The Final Days of Op Podium
By 2Lt Elliott
14 April 2010
The Closing Ceremonies marked the end of not only the hugely successful Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, but a symbolic end to Task Force Vancouver as well. While there remained a great deal of tear down and the safe return of all personnel to their respective units, a distinct sigh of relief was heard throughout the Task Force when the flame was put out.
With the two-week long Games at a close and images of Crosby scoring that final goal still sinking in, the process of clearing out began. One by one, troops that were formerly positioned on Cypress began to make their way down from the forested mountain and into Sherman Armoury. As well, with 12 Service Battalion’s desire to see their gym restored to its full glory, the dismantling of the TOC began just as quickly. I imagine the idea of weaving through projector stands and DWAN terminals on the gym floor wasn’t their idea of fun. While it took two months of tireless work by WO Hiscock to put the CP in perfect order, it only took WO Hitt and his contingent of Signallers hours to have it all torn back down!
That evening a row of buses lined up in the darkness just inside the gates of the Armoury to take away those lucky few who were on the first chalk back to Edmonton. The next day, just as quickly as the first few had departed, personnel from Fell Armoury and others from Cypress took their places in the accommodations and in the line to put Sgt Redshaw’s keen eye for outstanding paperwork to the test while making their way out.
The day was also marked by the visit of the CLS, LGen Leslie, and the Army Sergeant Major, CWO Ford, to Sherman Armoury for a visit with the soldiers of the Task Force and to outline the short term future of the Army. With the end of the day closing in, the main body of TFV prepared to depart Sherman for the bus ride home. RHQ filed onto one of the buses and prepared for the 15 hour trip through the mountains with a hope of watching the entire Generation Kill series back to back. A 15 minute break in Kamloops, a few wrong turns and hot breakfast courtesy of 1 Svc Bn in Valemont, some coffee in Hinton and in a blink of an eye we rolled backed into the Harvey Building itching to turn in our last bit of kit. It took only one word from the RQ that everything was accounted for, and with that we all parted ways with Op PODIUM and headed into a much needed long weekend.