Op STEELE TORQUE 15
By: Capt Patrick Theroux
The pitched whining of air tools, the labour intensive work of removing and replacing armour, and the rumble of the ARV moving on a daily basis have been the norm since the commencement of Op STEELE TORQUE. This operation saw the temporary centralisation of maintenance personnel with the addition of Leopard 2 qualified technicians from units within 1 CMBG with a focus on reducing inspection backlog and repairing tanks, A, and B vehicles in time for Ex MAPLE RESOLVE. 1 Service Battalion, 1 PPCLI, 3 PPCLI, and 1 CER all answered the call for aid and assisted the Strathcona’s by providing a total of five vehicle technicians as an effort to make up for the current manning shortages.
Some specific goals to achieve during this timeframe consisted of completing overdue F3/F4 inspections and preparing a full Squadron and Troop of tanks for deployment to CFB Wainwright for Ex MAPLE RESOLVE. Despite the immense of amount of work needed to be accomplished in order to provide the Regiment with the critical assets to be successful, maintenance personnel and crewman were determined to accomplish the task. Throughout the operation, support to courses, inspections, repairs and upgrades were worked through on a daily basis to best manage the little time available to bring the Regiment up to operational capacity. While productivity rates remained consistently high, in February the addition of 8 more vehicle technicians from a week-long, brigade-led, maintenance assistance visit furthered Regimental inspection goals. The team’s focus was on B Fleet vehicles and throughout the week, they managed to complete inspections on 20 vehicles of various types; a benefit to our maintainers as they concurrently worked on outstanding repairs.
As time carried on, feverish work in the tank barn and shop floors continued as we looked to the calendar and saw that preparation time was slowly dwindling away. With the road move to Wainwright and March Break only two weeks away, it was time to analyse where the unit stood. Would we be able to achieve our goals? Lists of A and B vehicles and tanks were assessed for reparability, man hours vs. work hours calculated, and, most importantly, the ground truth was injected. Would the Regiment be ready? To be continued…