gagetown’s soldiers belong to these operational units which are prepared to deploy at home and abroad.
CFB Gagetown is also home to the Joint Meteorological Centre, the Land Force Trials and Evaluation Unit, the Land Force Atlantic Area Training Centre and the Argonaut Army Cadet Summer Training Centre.