Ladies and Gentlemen,
When the RSM and I last wrote at the end of April, the Regiment had just
completed an exercise in Suffield, and we were poised to deploy for a
portion of May to Wainwright. Concurrently, B Sqn was set to deploy
even further east to Gagetown for the Combat Team Commander's Course.
Little did I know at the time that Mother Nature would have a vote in
our employment. As it turns out, in addition to conducting collective
training in Wainwright and Gagetown, A Sqn and Recce Sqn had to deploy
to Manitoba on no-notice in late May/early June to assist Canadians
affected by the floods. As always, our great soldiers represented the
Regiment and the Canadian Forces with unparalleled professionalism in
the execution of our most important mission: helping Canadians on home
soil in their time of need. Meanwhile, even more Strathcona's have
deployed to Afghanistan. Having just picked up additional tasks on the
training advisory mission, the Strathcona's will soon have 75 soldiers
and leaders back in Afghanistan, which is nearly the same strength as
the tank squadrons we had been deploying for the past few years.
Training. By early June, the entire Regiment - less those troops serving again in Afghanistan - had finally re-deployed to Edmonton. After a few days of well deserved rest, the team was back at it again. Most recently, A and B Sqns deployed to Wainwright for a spring gun camp and completion of the Leopard Crew Commander's Course. Although we will ensure every soldier is able to get away on some adventure training and receives at least two consecutive weeks of uninterrupted leave, the Regiment will not be able to stand down collectively as we are running four Basic Military Qualification Courses for the Primary Reserve throughout the summer months. In fact, nearly 180 Strathcona's (mostly senior Corporals, Master Corporals and Sr NCOs) are tasked throughout the summer in support of training.
Community Relations. As you all know, the Strathcona's maintain a strong footprint in the communities in which we serve. Our hectic community relations schedule started in the middle of June, when the City of St Albert bestowed on the Regiment the highest honour a municipality can grant a military unit: Freedom of the City. Several thousand spectators watched as the Regiment paraded through the streets of St Albert on over 70 of our armoured and service support vehicles. Since that time, the Regiment has been engaged almost every weekend with a different event. In order to reduce the impact of these tasks on the Squadrons, we have formed a Community Relations Troop for the summer months. Equipped with a troop of armoured vehicles, this motivated group of soldiers represents the Regiment at various events - they are serving alongside the Strathcona Mounted Troop and Historical Vehicles Troop as the face of our Regimental Family.
Family Initiatives. We are constantly working on ways to improve support offered to our tremendous families. I am pleased to announce that Mrs. Kim Mills has stepped forward to assist Regimental leadership with improvements to the Family Support Troop and our delivery of services to the families. More details will follow in short order but we will seek immediate improvements in communicating to the Regimental Family through various social media, the establishment of a Deployment Support Group, and structural changes to the Family Support Troop.
Upcoming Events. Please note the following pending events and remember that all members of the Regimental Family are always invited to join us at various activities!
- 8 July: Recce Sqn will form the Departure Guard for Their Royal Highnesses, William and Catherine, in Calgary
- 8 July: B Sqn and various vehicles from the Regiment will be proudly displayed in the Stampede Parade in Calgary
- 9-10 July: Recce Sqn, the Strathcona Mounted Troop, Historical Vehicles Troop and Museum will be featured prominently at the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows
- 14 July: Command Team Challenge/Regimental BBQ (Edmonton)
- 14 July: Blackhat Luncheon (Calgary)
- 15 July: Stand-down
- July-August: Adventure Training/Summer Leave
- 10-11 August: The Col of the Regt, RSM and I will attend Combat Training Centre graduation activities in Gagetown. We look forward to connecting with Strathcona ERE soldiers at that time.
- 10-12 August: The Regimental Guidon will be paraded along with the colours of other combat arms units at a ceremonial event in Ottawa
- 18-19 August: Mixed Martial Arts Professional Development Seminar (Edmonton)
- Mid August (TBC): Exercise MAPLE DEFENDER. Elements of A Sqn may deploy to Wainwright to conduct a live fire power combat team demonstration for Primary Reservists and key stakeholders
- 25 August: MCpls Charity Golf Tournament (details will be released separately via Enews)
- 27 August: Regiment Family Day (Harvey Building - all Strathcona soldiers and families, serving and retired, are invited to participate)
- 29 August: Stand-down
- 1 September: Exercise Mountain Man. Nearly 70 Strathcona soldiers will go for Gold in this gruelling competition in the Edmonton River Valley
- 2-6 September: Labour Day Long Weekend
- 7-30 September: Exercise STEELE SABRE. The entire Regiment will deploy to Wainwright during this period
- 10-30 October: Exercise MAPLE RESOLVE. B Sqn will remain in Wainwright to provide tank support to LFCA
Website Updates. As many of you will have already noticed, Kathy Batty and the Adjutant have worked hard in recent weeks to update the Regimental Website (www.strathconas.ca). The website is a work in progress that will constantly evolve and will be refreshed with information as activities happen (ideally, new information will be posted every two weeks). As the theme of this site is the 'Regimental Family,' information regarding the serving members, families, Association, Society and Old Guard will be made available. Our intent is to keep the site 'photo heavy and text light' so please feel free to send photos and anecdotes to Kathy.
On behalf of the Colonel of the Regiment and all soldiers of the Regiment, the RSM and I wish you and your families a great summer.
T. (Trevor) Cadieu
Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)