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Garrison Petawawa undergoing another name change

By Sean Chase, The Daily Observer

(QMI AGENCY files)

(QMI AGENCY files)


Garrison Petawawa is undergoing yet another name change.

The Department of National Defence (DND) confirmed Wednesday that the new name “4th Canadian Division Support Base Petawawa” will go into effect in the near future, however, no date has been given.

“The renaming is an essential part of the government’s commitment to honour the memories of the many brave Canadians who have sacrificed in service to Canada,” said public affairs officer Capt. Denny Brown.

In March, Canadian Forces Base Petawawa was changed to Garrison Petawawa as part of a plan to reduce the number of non-deployable headquarters. Under restructuring, 2 Area Support Group (2 ASG) maintained its headquarters here but five new units and three branches were stood up between Petawawa and Toronto.

The Canadian Army has rolled out a plan to reintroduce divisional titles to its area commands. Land Force Central Area in Ontario will be called 4th Canadian Division, formed in Britain in 1916 during the Great War. Canada had nominal divisions on paper between the wars, overseeing the Militia, but no regular army formations.

When Canada entered the Second World War, the 4th Canadian Infantry Division stood up before it was redesignated as an armoured division prior to the D-Day landings in France. From 1946 to 1954, Canada had a divisional headquarters before a peacetime division consisting of brigades in Germany, Edmonton and Valcartier was established. It was disbanded in 1958. The 1st Canadian Division was reactivated in 1988 as a headquarters only at Kingston.

The changes include the re-introduction of divisional nomenclature and patches for the current Land Force Areas; traditional rank insignia for officers; corps shoulder titles from the restoration of Royal titles to a number of Canadian Army corps. A new Canadian Army secondary badge featuring the crossed swords, overlaid by three maple leaves conjoined on one stem, and a crown on top, will also be introduced.

Petawawa is no stranger to changing its title. In 1968, the unification of the Canadian Forces under the Trudeau government resulted in Camp Petawawa being renamed Canadian Forces Base Petawawa.

The latest name change was approved in July.

It is DND’s intention to complete the changes by 2014 in time to mark the 100th anniversary of the commencement of the First World War.

“They really coincide well together to be historically significant,” Brown added.

Sean Chase is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist

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