With the closure of CFB Chilliwack in 1997 and the move of the Regular Force units to different locations, Area Support Unit (ASU) Chilliwack was established to provide support to the Canadian Forces units on the British Columbia mainland. The centre of this support was located in the former 1 Combat Engineer Regiment unit lines and based on the headquarters building. That building was officially opened in April 1992 and named "Wadi Al-Batin" in honour of 1 CER's mission to Kuwait as part of the UN Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission to restore peace following the 1991 Gulf War.
As a result of recent re-organizations, operations at ASU Chilliwack have ceased and institutional support was transferred to 3 Canadian Division Support Group and 39 Canadian Brigade Group. The three-building complex has been re-purposed and will become home to elements of the following units: 3 Canadian Division Support Group, 39 Combat Engineer Regiment, the Royal Westminster Regiment, 39 Service Battalion, Signals Detachment Chilliwack, 1 Military Police Detachment Chilliwack and Defence Construction Canada.
NDHQ has recently approved the naming of this complex in honour of a long-serving and distinguished CME officer, Colonel St. John. The name will be the "Colonel Roger Kenwood St. John, OMM, CD Armoury," The main building, however, will continue to bear the name "Wadi Al-Batin."
Col St. John is remembered both for his outstanding and distinguished Sapper Officer career and for his contributions to the local community. Born in Vancouver BC in 1944, he joined the Canadian Forces in 1959. During his career he was a Combat Engineer, Construction Engineer, and Firefighter as well as a Staff Officer with National, International, and United Nations responsibilities. Col St. John’s full career spanned across Canada and Europe as well as including several United Nations missions in Cyprus, Pakistan, and Bosnia.
Col St. John had a long history of community service in the Chilliwack area. He commanded CFB Chilliwack in 1993 and retired to Chilliwack when he took his leave from the Regular Force in 1998. In 2008 Col St. John was appointed as the Canadian Military Engineer Branch Colonel Commandant. Col St. John passed away on 15 Sept 2009.
The official naming ceremony will be conducted in 2014.