B Sqn Makes a Mark in the Maritimes
Corporal B. Loft
B squadron was tasked to Gagetown for the CTCC 25 Apr to 23 May 11, the Combat Team Commanders Course. If anybody is wondering if Gagetown changed: No. It still sucks.
For almost the entire month we deployed, it rained. In fact, it rained so hard that many a gunner complained about a slightly wet back. Fortunately, with Quebec clearly in lower ground than New Brunswick, a dampened training value still netted some valuable training experience without B Sqn having to deploy to Fredericton to sandbag.
After a couple days in the field, 2nd troop was OpCon to I-Coy, 2nd Bn, The Royal Canadian Regiment to provide direct fire support for a live fire demonstration for the VCDS. Illustrating the importance of the demonstration, and the resources available to oversee its success was SQMS WO Romanuik successful acquisition of two full days of sunshine. 2nd Troop demonstrated, through gunner's determination and proper allocation of ammunition that a tank troop can unleash Armageddon, completely stealing the show from the infantry. The infantry weren't the only ones learning lessons -- Lt "Fine red «inappropriate comment»" Kenny learned the importance of all-around awareness when discussing vehicle placement with the LAV Sgt.
Back on full strength, B Sqn resumed its training. While not employed as tow trucks extracting stuck LAVs, the Sqn illustrated the impressive battlefield mobility of the tank. 22B, called K19 "The Widowmaker" due to its high driver turnover, attempted to sell the Leopard as jump capable when commander, MCpl "Left, left, left, LEFT" Bulmer and Tpr "Can't reach the brake pedal" MacMillan took their ride over an embankment. While their demonstration drew considerable attention, the Leopard's ability to self-extract and drive home with crew intact after a 10m drop earned it respect.
CTCC 1101 ended with the start of Ex STEELE BOAT, a professional development exercise bringing the Regiment's history full circle, as it was from Halifax we launched for the Boer War. Halifax was openly welcoming to B Sqn, giving Strathcona's opportunity to visit Halifax and a guided tour of one of the Navy's many fine vessels. The Strathconas ensured the Regiment was properly represented by leaving our second most recognisable icon, stickers with the Regimental crest, in various locations in the boat, including a few on the bridge. Also making history were Cpl "Fat jokes hurt" Loft, who became the first Strathcona to be no-moted on a ship to Trooper Trained when SSM Mayfield misread a post-it, and Tpr Larcher-Pelland became the first Strathcona to be subsequently promoted on a wharf beside a boat before getting on the bus home.