Soldiers with 443 Maritime Helicopter Squardon stood at attention Thursday, April 9 as British Columbia Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon and other dignitaries helped consecrate the squadron’s new colours.
A ceremony was held at the new hangar and operations facility at the Victoria International Airport. The squadron unveiled both their new colours, as well as the name of the facility – Arundel Castle. The Castle, in West Sussex, England, was where the squadron was stationed leading up to D-Day during the Second World War.
The $155 million facility was completed last year. Squadron personnel have been transitioning into the hangar and administrative offices since November, 2014. Since then, their former location has been torn down and some of the bricks from the original headquarters building saved for use as a monument.
The squadron continues to use their old hangar at the airport, and will slowly move their Sea King helicopters into the new hangar as their occupancy draws to a close. Their former hangar building will then be in the hands of the Victoria Airport Authority, who have said they plan to find new tenants.
The facility was built, in part, to provide space and support for new CH-148 Cyclone helicopters, set to replace the Sea Kings.