EX STEELE PANTHER - NOT THE 80’S BAND

by Cpl Quinton Stender

The year was 2016, and A Squadron was deploying to the cold and desolate land of Wainwright (again). The Squadron advance party arrived back in Wainwright to find that the Squadron’s tanks were encased in a cold sheet of ice and snow. After hours of slipping, sliding, cursing, and shouting, Tpr Tom “Old Man Lotto” Lauterbacher and the rest of advance party were able to free the steel beasts from their icy prisons.

As the rest of A Squadron arrived in the cold desolate lands of P9, they were greeted by the heroes of the advance party and the cold embrace of freezing rain. Even in the freezing rain, the Squadron was able to get heavy tank maintenance done before the tanks were to head back out into the “war”. The Squadron HQ troop (with help from many other soldiers) was able to build a brand new set of tracks and put them on with only a few snags along the way. With many songs from Cpl Dave “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen” Young to accompany the smokies from canteen kings Cpl Matt “Chef Supreme” New and Cpl Graham “Dog Slinger” Veinot, the morale was high all through the night. After a long yet satisfying few days of maintenance, the Squadron was ready to roll-out to conduct training with the infantry.

After linking up with B Coy, 1 VP, the Squadron broke up in to Troops to conduct training with the infantry Platoons. Throughout the day, infantry sections and the tank crews were able to come together and learn how to work side-by-side to inflict massive damage to the enemy. As the Troops came back together to form A Squadron Combat Team, they were ready to go into Level Three Enhanced live-fire. The Combat Team met on Buffalo Hill to conduct the safety brief, where they were reminded by I29 (A LOT) that “sound tactics are inherently safe”. With little fanfare, the range kicked off. Thanks to the rover crew of Tpr Tyler “FR-3W” Frew and Tpr Chris “The Penny Counter” Jones running the ammo point and flags & barriers, the range was able to commence smoothly amidst the budding blossoms of a new bromance. After a great day and night of shooting, the Combat Team was able to sharpen their skills and bring an unstoppable force of steel and bullets to the enemies’ doorstep. As the exercise went on, parts of A Squadron were then able to watch both the infantry and the engineers clear a village of IEDs and bad guys.

During the last few days of the exercise, B Squadron needed a helping hand to conduct the Level 5 live range and, like a good neighbour, A Squadron was there. As Prince Of Wales Squadron, we were able to assist B Squadron by giving them a full Troop of tanks and the crews to man them. Second Troop was more than willing to take up the challenge of showing off just what A Squadron can do with a highly trained troop full of determined soldiers. After a very successful range and an extra day out in the field, Second Troop joined back up with A Squadron at the Regiment in Edmonton with tales of glory and victory over our old foe, the wooden vehicle silhouette. A Squadron was able to sharpen their skills on the tanks, as well as practice their fundamental soldier skills, during the abundant training that was available to the Squadron.