By: Tpr. Francis Graham, 32C
24 November 2008

It has finally arrived, C Sqn is deploying to Germany to train with the Leopard 2A6M. After a long, informative and valuable two-month deployment in Wainwright, the majority of C Sqn enjoyed ten days with loved ones before departing for a month in Germany. It was a mad dash for cash as the city was scrounged for Euros before leaving on the 15th of November. Everyone was looking forward to using the Leo 2A6M as well as exploring, for the first time, the history and culture that German had to offer.

After the chalks arrived and settled into the quarters and experiencing the ‘bouch’, our bed and couch combo, we were given a course overview of training and expectations. After this, the Sqn explored the raging metropolis and took in all the sights while enjoying the fine brewing traditions. Everyone has been treated very nicely by the local population, which has made us feel right at home. The language barrier has and will cause some issues especially for Sgt Michael ‘Strong enough for a woman. Made for McGarity’ McGarity who mistakenly purchased ladies deodorant believing it was for men.

Training kicked off the next day with a warm welcome from the German Armour School and the many safety regulations. We were immediately broken up into our respective courses and sent to the proper schools to commence specific training. During the first week: the turret course took lessons on the mine protection development, the driver compartment, turret parts, 120mm ammunition, opening up drills, crew actions and the MG3, where we were constantly reminded to be gentle; and the drivers course learned about the various parts of the tank, maintance procedures, and a little bit of driving. Everyone is thoroughly impressed with the tank improvements and its increased capabilities. What can be wrong when you get a bigger tank with a bigger gun?

When the weekend approached, it was a mad scramble to the local travel agency, who luckily spoke english, to book trips to every different part of Germany. People who went to Berlin were blown away by a city so rich in history, like Checkpoint Charlie, and world-class venues like the Berlin Zoo.

Up to this point, the experience in Germany has been very positive and the training has been first class. The first week has everyone excited about using this great machine and learning everything possible from our German counterparts. Four more weeks till Christmas and a well deserved and needed break in preparation for Texas.