OC’s Monthly Update - October

Major J.L. Cochrane
7 November 2008

Not quite a month has passed since I last updated everyone on the happenings of the Squadron. We had just finished Exercise Reflex Rapid 3 and were about to take a four day break to “recharge” prior to the commencement of Exercise Maple Guardian 0802. Well that final charge in Wainwright is now complete and we are no worse for wear and certainly much better off for the training that was completed. Throughout the exercise the squadron experienced a training tempo unlike anything we have experienced thus far. It was deliberate, planned, and had a real live, thinking, intelligent enemy that was allowed to operate independently during the exercise. This forced us to “act and react” to situations that were not scripted, but evolving. An error in judgement in one area could lead to consequences in another, where conversely a positive action in one area could lead to additional benefits in another; for every action taken there was a consequence – good or bad. The fleet held up well due to the constant hard work of the soldiers in the Squadron and I am finally willing to state (for no fear of cursing us) that the run of weather that we had was absolutely incredible – over our two months in the field we had absolutely no rain. I have never seen anything like it and suspect that I never will again, but we are certainly not complaining as it made our time away that much more bearable. I certainly could have done without the two major wind storms that nearly destroyed the camp (85 sections of modular dropped due to broken frames in the first one and another 25 sections in the second, again due to frames snapping in the wind) – another thing that I have never seen before, it certainly has been an exercise of firsts.

Throughout Maple Guardian we worked closely with the Observer Controller Cadre (OCTs), largely Strathconas, which assist by observing all events and then facilitating the After Action Review Process which is designed to help an organization learn from its mistakes and maintain what it is doing well. Our Regimental relationship allowed for a willingness to work together towards the ultimate goal of preparing the Squadron for its deployment. My thanks go out to those that assisted us throughout the exercise – Major Lubiniecki, Capt Douglas, MWO Crabb, WO Mosher, and WO Harju (RCD - a long trip). I also must thank Maj Adams and MWO Batty for there assistance and advice regarding the current on going events in theatre, their advice was invaluable.

Events here continue to pass at an extremely quick rate, elements of the Squadron are off to Germany soon enough for some additional training, while the remainder will stay in Edmonton to conduct the ever present administrative requirements in order to ensure that we are ready on all fronts.

We all continue to work hard towards our ultimate goal and truly appreciate the continued support that our families are providing.