Life in the Echelon – Same old, same old…
By Tpr Frank L. Brown
12 June 2009
So it’s now roughly our 12th week in Afghanistan and time has been flying by for C Squadron. The tank troops are really busy, rolling out on QRF tasks and different operations, throughout our theatre of operations, while keeping up on their maintenance to keep the massive Panzers in peak condition.
Life in the echelon is a little different than in the tank troops. Our primary job is to ensure that the tanks have all the fuel, ammunition, food and water that is needed while on operations which enables them to complete any task that is necessary.
C Squadron’s Administration Troop is primarily used for resupplying our tanks, but we have been called upon to help out other organisations in Afghanistan. We have hauled bridging supplies for the engineers who were rebuilding a bridge that was washed out. We drop off supplies to some far off outposts where small groups of Canadian soldiers, known as the Operational Mentor Liaison Team (OMLT) are mentoring the Afghanistan National Army (ANA).
When working with the tanks, we have found out the hard way that not all vehicles can go where the Leopards can, unless we have a little patience and assistance. That politely translates to a lot of cursing and getting muddy hooking up our vehicles to the tank, as they’ve towed us out of a flooded field. One benefit of the trucks is our windshields; we get a much larger view of the country side, compared to the smaller sights and episcopes that the tankers are using.
Our days in the FOB are spent doing a lot of security shifts while preparing our trucks with different loads of cargo for resupply missions. It could be filling 400 diesel jerry cans to give out when the tanks run low on fuel, or strapping down pallets of water and rations, or even loading up crates of ammunition just in-case its needed. We always have to be ready for any task that’s given to us.