B SQUADRON’S THIRD ROAD TO WAR...A Note from the Officer Commanding
By Major Rob Hume
29 June 2009
B Squadron commenced its third iteration of its Road to War in January of this year. For those of you not completely current with Army jargon, this simply means that we commenced training for B Squadron’s third deployment to Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).
To say B Squadron is returning to Afghanistan for a third deployment is a little misleading, as there are only two people within currently within B Squadron who deployed with the squadron on either of the first two deployments. This 99% changeover of personnel more accurately makes this deployment the first for the present B Squadron, a point that is significant when you consider the professional growth that has taken place over the past six months.
B Squadron has been training hard since its conception in January. As such, we have accomplished many milestones during a seemingly unrelenting training schedule. Specific milestones include Leopard 2A6M gunnery and driver training in Germany (2 – 27 February 09, 1 – 26 Jun 09), Exercise Steele Bayonet (16 – 21 March 09), Exercise Maple Sentry (16 – 21 March 09), Exercise Desert Ram 0901 (6 Apr – 9 May 09), Exercise Maple Guardian 0901 (22 May – 13 Jun 09). We also continued to complete individual training requirements during that time such as small arms training, Combat First Aid, and Theatre Mission Specific Training. The successful completion of this training is even more noteworthy when you consider that a significant number of the squadron’s soldiers at the beginning of this period did not know how to either light a stove or construct a tent.
B Squadron is continuing to develop its conceptual understanding of Afghanistan as well. More specifically, we are growing our collective understanding of Afghanistan’s culture. This education will undoubtedly make our future interactions with the local people of Afghanistan more positive, thereby maximizing our opportunity to increase needed security for reconstruction efforts.
We are also focussing on the remaining individual training and administrative preparations necessary before we deploy. This also includes focusing on our families, preparing personal matters and administration for the period that we are away. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as a stable home life helps us all to stay focussed on our tasks and missions both at home and abroad.
B Squadron has successfully completed all tasks it has been given thus far, and it shows no sign of breaking that trend. This fact is solely due to the professional soldiers that fill its ranks. In short, the professionalism and perseverance displayed both collectively and individually has been nothing short of outstanding. As such, I say with confidence that the present B Squadron will successfully achieve its mission just as its predecessors have done in the past.