B Sqn Pounding Track and Taking Names
Lt Blake Tapp
“Have a good holiday and prepare for a fast pace in the new year,” Maj Mike Onieu, the Ghost of Christmas Past, warned. Now, with B Sqn returned, we begin the winter of our discontent. Or at least our winter of high speed, high volume taskings and a hearty dose of maintenance.
First up, Strong Contender. Strathconas are renowned for the professionalism and effort we put into everything we do – it was therefore fitting that B Sqn championed Ball Hockey and Crossfit. Tpr Josh Novak, B Sqn’s flag bearer, did the Regiment proud by carrying Regimental bunting and flag to every event. However, it was Tpr Roger “LP” who epitomized the Regiment’s spirit of sportsmanship: his positive attitude, energy, and eagerness to help out was so outstanding, visitors from 2VP commented upon it using a series of complicated grunts and gestures. While it’s not technically correct to say B Sqn is solely responsibility for the Strathcona’s being the Major Unit Champions for Strong Contender 2012, it’s the story we’re telling.
With the Sqn firmly entrenched in F3s, leadership became decisively engaged in Ex Steele Virtual. Newly tank-qualified Lt Ryan Lee and Lt Blake Tapp were given a hasty introduction to tank operations in a virtual environment under the 130 Decibel calming mentorship of BC Captain Dave Cronk. Fortunately for them, Captain Varun Vahal took more fire than they took flak, and ensured the enemy had expended all their rounds into his troop, providing a depleted objective for the Sqn to take.
Few would say in February that April comes far too quickly, but few must deal with the overwhelming maintenance a tank squadron requires. In the coming months we find ourselves sending soldiers to Ex ARCTIC RAM, others to Wainwright in support of BMQ (L), while even more are sent to Hinton for winter mobility training. Still a very much the in-demand tank Squadron for the Regiment and the Canadian Army, we must prepare ourselves for Ex STEELE READY in April and the Combat Team Commander’s course in May where we’ll be fielding a full 19 tank squadron.