D Squadron is the Combat Support (CS) Squadron within The Royal Canadian Dragoons. Transitioning into its new role in July 2016, D Squadron is typically a specialized squadron featuring a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Troop, Direct Fire Support (DFS) Troop, Regimental Reconnaissance Troop, and Signals Troop.
In June 2017, D Squadron shifted its focus to generating Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Troops in support of Op REASSUARNACE Rotation 9 and 10, Canada’s commitment to NATO assurance and deterrence measures in Latvia aimed to reinforce NATO’s collective defence and show the strength of Allied solidarity. Each Troop consists of Coyote Reconnaissance and Surveillance vehicles, RPA systems, and close reconnaissance capabilities.
In addition to operational commitments, D Squadron still has the task of maintaining excellence in close reconnaissance, RPA operations, DFS to include Regimental Command Post Defence & Security and TOW, as well as ensuring that the signals infrastructure and signals needs of The Regimental Command Post and the Squadrons are met.
Formerly Reconnaissance Squadron, D Squadron was employed during WWII in Italy, Germany and as part of the liberation of Holland. Later, in 1959 the squadron relieved the 8th Canadian Hussars in the Sinai Desert as an attempt to bring stability to the region. In Sinai, Recce Squadron took part in the United Nation Emergency Force while operating in Egypt and Cyprus. The squadron was stationed in Lahr Germany from 1957-1959 and again as part of 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group from 1970-1987. In 1999, Recce Squadron deployed to Kosovo as part of the Kosovo Force (KFOR). More recently, D Squadron was employed throughout Canada’s commitment to the War in Afghanistan. In 2003, the squadron was deployed to Kabul as part of Op ATHENA, and in 2005, deployed again to Kabul, where it provided the escort for the transition to Kandahar. Again in 2008, D Squadron deployed to Kandahar as part of the Task Force 3-08 Battle Group.
Officer Commanding D Sqn
D Sqn Sergeant Major
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The birth date of The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Canada’s senior cavalry regiment, is 21 December 1883; however, the traditions of The Regiment can be traced back to approximately 1759, when two troops of volunteer cavalry were raised from among the young gentlemen of Quebec. As late as 1809, this Corps of Volunteer Cavalry still carried on the traditions established by their predecessors 50 years earlier. Through successive name changes the unit was designated as the Quebec Volunteer Cavalry and the Queen’s Own Canadian Hussars until, in 1883 a Permanent Force Unit was established as the Cavalry School Corps. Finally, in 1895, the Cavalry School Corps was combined with the Mounted Infantry School and under the command of LCol J.F. Turnbull was designated “The Royal Canadian Dragoons”.
The Regiment took part in the campaign in Northwest Canada in 1885, and in 1896 a detachment served as part of the Yukon Field Force. During the South African War (1899 - 1902), Lieutenant H.Z.C. Cockburn, Lieutenant R.E.W. Turner, and Sergeant E.J. Holland were each awarded the Victoria Cross. The battle honours of North West Canada and South Africa are emblazoned on the Guidon.
During World War I, The Regiment served in France with the 1st Canadian Division and in the Canadian Cavalry Brigade. Ten battle honours are carried on the Guidon out of thirteen earned by The Regiment between 1914 and 1918.
During World War II, the Dragoons served in Sicily in 1943 and Italy in 1944 with the 1st Canadian Corps. In late 1944, the unit became the Reconnaissance Regiment of the 1st Canadian Infantry Division. In January 1945, The Regiment moved to Northwest Europe and in April of that year, Dragoons liberated the town of Leeuwarden, Holland. Another six out of a total of ten World War II battle honours were added to the Guidon for recognition of outstanding service.
Since World War II, The Regiment has served in Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Afghanistan. The Regiment has also had independent squadrons in Korea, Cyprus, Egypt, Germany, Bosnia and Gagetown. In 1970, The Royal Canadian Dragoons moved from CFB Gagetown, New Brunswick to Fort Beausejour, in Iserlohn, Germany. Shortly thereafter, The Regiment moved south to Lahr/Schwarzwald, and became part of NATO’s Central Army Group. 17 years later, in 1987, The Regiment returned to its current home at Worthington Barracks, Garrison Petawawa. In more recent years, The Regiment has been active on several peacekeeping and international emergency force operations. These have seen The Royal Canadian Dragoons deployed as a Battle Group to Bosnia in both 1995 and 2003. In addition, several squadrons have deployed as integral components of other Battle Groups in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Since 2003, The Regiment has deployed eight reconnaissance squadrons to Afghanistan, as well as several tank troops. Dragoons deployed as part of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team and Headquarters 5-10 in Kandahar Province. In addition, members of C Squadron deployed on Op ATTENTION, the training mission in Afghanistan, in February of 2012.
The Royal Canadian Dragoons are allied with The Household Cavalry Regiment of the British Army and affiliated with the Governor General’s Horse Guards, Toronto. In 1985, His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales, accepted the appointment of Colonel-In-Chief, The Royal Canadian Dragoons. He takes a continuing and active interest in all aspects of Regimental life.
OC D Sqn
D Sqn SM