Ex STEELE SABRE 15
“New look, same great taste”
By Captain Steve Couture
Headquarters Squadron (C/S 8) has always been extremely diverse organization. We are a combination of maintainers, cooks, medical technicians, armoured soldiers and many other trades. We all come together to create a cohesive team. Our mission has always been to provide the Regiment with seamless, continuous support to operations. This year’s iteration of Ex STEELE SABRE (SS) provided HQ Sqn with an opportunity to sanitize decades of bad habits and start developing a team capable of taking the next bound.
Ex SS 15 rejuvenated the way HQ Sqn operates. Doctrinally, a HQ Sqn needs to be capable of moving. We need to be able to provide support to the Regiment – if the Regiment advances; we need to maintain our support by advancing with them! Unfortunately, over the last several years, HQ Sqn has been employed in a much more comfortable, static role. This year, Maj Al “The Right Way” Wong and MWO Kevin “Blackout Drive” King set out to provide HQ Sqn with the right way forward. We relearned our doctrine and created a mobile C/S 8, without compromising on the unbelievably awesome support we always provide to the Regiment.
We learned a lot through the process of setting up our forward C/S 8. Our SHQ team was small, but we made it happen. Sig Matthew “Just call me Perry” Fuchs Perry punched way above his weight class in providing Sigs support to our forward movements. He worked so hard (and did such a great job) that he was more often than not drenched in sweat. The OC’s driver, Cpl Shane “Plough” Fettes was our go-to guy when things needed to get done. The OC actually had to tell him to do less work, and be on standby more often in case he was required to drive. Sgt Clifford “Dinosaur” Kentfield brought the most critical piece of kit; a propane heater! Fueled by delicious field coffee, the 2IC, Capt Cameron “No” Meikle and AO Capt Darren “MCpl” Carter-Wright worked to develop Standard Operating Procedures that we will pass on to the next generation C/S 8, so they can learn from our experiences.
We couldn’t have asked for a better SQ shop. MCpl Robert “Esprit De” Kearns and Cpl Richard “Grid References” Wagner had an awesome time playing enemy force, when SQ WO Richard “I’ve had a moustache since I was 19” Delaney conducted a Stand-To for the soldiers that were in Peregrine 9.
It was awesome to see WO John “You need to eat more” Woroniuk and his cooks wearing cam-paint. Sgt Michael “00010” Doody was ecstatic to train the cooks in soldiering skills. During the Stand-To, he broke a land-speed record in getting dressed and to his battle position. Cpl Jordan Reid and the rest of the team made some of the best food that’s ever been eaten in the field.
Transport Troop was very busy throughout Ex STEELE SABRE 15. Capt Shaun “DB” Rogozinski and his Alpha, WO Ben Holmes developed a troop capable of conducting tactical resupply of the Battle Group. MCpl Frank “I want a pistol” Brown had his hands full with mentoring crew commanders on how to properly move through his resupply points and fuel their vehicles. Cpl Blake Shepherd and the rest of the troop had the opportunity to do things that Transport Troop hasn’t done in a while – such as sighting Observation Posts and making range cards. The RQ’s team worked closely with transport to ensure that the Regiment had the beans and bullets they needed throughout the exercise.
Maintenance Troop provided continuous support to the Regiment, and their efforts were clearly reflected by the lack of broken vehicles at any given point in the exercise. MWO Garry “Can you believe I’m 50” Wood enjoyed the opportunity to train his soldiers tactically. Whenever we advanced C/S 8 to a forward location, Maintenance Troop dug in defensive Trenches, sighted OPs, and conducted roving patrols – all while continuing to service vehicles. Fixing vehicles while in a forward, tactical location proved that maintenance doesn’t need to remain in Peregrine 9 in order to do a great job.
This year we had the pleasure of having the Regimental Orderly Room deploy with us for the duration of the exercise. It was a great opportunity for our Clerks and Assistant Adjutant, Capt Matt “Ghillie Suit” Hoffart, to develop their soldier skills. The Adjt, Capt James “Khukuri” Anderson was just happy to get out of the office. Our ROR learned that they can definitely operate in a field environment, while providing administrative support to the Regiment. This exercise was a good opportunity to get to know our clerks; for example, we learned that LS Shawn “Muay Thai” Baker is one of the toughest guys at this Regiment! Overall, the #1 highlight of Ex SS 15 was when WO Leah “Minnie” Posluns, our Chief Clerk, woke up at 0300 with a mouse in her sleeping bag!
Last, but certainly not least, Lt(N) Wenshuang “I love the Strathconas’” Nie and her team of medics provided medical support to our exercise. The Doc, MCpl William “We definitely have four trucks” Ripley, and the rest of the medics enjoyed operating tactically, and proving that they can function with a small, efficient UMS. Now they can all say that they have fired a Main Battle Tank.
HQ Sqn is a big team. We have a lot of players, and we fill a lot of functions. This year we proved that we can do our job while wearing cam-paint and conducting our operations tactically. That’s something that we can all be proud of.