Ex CENTURION ARCHER II
Captain A.S. Garrie, 3 Troop Leader, C Sqn, RCD
From 1 to 12 October 2018, C Squadron perfected their 120mm gunnery skills during the live fire exercise CENTURION ARCHER in the Gagetown Range and Training Area. During the first week of the range, C Squadron deployed to Firing Point 4 to practice their crew and troop level gunnery skills. Under the watchful eyes of the Firing Point Officers, Sergeant Y. Beauchamp and Master Corporal J. Drouin, three troops and the Squadron Headquarters successfully completed Level 2 and Level 3 static and battle run engagements, with crews engaging a variety of targets with Sabot, HE, Canister, and HEAT rounds.
Week 2 saw the Squadron deploy to the Lawfield Impact Area to continue Level 3 and Level 4 training. The level of difficulty increased as the targets were placed at longer distances and hidden amongst the background terrain. Of particular note, the troops practiced night troop shoots with unlit and unheated targets. Despite the difficulty in acquiring the targets, the troops were ultimately successful as the Troop Leaders acquired the targets and talked their subordinate call signs on to the engagement area using registration fire. Additionally, the Squadron discovered new challenges in manoeuvring and firing the Leopard 2 as it deployed a tank with the plow implement attached to its front under the command of Sergeant A. Muise.
With the completion of troop level training, the Squadron, under command of the Officer Commanding, Major R. Bulley, and the Battle Captain, Captain P.O. Lachance transitioned to squadron level training. The Squadron then performed an assault on an objective with one troop firing on the move, while being supported by a firebase with the remaining troops under the control of the Battle Captain. The Squadron demonstrated excellent gunnery skills as they engaged all targets effectively and moved to their consolidation positions. A quick Fragmentary Order transitioned the Squadron to a Delay Operation, forcing the troops to acquire targets at long range and often under adverse weather conditions such as fog and rain. Despite the challenges, the troops were successful in engaging and destroying the targets before collapsing to their secondary battle positions. Following the final iteration, the Squadron ran through a running replenishment commanded by the Squadron Sergeant Major, Master Warrant Officer S. Rheaume where they were cheerfully greeted by The Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier General (retired) P. Atkinson, handing the troops ammunition in the rain.
Ex CENTURION ARCHER finished with a visit from the Commanding Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major of both The Royal Canadian Dragoons and The 12e Régiment blindé du Canada. Dense fog prevented the Squadron from giving a massed firepower demonstration from 2 blocking positions, however The Colonel of the Regiment and the two Commanding Officers, Lieutenant-Colonel R. Marois and Lieutenant-Colonel P. Sauvé, were then taken to the driving circuit where they saw first-hand the manoeuvrability and power of the Leopard 2 going across a variety of terrain types and obstacles. Despite all the challenges, C Squadron successfully completed its training and is now prepared for combat team level operations during Ex COMMON GROUND in November 2018.