EDMONTON, Alberta —- On April 15, anti-armour soldiers from the 1st Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (1 PPCLI) officially joined Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) [LdSH (RC)] in a pivotal event in that regiment's transformation into a direct fire unit (DFU).
"We wear a distinctive black beret; however, our true strength is found in the variety of cap badges worn on that beret," he said. "To Platoon Echo Coy, Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians): Welcome home."
The ceremonies started with a farewell parade at 1 PPCLI lines. The departing soldiers received tributes of their service with the battalion and were bid farewell by their unit. Led by the PPCLI drum line and trailed by two TOW under armour (TUA) vehicles, the 30 soldiers marched down Korea Road to the Harvey building.
The event was part of the transformation of LdSH (RC) from a conventional armoured unit into a DFU. The Strathcona's will become a combined arms regiment that will use 105 mm cannons, medium- and long-range missiles in cohesive teams. These teams will give deployed commanders the extra firepower to destroy armoured or fortified threats.
PIC2RThe LdSH (RC) will incorporate infantry, armour and air defence artillery soldiers and officers to combine their expertise. The incoming operations officer will be a PPCLI. In the near future, personnel in the regiment's headquarters will be a combination of the three arms.
Major Keith Gentles, the new officer commanding E Company, said his troops have a vital role to play in the regiment's transformation.
"The soldiers know they are part of something important for the whole Army," he said. "It's not every day that a soldier gets to be on the sharp end of developing a new way he does his job."
The ceremony was the first step of the regiment's transformation.
The Strathcona's will conduct urban operations trials later this spring. Air defence gunners from 4 Air Defence Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery, will also begin arriving at the regiment this summer.
Article by Lieutenant Mark Peebles
Photos by Sergeant Mike van Den Broek