New state-of-the-art facility at CFB Borden improves engineer training

Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers School
The Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) School at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden. Photo: DND

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Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan participated in a building dedication ceremony for the new Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RCEME) School at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Borden on May 15. Completed in March 2017, the facility will provide RCEME students with state-of-the-art training facilities.

The facility is named after the late Colonel Karen Ritchie, who was the first woman to serve as a RCEME Colonel. A former Commander of 5 Area Support Group in Quebec (now 2nd Canadian Division Support Group), and Deputy Chair of the Committee on Women in the NATO Forces, Colonel Ritchie is remembered for her dedication, enthusiasm, professionalism, and valuable contributions to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

“The Colonel Karen Ritchie Building allows us to conduct training in a modern environment, continuing to advance our Corps while preserving our history and traditions,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Jeff Spitzig, Commandant, RCEME School.

Built to accommodate modern military vehicles and specialized training equipment, the building includes storage areas, office spaces, classrooms, and six high-bay shop spaces for equipment maintenance training. This new facility will provide RCEME students with essential training to maintain land-based military equipment in support of CAF operations.

As outlined in Canada’s defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is committed to providing the women and men of the CAF with modern, green, and functional facilities in which they can work and train.

The new facility was designed to meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification standard, and incorporates green building concepts to minimize its footprint. This will help the Department meet the federal government’s new emissions reduction target of 80 per cent (from 2005 levels) by 2050.

Valued at $81.7 million, this infrastructure project created approximately 150 jobs during the construction period, providing economic development opportunities for the region.

“The legacy built by Colonel Ritchie during her time in the CAF is a shining example for the women and men of the engineering trades. This new training facility will further enable the RCEME School to provide a high standard of training for members of our Canadian Armed Forces.”

– Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

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