Training and events for the 2nd Bn Nova Scotia Highlanders
SITREP….. 2 nd Battalion, The Nova Scotia Highlanders (Cape Breton)
The Battalion continues to forge ahead with interesting training and increases in personnel. In the words of the CO, LCol George Troicuk: “the Unit is in an up cycle…strength has steadily grown over the past few months to a point where we see 187 personnel on the nominal roll,” (the current estb strength is 196). The Pipes and Drums has also prospered and at 11 of 13 established positions, is filled with new blood and is an integral part of the Battalion’s affairs as well as supporting other Garrison and social functions.
The new accommodation on the Northside will be officially occupied by a 30-person platoon, next month, a result of a 2003 Land Force Reserve Restructure increase, which the Unit sought and was granted. The return to an area of historical and active recruitment is much appreciated by the Battalion and the Cape Breton Highlanders Association as well.
Last year, at this time, 8 soldiers from the Highlanders trained at Fort Pickett , Virginia , along with fellow troops of 36 Canadian Bde Gp and their American counterparts. Training included airmobile ops and Fighting in Built-up Areas (FIBUA). This year, in a couple of weeks time, 26 soldiers will take part in this training, “capably led by the team of Lt. Russell Gallant and WO Jody Merriam”, and it again promises to be an interesting and exciting experience.
Local courses have been both challenging and rewarding, as well: 8 pers qualified as Master Corporals in the past couple of months, and during the past year, 160 course vacancies were filled (all pers were successful) and over 170 taskings were covered by Battalion soldiers. A three-week 2A Machine Gun course (run locally, with a qualification shoot at CFB Gagetown) was recently conducted at Coriano Bldg, and 17 Unit pers were successful. In addition to 2Bn pers, soldiers from 1NSHighrs (N), Princess Louise Fusiliers and West Nova Scotia Regiment personnel also took part.
Last October, LCol Troicuk, accompanied by CBHA Vice-President, Steve Kavanagh, and Bob Campbell (a Ret’d RCR Capt), paid visits to several battle sites in Northwest Europe and Italy. While in Italy , they met up with CBHA stalwart (and former Honourary Colonel) Ted Slaney, his wife, Theresa and the Bn Pipe Major, Mike Campbell. This included visits to Coriano Ridge, Coriano Cemetery , Graveyard Hill and the church at Montescudo. All agreed it was an awe-inspiring experience.
LCol Troicuk is also pleased to announce that RSM Vallee “ has been duly recognized and will be awarded the Member of Military Merit (MMM) by Her Excellency, the Governor General, at a time to be announced.
We at CBHA appreciate the SI