Military steps up presence as Olympics near

Less than a month before the 2010 Winter Olympics, there are signs of life on the former CFB Chilliwack base, including more truck traffic and uniforms in evidence.

Canadian Forces will be assisting RCMP, which has the clearly defined responsibility for security, during the international sporting event.

“So the recent activity is attributable to the Games,” explained Maj. Craig Malin, commanding officer of the Area Support Unit Chilliwack.

Canadian Forces troops will be stationed throughout the Olympics region and the former base will be central for the “green fleet” to flow through, he said.

An estimated 4,000 to 5,000 troops will be posted to security detail for the games, involving army, navy and air force personnel.

The commanding officer could not divulge all aspects of the operation for security reasons, but he did share several of the details which might interest Chilliwack residents.

For example, traffic around the former base might be somewhat busy during non-peak traffic times, which could mean the middle of the night.

“The intent in not to disrupt life in Chilliwack, but the public will likely see an increased number of military vehicles on-site, and they will be operating 24/7,” Malin said.

They also might see a series of containers being moved around.

The commanding officer described the former CFB site as a “portal” to the Vancouver area by nature of its geography.

“And with the military infrastructure in place here, it was the logical place for it,” he said. “It’s not a base but it’s seen as a footprint on the ground that can be expanded.”

Typically the ASU has about 75 military and civilian personnel working on-site at the former base.

In addition, a service support unit of roughly 60 soldiers from Edmonton will be living and working from the ASU compound for the next two months.

“They will be here prepared to assist as an operational reserve. Their job will be service support, and as supplies flow in, they’ll deliver them forward.”

The nature of the work is not that much different from what the ASU does now, which is to provide support to Lower Mainland military units.

Troops will be arriving at one of two airports in Vancouver and Abbotsford.

It’s not the first time the Canadian Forces has been asked to assist RCMP. When the G8 Summit was underway in 2002, it was fairly similar. Both were domestic operations, as opposed to an international operation like the CF mission in Afghanistan.

“Planning for this has been going on for three years,” Malin said, adding that the support work will be his top priority in the next few weeks.

He was posted to ASU Chilliwack in the summer of 2008, and the work in anticipation of the games have “increased in earnest” in the last 18 months.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Just Posted

A black sedan, white SUV, red pickup truck and black hatchback were all involved in a four-vehicle collision at Hodgins Avenue and Yale Road on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack’s top 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2020

Overall collisions down by huge numbers with fewer drivers in pandemic year

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

Vanessa Dueck.
Snapshots of a Chilliwack father from his loving daughter

Father’s Day memories of special moments shared together

Rachel is a six month old Labrador retriever cross who was found at large. She is seen here at the Chilliwack SPCA on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Rachel at the Chilliwack SPCA

6-month-old puppy found at large, now at Chilliwack SPCA, needs special home

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Most Read