C Squadron’s Ex DRAGOON CLIMBER
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To say it’s been a busy summer would be an understatement for the members of C Squadron. Over the last few months the squadron has been constantly on the move, whether on exercise in the Gagetown training area, using American simulators in Fort Riley Kansas, or making the 13 hour drive to visit the Regiment, there was truly no rest for the CF’s newest tank squadron. Despite the high tempo, members of C Squadron were excited to hear that Sgt Denton’s plans for adventure training in northern New Brunswick had been given the green light.
On July 16th, 25 members of C Squadron deployed on Ex DRAGOON CLIMBER, a week long adventure training event that included hiking, cycling, canoeing, rock climbing, zip lining, and “deppelling”. Once on the ground at Mount Carleton Provincial Park, troops quickly set up their tents and camping area and prepared themselves for the next days’ activities. For the next two days, three tent groups alternated between hiking the many peaks of the park, canoe instruction and rescue, as well as cycling and swimming. Groups were able to choose their hiking routes according to which peaks they wanted to climb. The trails varied from challenging to very challenging but all agreed that Mount Carleton (the highest point in New Brunswick) offered the best view of all.
While not hiking, swimming, or cycling, troops were learning proper canoeing techniques from a local instructor. After canoeing around the lake a few times, troops were surprised to learn that some of them would be intentionally tipping into the water so they could learn how to recover two separate, waterlogged canoes. Thankfully, the weather held out, however, the water was just cold enough to provide troops with some extra motivation to recover their canoes.
After the PT aspect of the exercise had been fulfilled, troops deployed to Open Sky Adventures Inc. in Grand Falls, New Brunswick to experience something that would push most members well beyond their comfort zone. The facility is the only one of its kind in New Brunswick and is also the only place in North America where deppelling (rappelling, only face first) is legal. Troops deppelled down a 135ft cliff thanks to the extensive, personalized instruction, and motivation from the highly trained and friendly staff. Despite his dislike of heights, Maj Pires, Officer Commanding C Squadron, was the first to walk over the cliff, and enjoy the view of the gorge. Deppelling offered much more than a view and an adrenaline rush, however, it also gave troops the opportunity to push past their mental barriers (and better judgement) and exceed their own limits. While soldiers were conducting their 135ft descent face first, including mission impossible jumps, others were zip lining across the Grand Falls Gorge. Overall, the week at Mount Carleton was an outstanding success and would not have been possible without the tireless work of Sgt Denton and his team.
It must also be noted that while C Squadron had deployed many of its fine athletes to train in the mountains, a small contingent was left behind to defend the Squadron’s Pachino Day Soccer Championship. As a former member of the 2 RCR Battle Group, and reigning Pachino Day champions, C Squadron was invited to defend its title against the rest of the battalion. Important to note, the battalion failed to reclaim its trophy, and C Squadron will be proudly displaying it in their eventual home in K19.
The troops of C Squadron and the staff of Open Sky Adventures Inc.
Lt Kieta gets ready to reppell down 135ft.
The troops of tent group 3 enjoy the view from the top of Mount Carleton
Tpr Westelaken effortlessly tackles the rock wall at Open Sky Adventures Inc.
Descending Mount Sagamook.