Ex STEELE LANCE: PCF and Level 2 Gun Camp
Capt Z. Hmaidan
The 2023 Primary Combat Function (PCF) and level 2 Gun Camp provided a fast paced and exciting introduction to the life of a Strathcona tanker to B Squadron’s relatively new crew members. It was also a much-needed refresher for the more experienced members of the Squadron. B Squadron started off with a bang and kicked off with a gunner’s course and two Crew Commander gunnery courses. The brave Commander staff taught students how to effectively operate the 120mm weapons platform regardless of the frigid temperate conditions. An honorary mention goes out to Cpl Kelvin Parker for being awarded the top candidate award for their performance on the course displaying the utmost level of professionalism and academic excellence on the range.
After the PCF courses were complete, B Squadron then shifted focus towards the conduct of level 2 ranges. The Squadron transitioned from the shacks to 5-person tents and really got to put the new sleeping bag system to the test. The camp mod tents were a much-welcomed source of added warmth throughout this character-building exercise. This training really put B Squadron’s soldiering skills to the test. The Squadron really came together to help the ranges run as smooth as possible. Whether it being replenishing ammo on the tanks or refuelling with jerry cans, the Squadron was always up to the task. Long lasting memories for the Troops came from this range. A notable one that comes to mind being when Tony Spence felt the heat of the level 2 range firsthand... sadly their glorious moustache will forever be missed. Cpl Mark Parsons was so eager to use the sled that they underestimated just how unpredictable the nature of snow can be and nearly tipped their sled, much to the amusement of the Squadron Sergeant-Major. Overall, the PCFs and Level 2s went by relatively smoothly given the ever-changing situation. They provided the Squadron with a much-needed refresher for REFLEX RAPIDE and Ex MAPLE RESOLVE 23.