The electrical system at Naval Radio Station (NRS) Aldergrove is about to receive a 21st century revamp.
Minister of national defence Peter MacKay appeared at NRS Aldergrove Sunday afternoon to announce that the station's 1970s vintage equipment will soon make way for a new 450 kW generator, complete with automatic transfer switch and weatherproof enclosure.
"Our government understands the importance of what the Canadian Forces are able to accomplish on behalf of our country and the importance of investing in what they do and how they do it," MacKay said.
Houle Electrical from Burnaby was awarded the contract for the $1.1 million electrical systems upgrade project May 1.
Completion is scheduled for the fall of 2012.
MacKay said the generator being replaced has "served us well, but is past its best-before date."
The new system will ensure emergency electrical power is available during outages.
It's also expected to strengthen the detachment's ability to operate under emergency conditions, while continuing it primary mission of supporting vital communication, command, and control systems.
"It is a modern, updated, electrical system that will help NRS Aldergrove continue its primary mission [of] supporting vital communications that are uninterrupted and in so doing, will ensure that we continue to see success from this station well into the future," MacKay said during Sunday's press conference.
The upgrade will pump dollars into the local economy while contributing to NRS Aldergrove's infrastructure renewal, MacKay noted.
Established in 1942, NRS Aldergrove supports Canada's maritime forces at sea. Together with transmitters at Matsqui, the Aldergrove station comprise the CFB Esquimalt detachment, providing long-range radio communications in support of air and naval forces in Canada's Pacific and Arctic regions.
NRS Aldergrove hosts an Arctic surveillance capability which directly supports Canadian northern sovereignty.
The NRS provides coverage for the nine million square kilometres of the Pacific Ocean that is the area of responsibility of Canada's Pacific fleet.
MacKay said NRS Aldergrove has been central to the Canadian military's work in the protection of Canadians and the defence of Canada over the past 70 years.
"Since its establishment during World War Two, Aldergrove's radio station has been an essential part of a broad communications network," MacKay said. "A network that has provided vital shipto-shore communications for Canadian and Allied Armed Forces throughout the world. And that vital role continues today."
The Canadian Forces relies on the station for more than just strategic communications, MacKay said.
"NRS Aldergrove is also home to a number of primary reserve and cadet units, who use the stations facilities for training," he added.