B SQN + TEXAS = <3
By Cpl Derrick Popoff
Normally the thought of coming into work at 0300 hrs on a Saturday would give anybody the blahs. But this Saturday was different, this Saturday brought something else; it brought a promise, the promise of freedom. In all seriousness, the word "freedom" was uttered an astonishing four thousand six hundred and thirty three times before we boarded our flight. B Squadron was on its way to Fort Hood, Texas to engage in some training not normally at their disposal.
After we landed and found our way to our home for the week, we settled in and started getting hyped for the training ahead, but that all had to wait for Monday because B Squadron was hungry! They immediately took over the Fort Hood Chili's and in classic fashion, overwhelmed the establishment with enthusiasm and savvy. A whirlwind weekend filled with BBQ and $1 Lone Star beers (Texas' national beer) came to a close and a week of 0600 hrs PT was imminent. The proud black swarm rumbled down the streets, drawing stares of admiration and most likely confusion but B Squadron looked good and now everyone knew they were there.
Down to business now as B Squadron had the opportunity to use simulators for the M1A1 & A2 Abrams and see how other tank operating systems ran in comparison to their own. Along with adapting to the new turret and drivers station of the foreign tank, B Squadron also got to experience what it was like to fight along our American brothers and sisters. We honed our skills as a Squadron and gained valuable know-how through the week but it wasn’t all work. Mid-week, the gunners and drivers had the chance to take in some of the many monuments scattered throughout the base featuring historic vehicles of all types and a VIP tour through 2nd Cavalry's museum. The next day, commanders were invited to be guests at the Regiment for a meet and greet which turned into a giant hat exchange. So like I said, after business was done there was plenty of let-loose time and fun was had by all. That is, until the morning of the great storm!
We awoke to snow on Thursday. Now I’m not sure how much you know about Texas, but the icy roads delayed report time by three hours. Do you think that would delay the Canadians? HA! Not at all! B Squadron was up at 0600 hrs ready for some isolated PT. In my opinion, we shook it up and now the Americans will thank us for leading the way for winter weather PT for themselves; you’re welcome America! As the week drew to an end, we all were thankful for our experience. Missing our homes and chalk full of souvenirs for our loved ones, sweet patches, and Stetsons for ourselves, we packed up and left Texas just as fast as we arrived. Until next time Texas, B Squadron will never forget you!