by Master Corporal Don Yurkoski, RQ BCD
This spring I had the opportunity to represent the British Columbia Dragoons at the Vancouver
Island Regional Service Rifle Competition in Nanaimo B.C. and the British Columbia Service Rifle
Championship held in Chilliwack B.C. This was the first time a member of the unit had attended
the competitions in thirteen years.
The Service Rifle Championship is a challenging competition consisting of twelve individual matches and three team matches. All matches
are demanding and designed to challenge competitor's personal weapon handling drills and the ability to apply the Principles of Marksmanship. The matches start at the 200 meters and gradually move rearward to the next firing point in increments of 100 meters, eventually finishing at 500 meters. Four matches are conducted at each range which consists of a deliberate, snap, rapid and rundown. The final match is a rundown from the 500 to the 100 meter point with competitors adopting a different firing position and firing two rounds from each range. All three team matches consisted of timed rundowns from the 300 to the 200 meter point and firing ten rounds by rapid fire. When all twelve matches are completed, the top twenty percent of the competitors compete in the soldiers match.
The Soldiers Match is a rundown from the 400 to the 100 meter point with ten rounds being fired at. I had performed well throughout both competitions and placed sixteenth overall out of sixty one competitors. I had placed fifth out of the thirty reservists, which included members of The British Columbia Regiment, The Royal Westminster Regiment and The Rocky Mountain Rangers. I also made it into the Soldiers Match and placed in the top ten.
I'm honoured to have represented The British Columbia Dragoons in the championship. Marksmanship is a fading art and this was an excellent opportunity to improve. I look forward to passing down the skills needed to compete in future championships. Indications are that we could establish a full unit team if more members are interested in competing. With the SAT range available in Kelowna, and capable members already in the unit, there’s a good chance for us to develop a quality team that could dominate the Brigade. Those interested should advise their chain of command and let me know so that I can get the groundwork started.
Contributed by MCpl. Yurkoski, BCD
15 Sep. 05
By Lt. Howard Hisdal
Exercise Active Edge was held in Wainwright, AB from 21-28 August 2004. Over five hundred reservists from Land Forces Western Area attended including eight BC Dragoons.
Lt Howard Hisdal, 2 Troop Leader, with Cpl Nathaniel Erickson as gunner and Cpl Tyler Burrows as driver, manned the fourth Cougar in 2 Troop with the King’s Own Calgary Regiment manning the other three Cougars. 2Lt David Peeling, Cpl Glenn Duffield, Cpl Trevor Osborne, Cpl Malcolm Byers and Cpl Andrew Kuiack filled holes in 1 Troop, and the Echelon, which were mainly manned by the South Alberta Light Horse. The first three days were spent on “dry” training although it rained continuously. The nine-Cougar half squadron worked with five Leopard tanks and a three car Reconnaissance Troop for the first day. The Leopards then left us to work with the infantry.
We were running the “Three Block War” scenario. That is where there is humanitarian aid taking place on one block, security operations on the second block and an all-out battle on the third block. On the last day of advance to contact and escort operations we watched a minefield being blown with explosives and an anti-tank ditch breached by two armoured badgers as preparation for a deliberate attack. For the next three days it was all live fire including battle runs.
The exercise ended with the half squadron firing HESH and smoke to cover an attack by Leopards, LAV3s and infantry in HLVWs (5 ton trucks). Then it was clean up the Cougars and back to Kelowna via Vancouver. This may well have been the Regiment’s last time firing the Cougar’s 76 mm cannon because as of September 2004 we are converting the reconnaissance role.
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