My First Maple Resolve
written by Tpr Shipston
April 20th was the start of a month and a half long adventure in Wainwright, Alberta. As a new trooper in the Regiment, I was pretty excited to be going and very curious to see how a real exercise works. The first two weeks were spent at P12 doing maintenance, maintenance, and more maintenance, which was a very educational time for myself and others. I learned that during track maintenance you should always look over your c-clamps for cracks or chips, because it might just break and almost hit MCpl Ryan Pastua in the head. During the time at P12, I was able to get to know my crew and troop pretty well, which made the long days and nights more enjoyable.
The day we left P12 and started the exercise was a very exciting day for me. Driving for call sign 24B, we were leading the packet, which it turns out, is where you want to be to keep out of the dust. Our first stop was a hide for four days, where I again was able to see how a crew “worked” together. As the exercise continued I learnt a lot more of what a tank squadron must do to stay hidden from the enemy. One of the best lessons was on how to set up a cam net. Lt Peterson demonstrated very well how a cam net is easy to get caught in and how to tie up a cam net to a tree. There were times where we had time to set up tents and times where sleeping in your bivy bag beside the tank just seemed easier. During my time out there my tank was popping track frequently (driver’s maintenance) but she hung in there until five days before the end of Ex MAPLE RESOLVE. I was pretty disappointed to be going to the brigade supply area. However, once I got there, it was great to see all the teamwork going on. If your tank could not be worked on, you went and helped another so that the Squadron could get as many tanks possible up and back out to the fight.
As the fight came to an end, which we won, we moved on to live-fire. I was extremely pumped for this part of the exercise. I have been around tanks while firing, but never in one. One of my favourite times was during the Ex REFLEX RAPIDE portion. I was able to see how the engineers breeched obstacles, watched artillery explosions, and CH-146 Griffin helicopters firing. I am only disappointed about missing the night live-fire due to my tank’s DVE refusing to co-operate for a couple hours. However, I was fortunate to watch the rest of the tanks fire from the range tower. It was very fun to watch the land and air elements work together.
When our time in Wainwright came to an end, I cannot say I was sad to be going home. I am very happy to have worked with so many well experienced people and great leadership. Many laughs, some annoyances, and a lot of fatigue all made up a great first MAPLE RESOLVE.