This article is about the air force base CFB Shearwater, formerly naval air station HMCS Shearwater, and air force station RCAF Station Shearwater/RCAF Station Dartmouth.
Canadian Forces Base Shearwater (CFB Shearwater) is a Canadian Forces base located in Eastern Passage, Nova Scotia on the eastern shore of Halifax harbour.
CFB Shearwater is the birthplace and primary base for naval aviation in Canada, and plays host to 12 Wing (12 Wing Shearwater) which was formerly organized as Maritime Air Group, Canadian Armed Forces.
12 Wing has 2 operational helicopter squadrons, one stationed on the east coast at Shearwater, the other on the west coast at Patricia Bay, British Columbia (Victoria International Airport) in addition to training squadrons at Shearwater. The current ship-borne helicopter used by Canada's navy is the CH-124 Sea King.
CFB Shearwater is the second-oldest military aerodrome in Canada. In August 1918 the US Navy established Naval Air Station Halifax on the shores of Eastern Passage to support flying boat patrol aircraft. The land-based airfield was developed by the Royal Canadian Air Force and became known as RCAF Station Dartmouth and later RCAF Station Shearwater through the Second World War.
Post_war, the Royal Canadian Navy took over the facility, naming it HMCS Shearwater, also known as Royal Canadian Naval Air Station Shearwater (RCNAS Shearwater), using it to station carrier-based maritime patrol and fighter aircraft. Shearwater was also the home to early experiments with ship-borne helicopters - something which was copied by navies around the world. During the 1960s, the aerodrome at the former RCAF Station Debert was attached to HMCS Shearwater as a training location for carrier landings.
The February 1, 1968 unification of the three service branches into the Canadian Armed Forces saw HMCS Shearwater (RCNAS Shearwater) change its name to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Shearwater.
Today the base has been scaled back with all runways being deactivated and surplus land being sold. Shearwater's primary mission remains as a heliport for the navy's Atlantic fleet.
The Shearwater Aviation Museum is located on base and documents local and national military aviation heritage. The nearby Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum, located near Halifax International Airport, includes both military and civil aviation.