Officer Commanding and Squadron Sergeant-Major's Monthly Update (October)

November 2007

Dear families, friends, and fellow soldiers,

Wow, a month has passed already since our last installment and time seems to be flying by. Cpl Hornburg's memory is alive and strong. We received news from KAF that a rest area has been named in his memory "Hornburg's Corner". To go along with that we have decided to name our maintenance tank park in FOB MaSum Ghar (in fine armoured corps tradition) "Hornburg Tank Park".

We finally received the go ahead to use our new tanks, courtesy of General Leslie. Yes, he was visiting with General Beare, and was happy to pass that great news to us. We also had Commander CEFCOM, General Gauthier, here a few days ago, with the CDS coming in the third wave. The funny thing was, we usually eat hard rations at lunch time but the day General Leslie was here was the one day a month when we receive pizza from KAF (thanks SQ). It¡¦s made at about 30 hours prior and sent out to us on a re-supply run, and it eaten cold and a little bit damp.

Weather wise we have seen our first cloud the day the other day. Daytime highs still climb to over 30 Cand we still wear our chillier vests in our vehicles and the inside temperatures can still reach the unbearable point. Nights have dipped down to single digits and we have noticed soldiers wearing fleece, gore-tex jackets and toques. There is no light pollution here, so the nights are ink-black most of the month, and most of us have become slightly dis-oriented at one point or when moving about the camp as we do not use white light under any circumstances.

Everyone has moved into the new bunkers now and the champion snorers are showing their true form. To go along with that our command post (CP) has moved twice. Much to the chagrin of the BC Captain Croteau and his CP staff. During the moves we found some critters that most of us would prefer not to see, snakes. In one incident Cpl Torney and Admin troop did the delicate deed of catching one with two cot ends and some weapons at the ready. Cpl Mills was the other lucky man; he found it when it tried to bite his boot in the OP. We also had a Camel Spider in the CP once scoot across the floor and survive at least one direct hit with a rock the size of a hockey puck. It pressed its luck again a day later, and ended up in our burn-barrel.

We have not gone without incident. Our maintenance troop had a particularly hard day when replacing track pads on the ARV. Two soldiers, Cpl's Kelly and Routier both broke their pinky fingers within five minutes of each other doing the same thing. But it must have been fate as we were looking for a bilingual Cpl to work in the CP.

The new Internet computers have arrived; hopefully the cards that don¡¦t work will be repaired or replaced soon. Our hockey pool is a good topic this month. Roughly twenty-five people entered including some of the members at home thanks to MCpl Levis for that.

We have sent soldiers on HLTA and as of the time we write this, we are eagerly awaiting the return of the first soldiers we sent.