Transport Troop in Ex STEELE SABRE 12
By: Trooper J.P. Fraumeni
On the 4th of September 2012, soldiers of Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) set out on a month-long training exercise at CFB Wainwright. As with most training exercises, Ex STEELE SABRE 12 was a great opportunity for the Regiment to hone and practice our skills as a fighting unit. Each squadron had their own responsibilities and duties to perform while in the field, including the troops in Headquarters (HQ) Squadron. Although our responsibilities in HQ Sqn may differ from those of the Sabre squadrons, they were just as important and vital to the successful completion of the training exercise. As members of Transport Troop, our duties in the field varied every day. Our Troop was responsible for many of the daily tasks on the camp and the various ranges.
One of the main tasks of Transport Troop was refuelling vehicles in the other squadrons on a daily basis. Although this tasking was not the most glorious of jobs for the Troop and at times could be quite a dirty job, it was a very important responsibility for us to keep all vehicles ready and able to go at all times. The main duty of Transport Troop is the moving of supplies and troops at any given time. Since the day the exercise started, the members of Transport Troop were hard at work helping build the camp, setting up tents, and helping with general duties. The main focus of this exercise was on live fire training for the Leopard C2, Leopard 2, 25mm platforms, and our service rifles, the C7 and C8. Initially, Transport Troop soldiers were tasked with helping set up of the targets on the range. Driving on the range in the large HLVW truck and placing targets at their designated grid coordinates was quite difficult at times, considering the ground and the need to avoid the large craters that have been made over the years from previous live fire shoots. Even though members of Transport Troop were not directly involved the shooting the big guns, some of us had the opportunity to watch the action and experience what a live fire tank shoot can be like. It was a prime example of shock and awe as we watched the Leopard 2 shoot its 120mm main gun and obliterate its targets.
A basic skill for all soldiers is to be as proficient and accurate with their service rifle as possible. Even as armour crewmen, practice with our rifles is a must and on the exercise many of us were able to participate in Personal Weapon Tests (PWT) on the rifle ranges. Some members of Transport Troop had the great opportunity to go out with some of the Sabre squadrons and participate in firing of other personal weapons such as the Browning 9mm pistol and our 12 gauge pump action shotguns. However, the most exciting range opportunity for Transport Troop members was the chance to shoot the Carl Gustav 84mm anti-tank weapon, which was a treat for many of the newer troopers in the Regiment.
Being a member of Transport Troop requires its soldiers to be at their best at all times, through long work days and in all weather conditions. On Ex STEELE SABRE 12, our members performed with great zeal and determination as they worked furiously day and night to ensure the exercise ran smoothly for the entire Regiment. With this hard work came a feeling of accomplishment, as we knew our contributions were key in the making the exercise a success.