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    Maintaining the North Warning System


    Like quiet sentries keeping watch throughout a harsh and unforgiving terrain, the 50 radars of the North Warning System (NWS) dot North America's high Arctic coastline. Comprising both long- and short-range radar sites, the NWS extends from the southern coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, , to the North Slope of Alaska, US, with 47 of the 50 radar sites located in Canada.

    The NWS is essential to the aerospace defence of Canada and the United States; as such, the maintenance of its infrastructure is crucial. Though all sites are remotely monitored from a control centre in 22 Wing North Bay, Ontario, the isolated radar locations present unique challenges to the technicians who work on them.

    Preventative and corrective maintenance is conducted year round. Because all but two of the sites are not staffed, technicians must travel to these remote locations from one of the five logistic support sites, located in Iqaluit, Inuvik, Cambridge Bay, Hall Beach and Goose Bay. Personnel reach the radar sites via a combination of fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, or, when weather and time are factors, ground transportation provided by the Canadian Ranger Group.

    In the summer months, technicians will go to the sites for five to 10 days; during the winter, the visits are shorter because of the extreme cold and unpredictable weather.

    Technicians must carry their own food and supplies, including tools for every possible scenario.

    Thanks to the dedication and perseverance of these…

    Continue Reading This Article At The Canadian Armed Forces Website

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