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Naval and army monuments installed at DND HQ but date for CF-18 installation unknown


National Defence has installed the first pieces of equipment as monuments at the new headquarters on Carling Avenue in Ottawa.

A Leopard C2 tank and the bow of the former destroyer HMCS Iroquois (see below) were installed in late March as part of the monuments project costing more than $1 million.

The Royal Canadian Air Force will provide a CF-18 fighter jet for display at the headquarters. “The installation date of the CF-18 is still being determined,” Canadian Forces spokesman Maj. Scott Spurr noted in an email.

Each service was allowed to select its monument as representative of its branch. The original cost of the monuments project was $400,000 but that increased as more equipment displays were added.

In addition, a second monument grouping consisting of a Light Armoured Vehicle-3, a Sea King helicopter and a historical naval piece, which has yet to be determined, will be installed. Construction is expected to start on the initiative by the spring of 2021.

A third monument, a First World War Nieuport aircraft, will be displayed from the ceiling over the lobby of one of the main buildings at the defence headquarters.

An artillery gun, selected by the Canadian Army, will also be on display along with a Standard Missile 2 from the Royal Canadian Navy. The gun will symbolize involvement in the first Boer war 120 years ago while the missile will demonstrate technology advancements since then, according to the DND and Canadian Forces.

The installation of the monuments is part of the Department of National Defence’s “branding strategy” for the Carling Avenue headquarters. “The National Defence Headquarters will be a physical expression of the Defence Team; a representation of Canada’s military history and the future strength of Canada’s Defence Team establishment,” noted a branding document obtained by this newspaper through the Access to Information law.

In 2015, the plan was to have the monuments only consist of a Leopard tank, a CF-5 fighter jet and a then unknown navy monument. The criteria was that “the monuments characterize offensive and defensive weapons capability,” according to the documents.

The original budget was $400,000 but that amount has been increased as additional equipment was selected for display. The CF-5 jet was dumped in exchange for a more modern CF-18, which will be installed on a concrete pedestal.

Previously the location was referred to as the “Carling Campus” but now that has been officially changed to NDHQ Carling. The branding strategy noted that the selected name is “a brand that is generic in nature but inclusive of our heritage and traditions, representing and respecting the great diversity of our work forces and its branches of service.”

The federal government spent $800 million on acquiring and outfitting the former Nortel complex for the DND’s needs. It has argued that it will see substantial savings from consolidating many of the department’s employees into one site.

The defence campus consists of about 28 hectares once owned by Nortel and 120 hectares leased from the National Capital Commission. The DND will also continue to operate its downtown Ottawa headquarters at 101 Colonel By as well as some other office locations in Ottawa and Gatineau.

(Photos courtesy DND)

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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