Jokers Are Wild
1st Troop, aka The Jokers, couldn’t of had our 42 days in the field go any better for us. From the start of our field time on April 20th to May 31st 2015 the Troop worked hard maintaining our tanks, battling the enemy with laser beams and decimating Obj DUNLOP with live 120mm DM 12 HEAT.
Ex MAPLE RESOLVE started on May 2nd and it ran until the 16th. Leading up to that, the never ending relentless maintenance that Sam Steele blesses us with, needed to be done. We had 21B’s tank down and my tank down with a fuel leak which was tackled by Cpl Andrew Goodwin. While fixing these tanks we were also doing crew training. Taking our running tanks out to teach our new drivers tactical and aggressive movement in the training area, which is a difficult and sometimes terrifying ordeal. We were able to train our new crewman and had all four tanks running for the start of the exercise when we launched to the annex of the Wainwright training area.
MAPLE RESOLVE was just what it is cracked up to be, a long 14 days of tactical movement, field hygiene and long range laser tag. We waited patiently in harbours the first days of the exercise for battle procedure to run its course so we could be unleashed on our A Sqn OPFOR compatriots. Cpl Alastair “Suicide Jack” Gordon led the troop in some questionable wood carving seminars during our forest retreat. Sgt Kyle “Comb over” Chuback was the epitome of dress and deportment, sporting perfectly combed hair and a musky yet alluring eau-du-toilette. Our Troop was involved in the infamous “Battle of Demeter”, the battle during the defensive portion, when our Troop was launched to BP 4107 but didn’t even make it halfway before running into the 2 Cbt Tms of OPFOR which had managed to bypass the Kill Zone. Lt Cam “Black Jack” Ross led our Troop with 21A, commanded by WO Cari-An “Tank Mom” Barker, and my own 21C in a stunning point blank engagement. This pitted our 3 tanks up against 2 enemy tanks and 13 LAVs which dismounted 2 platoons of infantry. We fought tooth and nail for 20 minutes, with my own tank eventually being immobilized. Our fellow C/Ss protected us as we fought wave after wave of enemy infantry anti-tank teams. MCpl Chris “Get Some!” Clegg fired off all of our tank’s 7.62 mm rounds engaging infantry from our pintle mount, wiping them out in droves. 21A’s gunner Cpl Ed “Snookums” Snoek was responsible for numerous casualties among the enemy. Days later we were battling the enemy in the final attack across the Battle River and returned to Airfield 21 to showers and hot food.
The final portion was Ex REFLEXE RAPIDE where we were on Range 16 three times utilizing live HEAT and a lot of hate to wipe out the wood and steel manifestations of our enemy. The Troop learned a lot from our field time with jokes and stories being retold countless times in ever exaggerating ways. With a lot of manning changes coming our way, this will always remembered to us, as the exercise of Cheese.