eFP Battlegroup Latvia Update: Walking Paces and Foot Races
The early days of February marked the one month anniversary of the Strathcona led eFP Battlegroup(BG) in Latvia. Freed from the frigid Edmonton winds, the eFP Warpigs have welcomed warmer temperatures accompanied by an overabundance of rain and mist. Following an extensive Relief in Place handover from our 2 PPCLI brethren, the Warpigs took the reins of eFP BG Latvia on 15 Jan 20. Initially a few cases of respiratory “Mustangvirus” dampened the spirits of a few warriors. However morale remains high as BG Maint O Mitch “Cannibal” Brown reports nearly 100% serviceability and thrilled Strathcona crewmen climb around a wide variety of armoured vehicles.
A definite “Strathcona” flavour has begun to permeate the BG. From asking whether anyone has any “saved rounds” at Orders Groups, to a distinctly western naming convention it is clear that the West is here. This has not gone unnoticed by our European teammates, many of whom likely wonder why the Canadians spell “steel” so strangely.
Contrary to our armoured tradition of “death before dismount” the Strathcona soldiers of the eFP BG have adapted to walking thousands of steps a day getting around base. With the exception of course being those smart enough to purchase bikes like Tom "Where’s my bike" Clackson who has since been introduced to the concept of a “bike-lock”. Rather than walk some have elected to get around by running including previously mentioned BG Maint O who confidently challenged this article’s author to a 100m race. A defeat from which he is still recovering. On an absolutely unrelated note, physiotherapy services on the camp are outstanding.
As is often the mantra in Canada, the BG has adopted a “crawl, walk, run” mentality. To kick off the first stage in STEELE PRIME the BG has reviewed and improved SOPs, familiarized with new kit and streamlined various processes. BG S6 Capt Ryan “Quad-7” O’Sullivan has put in a large effort to ensure that everyone can talk to each other while BG HQ CQ Sgt Aaron “Captain of Tortuga” Hodgin has refined laundry services to a science. A feat apparently unfathomable by any Canadian laundry service as discovered on MAPLE RESOLVE 19.
Moving into late February and March the BG is prepped to cover the “walk” and “run” stages of STEELE PRIME as the BG rolls out of STEELE QUENCH and ICE 20-01. An experience which will undoubtedly capitalize on the BG’s efforts thus far and prove the Warpigs a force to be reckoned with.