CANEX: The company store

From the Legion Magazine.

New WW II Deluxe Collection!
Front lines
CANEX: The company store

CANEX: The company store

Story by Stephen J. Thorne

The CANEX, run by Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, is 50 years old. By turns supermarket, clothier, convenience store, lunch counter, hardware store, furniture shop and electronics mecca, CANEX was for years all things to all people in uniform. First opened in 1968 to provide goods and services to the defence community, CANEX now operates 35 retail outlets on bases and other military sites across Canada, as well as an e-commerce store,, where folks in uniform can buy everything from TVs to Fitbits, camping gear to military kit.


Twenty-Five Great Canadian Aviators!

September 11, 2001
Norad springs into action

RCAF Lieutenant-General Rick Findley just happened to be director of Norad operations at Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Sept. 11, 2001, the day terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Centre skyscrapers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. It was the day North Americans learned they could be attacked from domestic airspace, too.

Within an hour of the attacks, U.S. air traffic was shut down and international flights directed to Canada. By the end of the day, Norad had nearly 200 armed U.S. and Canadian aircraft in the air.

The next day, the U.S. and Canada added monitoring and responding to threats originating within North American airspace to the Norad mission. In the following five years, it responded to 2,100 potential threats.

It was not the first tweaking of the agreement to co-ordinate air defence of the continent, which began in earnest Sept. 12, 1957, with establishment of North American Air Defence Command headquarters in Colorado.

Norad’s initial mission was to detect and react to airborne threats, then primarily Soviet long-range bombers, armed with nuclear weapons. Over the years, Soviet flights regularly have skirted North American airspace, notably recently in May, when Norad was marking the 60th anniversary of the official signing of the joint agreement in 1958.

In 1981, a new name—North American Aerospace Defence Command—reflected the addition of monitoring for missiles and space vehicles to the mission. In 2006, maritime threat was added.

By custom, both countries staff Norad operations—about 150 Canadians were working at Cheyenne Mountain on Sept. 11, 2001. Findley was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross for his actions that day and Norad’s headquarters building at the Peterson Air Force Base was renamed the Eberhart-Finley Building.

Canada operates and maintains the radar stations of the North Warning System. Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg serves as the Canadian Norad headquarters, with CF-18 Hornet fighters provided by the RCAF from tactical fighter squadrons in Cold Lake, Alta., and Bagotville, Que.

Combat-ready interception awaits any aircraft that does not radio its course and destination upon entering air defence identification zones, which extend 320 kilometres offshore.

Chief miscreants are Russian long-range bombers, sometimes with fighter escorts, on “training” missions. But civilian aircraft also come under Norad’s watchful eye. In 2017, U.S. fighters escorted back to Montreal a Cuba-bound charter flight with a passenger threatening crew and passengers.

This week in history
This Week in History

September 13, 1759

General James Wolfe leads the British in an attack against the French, commanded by General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm at the Plains of Abraham. Both generals die from wounds sustained during the battle. The British are victorious, resulting in the French ceding most of its eastern North American possessions to the British.


Arbor Alliances

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.