Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt, located west of Victoria, British Columbia has a long history within the community. It was first established as a military installation by the Royal Navy in 1855 and has continually served the Royal Canadian Navy since its inception in 1910. CFB Esquimalt is the 3rd largest base in Canada (by population) and is home to the Pacific Fleet, one of two Naval Formations.
About CFB Esquimalt
Home of the Pacific Naval Fleet
CFB Esquimalt is sometimes referred to as the 14th municipality of Greater Victoria, making the Base Commander “the mayor”. Like a municipality, it has its own fire department, police, post office, recreation centre, medical clinic, churches, resource centers, and newspaper – the Lookout. Additionally, it performs the role of Harbour Authority for the Esquimalt Harbour.
CFB Esquimalt supports Maritime Forces Pacific (MARPAC) in its role of generating and maintaining multi-purpose, combat capable maritime forces prepared to conduct operations in Canadian waters and abroad. As virtually every Canadian depends on international maritime trade either for employment or for consumer benefits, MARPAC helps ensure the continuing flow of goods through the operational presence of its fleet in their area of responsibility – 1.7 million square kilometres in the northeast Pacific Ocean. CFB Esquimalt supports MARPAC operations through enabling the Pacific Fleet’s participation in collective defense operations with Canada’s allies in the international arena.
CFB Esquimalt consists of more than just Her Majesty’s Canadian Dockyard and Naden. While these areas do encompass the “heart” of base holdings, CFB Esquimalt’s portfolio consists of 23 sites including properties on the mainland in Vancouver and one as far north as Haida Gwaii. 853 work buildings and 710 Residential Housing Units as well as piers, roads, jetties, land and utility distribution which together have an estimated replacement value of more than $2.3 billion.
CFB Esquimalt is the 3rd largest employer in the Capital Regional District of Greater Victoria and plays a significant economic role in the area. Local spending impacts both direct and indirect are estimated to be $611.3 million. The base employs approximately 6,500 military and civilian employees with a annual payroll of more than $440 million. In any given year more than 2,800 military personnel will be trained at Naval Fleet School Pacific.
As with any organisation that is over 100 years old, CFB Esquimalt is constantly rebuilding and upgrading to meet operational, environmental, and technological innovations. This has a continuing positive impact on local construction, manufacturers, and suppliers.
CFB Esquimalt is made up of six branches: Executive, Information Services, Logistics, Safety and Environment, Port Operations and Emergency Services, Administration and also supports several lodger units, who while geographically located in B.C., do not report directly to the base.