With Regimental Individual Battle Task Standard (IBTS) training complete and soldier’s freshly qualified off of their Primary Combat Function (PCF) courses, D Squadron kicked off Fall collective training with Exercise SABOT DOGS from 26-30 September 2017. This Squadron initiated gun camp began with soldiers from 41 refreshing their skills during a Troop level dry defensive trace and an afternoon in the ICGS. The progressive training continued with Crew and Patrol level live fire and culminated with a Troop level live fire designed to test 41’s ability to shoot, move, and communicate as the covering force in support of a Battalion level area defensive. 41 honed their gunnery skills at the crew level, providing new crew commanders an opportunity to manoeuvre and engage a variety of targets. By both day and night, 41 received a handover from Brigade reconnaissance elements and withdrew under pressure, coordinating the inherent direct fire capability of the troop with joint fires in order to break clean and conduct a passage of lines through the main defensive area. By the end of the exercise, 41 had a good appreciation for the coordination and identification of friend or foe (IFF) required to conduct complex link-up drills, battle handovers, and passage of lines. Thanks to the efforts of SHQ, Admin Troop, and 42, 41 was certified Level 3 live as part of their pre-deployment training for Op REASSURANCE ROTO 9.
After a short week of maintenance and equipment preparations, D Squadron conducted Exercise WALKING DRAGOON from 10-18 October 2017 as a dismounted exercise. The troops were able to develop and hone sets of skills that are not usually practiced by crewman. Earmarked as Battle Group (BG) reconnaissance for Op REASSURANCE ROTO 9 and 10, both 41 and 42 conducted close target reconnaissance, collecting detailed information on the enemy and ground, which enabled the conduct of a detailed handover with combat teams, providing the critical information that the commanders required. Both troops were also able to conduct a withdrawal under pressure under darkness, maintaining contact with an enemy throughout the night, alternating between 41 and 42 as the in-place force and the withdrawing force. Halfway through the exercise, D Squadron returned to the hanger in order to support 41 in their preparations for the movement of their vehicles and equipment to Gagetown, where they will be attached to the 2 RCR BG for the remainder of their Fall pre-deployment training. 42 returned to the field with elements of SHQ and Admin Troop, where 42 concentrated on lessons learned the week prior, mastering their dismounted tactics. The exercise culminated with the conduct of a CBRN survey, where the extent of damage of a contaminated area from a chemical event was delineated and defined.