B Squadron TF 3-09 Leopard 2A6M Conversion Training in Germany
By: MCpl Dyndor
10 March 2009
For the month of February 2009, Squadron Headquarters and 3rd Troop of B Squadron were given the opportunity to train on the Leopard 2A6M in Munster, Germany. The training was very exiting. The German Army provided us with various training aids such as computerized crew and troop trainers as well as a turret trainer, which I found to be quite helpful with my training as a loader. I think it would be helpful if the CF invested in such simulators as they allowed for more interactive training (including drivers). The instructors were very welcoming and enthusiastic about training us. It was interesting comparing the differences and similarities between the two armies. Safety regulations were heavily emphasized by the Germany Army. The week on the range was the most enjoyable aspect of the training and the Leopard 2A6 itself is quite impressive. It was very reassuring to know that Canadians are using such sophisticated equipment in Afghanistan.
I also had the chance to visit the Bergen-Belsen Memorial and the Becklingin War Cemetery, both of which were a very emotional and moving experience. It saddened me to see the mass grave sites and to think of how inhumanely the Jews during WWII were treated and then laid to rest in such a barbaric manner. From the moving experience I had at the memorial, I plan to do some further research. It turned out that after looking at the book of names in the memorial, I discovered that one person buried there might be a relative of mine. As I walked through the war cemetery, what drew my attention the most was the age of the soldiers buried. They were all between the ages of eighteen and twenty, young soldiers who never had a chance to live life before they were killed. What country/unit they were from did not matter to me as they were all young solders who had such a horrible experience right before their lives came to a screeching halt. My visit to Germany has definitely made me more appreciative of what I have here in Canada and the CF.