CDS Visit and Tank Shoot
By: Corporal S.P. Collins
On a windy 17th of October 2012, the Regimental Gunnery Warrant Officer, WO Allen, and a crew from A Sqn: Sgt Hamilton, Cpl Foster, Cpl Collins, Cpl, Phelan, and Cpl Young, with the addition of three technicians arrived in Wainwright with the intent of meeting the outgoing CDS, Gen Walter Natynczyk, and to provide him an opportunity to fire a few rounds from one of the new Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks. Thursday morning, WO Allen and the crew arrived at the tank barn on base to go over crew level drills and to conduct final preparations on the beast. Early Friday morning, the team met at the barn and launched out to Range 16. Upon arrival at range, the crew moved the tank to the pad and uploaded 3 rounds of M865 TPCSDS-T (Training Sabot) and 2 boxes of coax (7.62 mm Machine Gun Ammunition) for the CDS.
The CO and RSM arrived just before the CDS and greeted the crew. Shortly thereafter, the CDS arrived with his entourage and headed to the firing pad. He was introduced to the crew by the CO and then crawled down into the gunner’s position under ‘careful supervision’ of Sgt Hamilton. Gen Natynczyk opened up with some aggressive machine gun bursts and then began to engage hard targets positioned on the range. The first 120 mm round unfortunately flew just over its intended target but the subsequent two rounds were direct hits. Once the CDS finished his shoot, the "steel case base" from his first round fired was handed off to Cpl Foster and the technicians who quickly removed the primer and turned it into a plaque. The CO presented the CDS with the plaque and was given a CO's coin as a token of appreciation for his tremendous leadership and support to the Regiment during his tenure as CDS.