A ‘Big Deal’ between significant milestones

Captain (Navy) Matthew Coates discusses the importance of the Combat Training and Integration Centre design. Photo: MCpl Ian Thompson

Captain (Navy) Matthew Coates discusses the importance of the Combat Training and Integration Centre design. Photo: MCpl Ian Thompson

Michael McWhinnie,
Public Affairs Advisor, NTG 

The Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) is one of our generation’s largest and most complex maritime defence projects. It will deliver the Royal Canadian Navy’s (RCN) future fleet and change the landscape on both coasts by recapitalizing the training infrastructure necessary to support those vessels.
Last November, the CSC project achieved a significant milestone when Minister Blair announced that Canada is moving forward with a new training facility at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax, Canada’s most extensive military base. The EllisDon Corporation of Halifax has been awarded a $7.85 million contract to design the new Combatant Training and Integration Center – Atlantic (CTIC-A), which will house cutting-edge training systems to train Canadian sailors for the incoming fleet of Canadian Surface Combatant (CSC) warships. The total estimated project cost of the facility is $188 million.

On Feb. 21, architects, engineers, and RCN managers gathered for a partnering session for the proposed facility, during which critical processes for managing communications, expectations, and relationships were discussed. 

It was attended by two commanding officers of the organizations that will be the building’s primary occupants: Captain (Navy) Matthew Coates of Naval Training Group (NTG) and Captain (Navy) Blair Brown of the Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre (CFMWC). 

“The Carroll Building (S-17) is our principal instructional facility in Halifax and houses some of our most important trainers,” said Capt(N) Coates. “Flexibility and reconfigurability will be key design attributes to ensure CTIC-A can support not only the technologies we know are coming, but those beyond our ability to predict.”

CTIC-A will include a Secure Training Facility (STF) required by CSC for classified individual and collective training and associated simulators and trainers. It will allow for the co-location of functionally connected organizations, including CFMWC, a Data Management Centre and an Engineering Development Lab, to facilitate and enhance collaboration. 

“The Stubbs Building (S32), built in the 1950s, has served us equally well, first as the Maritime Warfare School, and now as the CFMWC. But the building has been showing its age for a while,” added Capt(N) Brown. “We’re looking forward to the move to CTIC-A which will co-locate the folks from CFMWC who develop the tactics to prevail on operations at sea, with those from NTG who teach them to our sailors and officers.”

Capt(N) Coates also stressed the importance of the task before them.

“Operational excellence at sea is built on a foundation of quality training ashore,” he stated. “First-rate training, in turn, relies heavily on access to suitable infrastructure. In a very appreciable way, the building you design will directly support Canadian maritime capability generation for decades to come.”

The primary contract for this facility was awarded in November 2023. The design phase will occur throughout 2024. Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2025/2026 and finish in 2030. 

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