C Squadron Lives Again
Lt Jack Nguyen
8 January 2007
With B Squadron deployed to Afghanistan and A Squadron conducting their workup training, the need to stand up another tank squadron soon became apparent. The early days of November saw rumours flying that C Squadron would be reconstituted to deploy with the 3 R22eR BG as part of Task Force Afghanistan 3-07. Rumour became fact as Recce Squadron leadership began the work of restructuring the squadron from a Reconnaissance Sqn to a Sabre Sqn.
Initially led by A/OC Recce, Captain Vince Kirstein, the squadron began transferring reconnaissance equipment and vehicles to make way for the soon to arrive Leopard C2s. Major Trevor Gosselin assumed command of C Squadron on 27 November 06. The remainder of the Squadron Headquarters is made up of MWO Geoffrey Bamford as SSM, Sqn 2IC Captain Kirstein and BC Captain Dan Hone.
Converting the former Recce Squadron wholesale over to tanks is no small matter and a busy schedule of training has been implemented to begin qualifying crews on the Leopard C2. These included the Leopard C2 Basic Gunner course as well as a Driver and Maintenance course. The gunner course will conduct a live fire range at Fort Bliss, Texas, as the squadron joins the 3 R22eR BG there for the first stage of workup training. Those members of the Squadron not involved in either of these courses began to focus on the other tasks required for the changeover of the Squadron. Newly arrived soldiers from Gagetown who were already D&M qualified on the Leopard C2 immediately began the daunting task of getting the tanks ready for training and deployment.
To help alleviate some of the crunch on the Strathcona's, the Royal Canadian Dragoons and the 12e Régiment Blindé du Canada will each be providing a Troop to C Squadron. On top of that, soldiers from several Reserve units have already arrived and have begun their PCF cycle for Squadron training. The Reserve personnel come from the King's Own Cavalry Regiment, The British Columbia Dragoons, and the British Columbia Regiment. With soldiers from all three Regular Force Regiments and Western Area Reserve Force Regiments, the stand up of C Squadron is truly a Corps wide effort, demonstrating the truth of the Strathcona motto: Perseverance.