Breaking New Ground—Stories from Defence Construction Breaking_new_ground - Page 44

A 39-passenger bus descends into the north portal of the underground semi- automatic ground environment (SAGE) Control Centre at North Bay, Ontario, in 1966. Above the portal entrance are the Air Force Police Security Building and the main personnel entrance. Say what? Project: CADIN— Penhold, Alberta, 1962–63—Len Harper The Continental Air There were a lot of amusing and interesting facets to the Defence Integration North job of building supervisor… gophers and moles liked the taste of the rubber insulation on the buried RWU In the late 1950s and the early 1960s, the CADIN well cables and when they chewed through there were project expanded and upgraded the North American fried rodents that could take out a couple of conduc- air defence system with additional radars and a new tors… I had a couple of lads who were short part of weapons system, the BOMARC missile. their trade qualifications, so I got in touch with a friend at NAIT (the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology), A semi-automatic ground environment (SAGE) got study materials and I tutored them for their exams command and control system was needed, to integrate and arranged for them to go to school. Got them all of this radar and computer technology with human qualified. Bill Large (the O&M manager in Ottawa) was operators to coordinate the high-speed continent-wide quite surprised, to say the least, when I told him that air battle that would likely happen in case of a Soviet DCL had two indentured apprentices. attack. Its vacuum tube technology required massive support elements, including what probably constitutes Len Harper joined DCL in 1956. He retired from the a permanent record as one of the largest computers position of area engineer at the Ontario Regional Office ever built. The SAGE Control Centre, built underground in Toronto in 1988. at North Bay, was the largest of the CADIN-related projects. The RCAF Construction Engineers had overall project responsibility for the construction, with DCL awarding and administering contracts. 34 BREAKING NEW GROUND DEFENCE CONSTRUCTION CANADA