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Cadets meet affiliated regiment
Tanks and mounted troops part of camp experience

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tanks, armoured personnel carriers, mounted troops and well-equipped workout facilities were among the sights for a group of Fort Simpson cadets during a recent camp.

NNSL photo/graphic

Cadet Master Cpl. Robert Harold, centre, and Sgt. Ernest Tsetso, emerge from the turret after look inside a Leopard 2 tank while attending a camp that allowed the cadets from 2860 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps in Fort Simpson to meet the Lord Strathcona's Horse, the regiment the corps it is affiliated with. - photo courtesy of Therisa Sayer

From April 21 to 22, 16 members of the 2860 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps participated in a camp at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Edmonton. The camp gave the Fort Simpson cadets, as well as 143 other cadets from five other corps, the chance to meet and interact with members of the Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), the regiment the corps are affiliated with.

The camp was timed to coincide with a training exercise the regiment was holding at CFB Wainwright. The cadets spent part of the trip at Wainwright visiting the command post for the exercise, looking at different aspects of the base camp and getting up close to armoured vehicles.

"It was our opportunity to see what they do out there," said Therisa Sayer, a civilian instructor who accompanied the cadets along with Cpt. Robert Gallant.

For cadet Cpl. Tristen Thurber-Tsetso, the highlight of the camp was seeing a Leopard 2 tank. The cadets were allowed to clamber over the tanks and go inside one of them.

'Very complex'

Thurber-Tsetso, 14, said the inside of the tank that normally holds a three-person crew was cramped.

"It looked very complex," said Thurber-Tsetso, describing the tank's controls.

The cadets learned that all of the regiment's vehicles are filled by hand with 23-litre fuel cans. It takes 89 cans to fill just one tank for a day.

For cadet Cpl. Phoenix Martineau, 14, the military fitness centre, where all of the cadets gathered to do a group workout, was one of the best parts of the trip. There was a lot of good equipment at the centre, he said.

Martineau said the trip inspired him as a cadet.

"It was fun," he said.

Both Thurber-Tsetso and Martineau said the soldiers they met generally seemed friendly.

"They were all very fit," Thurber-Tsetso said.

The cadets noticed there were chin-up bars everywhere in the building where they were staying in addition to a workout room.

Although the Lord Strathcona's Horse is an armoured regiment, it also has a mounted troop that practices traditional cavalry skills. The cadets met some of the troop members and their horses. It sounded exciting and dangerous, said Thurber-Tsetso. One soldier said he got kicked and a horse bit another one.

Following the trip, both Thurber-Tsetso and Martineau said they would consider joining the Canadian Forces in the future but not necessarily with an armoured regiment.

The trip also gave the cadets the chance to interact with their peers from other corps from southern Alberta and Britich Columbia. They all seemed nice, Thurber-Tsetso said.

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