B Sqn in Texas Ex STEELE BEASTS
By Tpr Colin Vanthournout
As members of B Squadron woke up bright and early on the weekend of 20 February 2016, they awoke ready for two weeks of thrilling training in Fort Hood, Texas. Like myself, there were many new troopers who were excited about the experience, as it was the first opportunity to go on an exercise outside of the CFB Wainwright training area. For the members of the Squadron who had made their way to Texas the previous year, they were just as ready to return and do some excellent training that normally isn’t at our disposal.
Once the long flight to the Austin International Airport was finished we made our way to Fort Hood, which we would call home for the next two weeks. As the Squadron woke up for the first morning of 0630 PT, we drew mass stares of confusion and disbelief is shorts and t-shirts, while our American friends were wearing full track suits with toques and gloves in the “cold” morning air. We received the same looks every morning for the remaining two weeks!
After our first PT session, play time was over. B Squadron was ready to use the simulators of the American M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank. We were given the opportunity to learn the operating systems of these new tanks, along with adapting to the big changes of the individual stations in the tank. In typical B Squadron style, we showed everyone that we were not there to mess around, taking in valuable skills and know-how, and showing that we are the best Sabre Squadron around.
Although there was lots of intense training during the day, there was also some time to relax and explore the wonderful state of Texas and Fort Hood during the evenings. On our first Friday we had a beer call at The Backbone Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Lounge to celebrate the Squadron’s week of awesome training. A member from their social committee stopped by to take pictures, as it was the most people they had on their patio in the month of February! At the beginning of the second week we had the opportunity to visit the 1st and 3rd Cavalry Divisions’ museums, where we were able to learn more about our American friend’s history and traditions. And not to mention, see a number of foreign fighting vehicles and tanks first hand!
As we woke up – once again - bright and early, on March 5th, 2016, B Squadron was packed up and ready to go home. With a head full of knowledge and a belly full of Texas BBQ we left Fort Hood as quickly as we showed up. Missing our homes and loved ones we drove back to the Austin International Airport and got on our flights back to our lovely, cold home of Edmonton. Until next time Texas, it was a blast!