Canadian Armed Forces pilots have been flying Sea King helicopters for 50 years.

A parade will commemorate the anniversary, followed by a memorial service to recognize crew members who died aboard.

The first two Sea Kings arrived at Canadian Forces Base Shearwater on August 1, 1963, and were expected to serve mainly as Cold War submarine hunters.

The Department of National Defense was supposed to start receiving the first replacement Cyclone helicopters from Sikorsky Aircraft in 2008 but it is still waiting. And those weren't even the first series of helicopters ordered as replacements.

A year ago, Defence Minister Peter MacKay called the government attempts to replace the Sea Kings "the worst procurement in the history of Canada."