Ex PROMETHEAN RAM 16 (Ex PR 16)
By Cpl Stephen Taborowski
Once again, Prince of Wales (A) Sqn spent its wonderful spring in beautiful Wainwright, Alberta with its Battle Group buddy 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (2VP). Like a finely tuned war machine, Maj Darren “Take My Strong Hand” Gray and MWO Cordell “I’ll Use My Fast-Pack” Boland had PoW Sqn ready to fight on Range 25.
On Range 25, the Squadron was conducting the last of its Leopard 2 gun camp. A lot was learned, just ask Cpl Stephen “Back Deck Limiter” Taborowski about warming up the gun. After about a week on the range, the Sqn made its way to its new home at Peregrine 4 where we met up with 2VP. 2VP was a big help throughout the exercise, especially by siting a “great” tank park for maintenance. After the Sqn was done setting up camp we went right to work on the tanks, getting them ready for the upcoming weeks of training. While conducting maintenance, the Sqn ran into a few “minor” problems. The great Lord DRMIS would not bestow any parts that were needed to get the tanks up and running. However, with the excellent maintenance team that PoW Sqn has (and a few prayers to Lord DRMIS) the problem was quickly rectified.
Halfway through the exercise, PoW Sqn, minus 3rd Troop, conducted IED stands that 1 CER had set up. The stands consisted of an EOD team, minefield probing (very similar to apple bobbing), mine identification, and a bit of patrolling. 1 CER was in awe of the feats performed by Cpl Evan “I Got This Boys” Cook, who put on an EOD suit and attempted to look for an IED (somewhat successfully).
The real challenges on Ex PR 16 came during the night fire portion of the Level 5 shoots, when visibility was poor and the weather made AFV and enemy recognition extremely difficult. This made it harder not only to stay oriented on the target and the vehicles around you, but really demonstrated the limitations of thermal imagery in certain conditions. There were even some instances where the wildlife helped to increase the realistic quality of training, such as when Lt Erik “Bullwinkle” Giajnorio asked to engage a potential enemy dismount. This target, however, turned out to be a hungry moose.
As the fateful words “End Ex” drew nearer, the time for perfectly executed Level 3 and Level 5 shoots was quickly approaching. 2VP was a bit too excited to begin the ranges, so excited in fact that the whole Battle Group got to enjoy some time off because the infantry forgot to get their PAC 4 Laser sights zeroed to their weapon systems. Ex PR 16 was a valuable opportunity to hone many skills that tankers require, including sleeping on the turret floor waiting for the infantry to be ready. Many people were upset that they had to wait before getting to the “good stuff” and had to sit still, just ask Cpl Jason “Let Me Kill Something” Comeau.