B Squadron Summer Leave
By: MCpl Bulmer
18 August 2009
As summer draws to an end, so too does the leave period for many members of LdSH(RC). For members of B Squadron, summer leave was a bitter sweet moment. Most of the personnel looked forward to the time off after completing months of work up training, including Ex DESERT RAM, which ran from 6 Apr to 9 May 09, Ex MAPLE GUARDIAN, running from 22 May to 13 Jun 09, or for the lucky few, completing Leopard 2 training in Germany from 1 - 26 Jun 09. It was also a milestone for the Squadron as after summer leave, the days start getting shorter, leaves start falling, children go back to school and B Squadron will soon start deploying to Afghanistan.
Before B Squadron departed on leave, several members went to Calgary to take part in the Leopard display at the Calgary Stampede and for Spruce Meadows. The tank display for Spruce Meadows was also driven in the Calgary Stampede Parade under the command of MCpl Biener, who expertly moved the tank without scaring too many children! The tank display for the Calgary Stampede was part of the greater Canadian Forces exhibit which attracted huge crowds over the ten day event. Part of the attraction was the free of charge appeal, but mostly was the heavy metal which attracted children of all ages.
For some, summer leave ended a little early as Leopard 2 refresher training began in the first week in August. A total of five crews went to Germany for the week long course. Despite suffering from jet lag for the first couple of days, the crews picked up the material very quickly allowing the gunners and loaders to play commander for the final day of the simulator training. The gunners and loaders learned that being the commander is not as easy as it looks. That’s why we are paid the big bucks!
With most personnel off summer leave, final training has begun. With Tactical Combat Casualty Care and Combat First Aid courses being conducted and final departure administration points are starting to be completed. Soon, the squadron will be on embarkation leave as a final break before we leave to go to Afghanistan. Most soldiers will look back on summer leave with fond memories, with some seeing loved ones, some journeying to far off lands or seeing home. Some shared their leave with family, friends, and children or by themselves in solitude. All will remember the summer leave block of 2009 with memories of time away from the Army to relax, recharge the batteries and prepare to go to war.