Still at it in Wainwright

By: Tpr B. Kroker, 1 Tp C Sqn
6 Oct 2008

The road to Afghanistan is a long one with many steps, many of which were taken in Wainwright in September and the first part of October during the Combat Team Commander Course and Ex REFLEXE RAPIDE. C Squadron was tasked with supporting the Combat Team Commander Course which saw us sending two troops out everyday for combat team operations commanded by the students on the course. Ex REFLEXE RAPIDE is our final exercise before Ex MAPLE GUARDIAN and it is the exercise in which we complete all of our live fire operations as well as many other squadron training requirements.

 The Combat Team Commander Course started on a high point with a busy pace of three to four traces per day. The high pace continued well into the night with maintenance, battle procedure and orders for all of the troops. The small amounts of down time that we did have were filled with more important training at all levels; As a Squadron we completed IED and mine awareness training and as a troop we completed a level 3 troop battle run and other individual training such as casualty extraction. On top of all the training we continued with the high levels of maintenance that the tanks require to keep us moving out the door everyday.

The Combat Team Commander Course ended with the whole Battle Group getting together for a smoker that was a lot of fun and a good chance to relax for an evening after the fast-paced tempo of the previous few weeks. Good food and cold beer proved to be an effective way for the Battle Group to get to know each other.

Ex REFLEXE RAPIDE kicked off right after the Combat Team Commander Course at the end of September. The Squadron wasted no time at all and went right into several live fire level five and six combat team attacks at both day and night. They proved to be very beneficial and a lot was learned in just a few short hours of training. It was a very good chance to finally work together with the whole combined arms team in a live fire context.

 During the first part of the exercise there have been the expected few long days and nights, especially after the level 5 night combat team attack where the Troop Leader threw his track at one in the morning just as we were about to return home. Overall though, the first week of Ex REFLEXE RAPIDE has been a success allowing each troop to get some valuable training and a lot of lessons learned.

With a lot of good training accomplished within the context of both exercises, we are finally within a week of returning home for some well deserved time off. All members of the squadron are looking forward to a few days home in Edmonton with our families for Thanksgiving.