Page 47 - The Chapka 2016
P. 47

 Everyone across the Army is well aware of the phrase ‘busy is the new normal’ which I am sure the rest of the articles in this edition of the Chapka will highlight. As for ‘MT’, the pace of life hasn’t eased off since amalgamation and it has been another ‘busy year’. This year, The Royal Lancers as a regiment, squadrons, or troops, have been deployed on a multitude of tasks at home as well as in distant lands. All of these activities have required MT support in some shape and form.
The details desk has been busy throughout the year in servicing the constant stream of transport requests which have required meticulous planning and liaison. The demand was met from ei- ther dwindling regimental assets, the vehicles from the 4 Brigade Transport Support Units and in extreme cases from hire. This activity has been MTs continual white noise, no matter what else is happening or what the troop is conducting, the never-ending requests for transport are there. With the 2016 big ticket event being the BATUS deployment as OPFOR, MT spent the early months of the year laying the green foundations for those glitzy tasks such as squadron and battlegroup Replens.
At the beginning of April and cutting short their Easter leave, Captain Jones and Sergeant Oxby deployed to Canada as part of the activation party. Once in Canada, Captain Jones departed the troop for pastures new as the Quartermaster (Technical) and Captain Bennison took the helm when he arrived. Sergeant Beard, Troopers Burrows and Frost remained in Catterick and continued to serve the demands of the the Rear Ops Group.
The troop quickly found its feet in BATUS, forming the back- bone of the OPFOR Battle Group A1 Echelon. A1’s ORBAT was completed by the addition of an SQMS from the KRH, CQMS from the Royal Welsh and C Squadron’s SQMS party. In the margins of the exercise, members of the troop managed to get away from the draw of Medicine Hat to explore what the Cana- dian Rocky Mountains had to offer by participating in one of the numerous adventurous training packages at Trails End Camp. Some even took the opportunity to see what the rest of Canada had to offer and visited a multitude of places such as Lethbridge, Calgary and Edmonton, to name but a few.
In the author’s humble opinion, the two exercises were the wet- test on the Prairie he’d ever encountered. Anything that wasn’t a road was green. Any that was, was like toffee. The constant deluge of rain made the driving conditions extremely difficult. It certainly tried, tested and ultimately improved the drivers’ ability in the skid-pan conditions. By the end of the exercises the conditions turned the Padre, who was Sergeant Oxby’s usual passenger, into a nervous wreck. Like someone afraid of flying, he seemingly spent the majority of the journeys praying for the trucks to get to their destination and rarely had any Hariobo
Tpr Johnson awakes from his SVLumber.
left when he did. The elation felt when arriving at the OPFOR leaguer never lasted long as there was the replenishment to con- duct and the inevitable ‘round the sun to get to the moon’ road- move back to avoid the BGs.
After a well-deserved summer stand down, Mr Mason departed for a tour of Northern Ireland, whilst the remainder of the troop turned its eyes to a period of training and assurance. The Mo- tor Transport Officer attended the Defence Transport Managers course, Sergeant Beard attended both the Defence Transport Op- erators course and, along with Mr Turner, the Fuel and Lubrica- tions Manager’s course. The run in to Christmas saw MT con- ducting a plethora of other tasks from supporting A Squadron on Exercise WESSEX STORM, to recovering B Squadron from BATUS concurrently with preparing for the LSI and LEA. These inspections involved personnel burning the midnight oil to ensure the department was prepared and all the paperwork ‘squared away’. All the troops hard work was rewarded with pos- itive feedback from the 12th Armoured Brigade inspection team.
In addition to the changeover of MTOs, MT has seen a number of changes to its establishment. WO2 “Damo” Hill has come in to hold the fort of Motor Transport Warrant Officer. Lance Cor- poral Perkins returned from a posting with a recruiting outreach team and, Corporal Payne and Lance Corporal Thompson have both joined the troop.
Motorised Transport Troop

   45   46   47   48   49