The Road to Afghanistan - Maple Guardian 0802

Cpl Gordon Carnevale, LdSH (RC), C Sqn, Z39C
7 November 2008

C Sqn left Edmonton on Sept 13th 2008 and headed to Wainwright Alberta to go for confirmation training before starting Maple Guardian 0802. It all started with the CTCC (Combat Team Commander’s Course), where C Sqn supported the infantry and showed them what a Tank Squadron can really do. After the CTCC was Exercise Reflex Rapidѐ. It was all about letting off some steam by blowing everything up in a controlled fashion. After C Sqn was certified good to go it was time to take a long weekend for thanksgiving. SSM Richard Stacey told us to go visit his German friend “Heir Cutt” as some of us where starting to be a little shaggy on top.

After the brief but enjoyable weekend at home with family and friends it was back to on the bus. Getting off the bus on the morning of Oct 14th C Sqn wasn’t stepping in to Wainwright Alberta but instead we stepped into Wainganistan. Game faces on as SSM Stacey Reminded us. The first couple of days were getting WES gear and briefings; everything from who the enemy was, what OCT’s would do for us and what to expect from our time here.  As per any normal Tank Sqn, maintenance was a must, except when MOD tentage had to be put up after a second horrendous wind storm tore down almost half the camp in the middle of the night the week before. One of our biggest tasks to overcome was Mother Nature. Wind Storm after windstorm we persevered through even though at times it seemed she was determined to win. After ensuring our FOB was back in place, the real training began; starting with the Transfer of Authority. As often as we came up with solutions to problems, another one would be presented to us, i.e. fuel shortage. While morale may not have been the highest of all time everybody managed to keep each other spirits up and motivated. MCpl Sanduliak made sure of that in his best impression of a gypsy carivan. Operation after operation that C Sqn was given we dominated. Whether it was retaking a town from a shadow government of the Taliban to resupplying an artillery unit left to their own or just QRF taskings! We came prepared and showed the battle group commander that C Sqn was not only ready but willing to get the job done.