Country Music and Horses: Strathcona’s Go Full Cowboy-but with Tanks

Cpl Brandyn Tomayer

On February 21st the Regiment hosted Garth Brooks world tour Band and Staff for an opportunity to showcase what our soldiers do every day and what we do it with. Approximately thirty members of his entourage were greeted at the Regiment by Major Al Wong and MWO Kevin King.  After spending time with Recce Sqn and enjoying their equipment, the group was taken to B Squadron to see a weapons display put on by Cpl Kyle Meaney of Second Troop. The display included small arms from Browning High-Power pistols up to C9 general purpose machine guns. They also include a few special items like the C16 automatic grenade launcher. Cpl Meaney, with his wealth of knowledge, demonstrated the operation of the C16 and enamoured our guests with the tools of our profession.

After seeing the weapons display the group moved to the Regimental Gunnery Simulation Center. Under the direction of our Regimental Gunnery Warrant Officer and Master Gunner, WO Richard Delaney, the group was given hands-on demonstrations of the inner workings of the Leopard 2 turret. Once they saw the inside of the turret they then had the chance to act as a turret crew and shoot at targets using the Leopard 2 crew simulators.

Once finished with the simulators, the group moved to the “White Whale” to get a tour of the Leopard 2 Tank with A Squadron.  Sgt Kyle Chuback gave a walk though of the White Whale and expanded on what each position in the vehicle does as well as how the crew operated while on exercise or operation. They were then broken up into three groups and were given the opportunity to explore the tanks first-hand.

Just when they thought that their visit was coming to the end, they had the opportunity to visit HQ Sqn and Maintenance Troop. After a quick stop at Regimental Maintenance, Recce Sqn treated them with a ride in Coyotes and a LAV III to the Stables so that the Strathcona Mounted Troop (SMT) could provide them with a demonstration of their skills. Sgt Paul Kruhlak and the members of SMT showcased the Regiment’s horses and their riding technique.  The vehicles remained to bring everyone back to the Regt as it was time to say goodbye to our guests.    

To our surprise, in appreciation for the opportunity, our guests provided the opportunity for some of our deserving soldiers to enjoy the concert that Thursday night with floor tickets.  Truly humbled, we used the opportunity to provide two Strathcona Hockey Jerseys for Mr Garth Brooks and his wife Trisha Yearwood. MWO Kevin King’s wife, Mrs. Seema King, was able to join in on the fun as well. Overall, the entire experience was exceptional and our guests and ourselves will have memories that last a lifetime.  It should also be noted that the concert was incredible!