OC C Sqn Update June 2009
Major J.L. Cochrane
2 July 2009
We are pretty close to half way there, thus this means we are on the down slide and moving towards the end of this adventure. Everyone is working hard and continues to deal with the heat as best they can. Despite what is published for our daily weather forecast, which often predicts temperature in the high 30s and low 40s, the thermometers are telling quite a different story with the temperatures usually in the low 50s.
The HLTA plan is in full swing now personnel are returning and regaling us with stories of their adventures abroad. Everyone has come back having enjoyed their break and looking forward to getting into the final portion of this journey. We still have quite a few people who will be heading off and coming back and we look forward to their tails from far away places.
We of course had some additional visitors over the course of the month. Some key ones that come to mind are:
The Ambassadors to Afghanistan from Canada (Mr Ron Hoffman), the United States (Retired Lieutenant General Karl W. Eikenberry), and Australia (Mr Martin Quinn) which included a short impromptu visit to the local bazaar;
The visit of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Walter Natynczyk, who awarded a CDS Coin to both Trooper Genevieve Hereux for her performance during an IED strike early in the tour; and Sergeant Steve Connauton for his selfless flexibility and dedication to ensuring the achievement of the squadron’s mission here in Afghanistan; and
Lastly but certainly not least was the visit of Commander Land Forces Western Area (LFWA), BGen Jorgensen, who I think spoke to every single soldier, including “Jackson” from 31, in the FOB; a remarkable accomplishment that was greatly appreciated by all soldiers. While here BGen Jorgensen took the opportunity to award a Commander LFWA Coin to Corporal Lewis for his dedication to constantly improving the equipment in the FOB as well has his consistent suggestions and solutions to address maintenance shortfalls that we often experience in the Squadron. Also receiving a Commander LFWA Coin was WO Garland for his exceptional performance as the QRF Commander during a recent IED explosion when unfortunately Cpl Dube was killed, may he rest in peace.
Despite what it may sound like the Squadron is busy with operations other than visits. The QRF is extremely busy and working hard everyday, while we have been involved in a large number of patrols, operations, and a surprisingly large amount of development work. All with the intent of the betterment of Afghanistan and the lives of it people.
Lastly I would like to congratulate now Sgt Sean Alexander who was recently promoted immediately following his return from HLTA.
Congratulations to the recipients of the awards and promotions on the FOB. The effort and pride that has been demonstrated thus far by all personnel working on this FOB, and MCpl Gray in KAF supporting us, is a true representation of what we can achieve if we work as a team and put our minds to it.
The Squadron will continue to put articles on to the webpage and each Monday in the Edmonton Journal. I also encourage you to contact the Mission Information Hotline where you will hear messages from the troops in Afghanistan that will be updated at least weekly. The number is 1-800-866-4546 when the initial greeting is given you will need to dial 1-1221 for English and 1-2221 for French.