Page 18 - The Chapka 2016
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  Life on the block was sustained by Maintenance Days. The ech- elon would deliver fuel, supplies and spares to the hungry beast that was the OPFOR BG. On occasion, the shower unit would deploy where soldiers were allowed to go and drip. Who can for- get the delicious packed lunches? They certainly had the desired effect: rations no-longer looked such a depressing prospect after 24 hours on “fresh”. Post would arrive too. Blueys from home, but also letters bearing a more local post-mark. Trooper Lowe’s pen pal was a particularly prolific writer whose knack for escapist fiction won critical acclaim amongst her wide-ranging readership.
On return to camp it was time for tea... and Commanding Of- ficer’s coins. In a round of quantitative easing last practiced by the Weimar Republic’s Reichsbank in 1923, OPFOR personnel were be-jewelled with coins. Captain Purbrick awarded so many (all with the express permission of the Commanding Officer, of course!) that the currency replaced the Canadian Dollar in many parts of Alberta and British Columbia. However, the value was so debased that a coffee cost 1,300,000 Commanding Officer’s Coins in the Crowfoot Café. Who says it’s over-priced?
The result of these PRAIRE STORM titanic clashes are not recorded here in terms of ‘winners’ or ‘losers’. If there was a winner, it was fantastic collective training, for the exercising BGs and the OPFOR too: the gamut of tactical actions were re- hearsed, often at night, across some complex terrain – defending small towns, attacking defensive positions, advancing to contact and crossings obstacles. World-class training a world-away and the ideal preparation for the Lancers own training year and BA- TUS deployment in 2017.
Alongside the OPFOR, the Lancers also generated a large num- ber of the training support staff (observer mentors, storemen, chefs and drivers), and it is this cohort that really made the ex- ercises possible – either sustaining it or keeping it safe. The majority of this manpower deployed well before the OPFOR and did not return until, for many, BATUS was but a distance memory.
Recce Squadron’s Crack Anti-tank team
The Royal Lancers Chelsea Flower Show 2017 Entry

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