newsletter – spring 2016 - 12e Régiment blindé du Canada
NEWSLETTER – SPRING 2016
By Captain Pascal Croteau, CD
Before we begin, I would like to express my gratitude for being appointed as the new 12th CAR
Liaison Officer (LO) replacing LCol (ret) Bob Gauthier, who did an exceptional job as LO these
past 50 years. I would also like to wish him all the best in his second retirement.
I joined the Regiment in 1991 as a Trooper in Trois-Rivières. I completed 8 years as a reservist
and achieved the rank of Sergeant. As a member of A Squadron, I was employed as a Cougar
driver, gunner, crew commander and one year as Troop Warrant. In 1999, I took a Class B
contract as an instructor with the Canadian Rangers. I worked with them until 2003 when I
transferred into the Regular Force as an officer. Upon passing my phase training at CTC
Gagetown, I was appointed as recce troop leader in D Squadron in Valcartier. I completed 2
years in recce and in 2007 I took command of a Tank troop attached to the Strathconas and
deployed to Afghanistan for my first tour. My troop was composed of Douzièmes and equipped
with the new Leopard 2 Main Battle Tanks. After 9 months, and more than 35 combat
operations, we came home in 2008. I was posted to the Armour School as an instructor that
same year and taught mainly Troop Warrant courses and Tank courses. I finished my time at the
Armour school as Squadron second-in-command (2IC). I was posted back to Valcartier in 2009
and took the job of C Squadron Battle Captain (BC) and our tank squadron was deployed to
Afghanistan in 2010 for a 10 month tour. On return, I completed my staff college course in
Kingston, Ontario (to become major) and I was appointed as the C Squadron 2IC. In 2011, I was
employed as the Regimental LO and Regimental Gunnery Officer. In 2012, I was posted to 5
Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group in Valcartier as Plan/Ops Officer (G5-2/G3 ops). In 2013, I
transferred back into the Primary Reserve and now I work once again as the Regimental LO in
Valcartier. My plan is to work full time as a reservist for the next 12-15 years and then retire
from the Canadian Armed Forces.
News from 12e RBC (M) Trois-Rivières
Since the fall 2015, the Regiment has been very busy with training. Every second weekend,
troopers conduct training as armoured recce elements with A Squadron leading the training.
They still operate on the G-Wagon platform armed with the C-6 (7.62mm) general purpose
machinegun and practice recce drills at crew to squadron level. Our most recent training saw a
troop of Sherbrook Hussars attached to the Squadron, filling out three troops of five vehicles, in
order to conduct a complete Squadron-level exercise. In October, the Regiment participated in
a Brigade level exercise in Valcartier with other units from 35th Canadian Brigade Group. They
completed different recce tasks in a defensive scenario and performed in a noteworthy fashion.
Under Major Stephane Clouâtre and Master Warrant Officer Dominique Plourde, the squadron
completed its fall training with success and with a high level of participation from the members
of the Regiment.
The Regiment marched in the Remembrance Day parade through the streets of Trois-Rivières
on the 8th of November. The fallen comrades of the 12th CAR were honoured as well as the
more recent fallen comrades from our mission in Afghanistan. Mr. Dowie was again present at
The Regiment held the traditional Christmas dinner in December and LCol Bergeron, the CO,
and Chief Warrant Officer Hébert (RSM) gave honours and awards to members of the Regiment
for their outstanding performance in 2015.
The event also honoured RSM Conrad Gilbert (RSM 1949-1955) who turned 100 years old last
In February, members of the Regiment in Trois-Rivières participated in Exercise RAFALE
BLANCHE 2016 (winter warfare training) with 12e RBC Valcartier in the Bécancour area. More
than 400 soldiers from Valcartier, Trois-Rivières, Sherbrooke and Montreal formed the 12e RBC
Battlegroup. The troops performed to a high standard and were involved in 3 major operations
in civilian sectors. The weather cooperated and did not go below 15 degrees!
In March, the Regiment participated in the annual gun camp hosted by the 12e RBC in
Valcartier. It was a combined arms range and included teams from artillery and engineer
regiments as well as infantry battalions from both the 35th Canadian Brigade Group and from
the 5th Canadian Mechanized Canadian Brigade Group. It was an enriching experience for all the
On an individual note, the Regiment of TR continues to have members deployed on OP
REASSURANCE in Poland as well as many members on different tasks and courses around
News from 12e RBC Valcartier
The Regiment in Valcartier had an exceptionally busy fall and winter. Our members partook in
eight major exercises and supported the Combat Team Commander course in Gagetown this
fall. Beginning with Ex SABRE AUCLAIR 2015, this exercise saw all sub-units deployed in the field
for three weeks of training. B and D Squadrons were the Primary Training Audience and A
Squadron filled the billet as Enemy Force. The Squadrons were supported by HQ squadron
throughout the exercise. They trained for different armoured recce tasks and this exercise was
the validation of D squadron, who is currently the 5th Mechanized Brigade Group’s recce
In November, D Squadron left for Gagetown and was employed as brigade recce squadron for
Ex COMMON GROUND II which supported the Combat Team Commander’s course. Members of
C Squadron (the tank squadron in Gagetown) were also employed and trained as the sabre
squadron on the Leopard 2 platform for the Battlegroup. It was a great combined arms
experience for our younger soldiers.
The Regiment participated in Remembrance Day parades in different locations around the
province of Quebec. The Regiment held the annual Christmas social activities, the Troops’
Christmas dinner, the NCO/Officers’ hockey game, CO’s Christmas dinner and also saw
regimental participation in charity activities around Quebec City.
In January 2016, B Squadron formed a Combat Team with infantry, combat engineers, and
artillery elements and deployed to Fort Irwin, California for 4 weeks. There, they conducted a
major exercise with the 2-2 (US) Stryker Brigade Combat Team. They were employed as a
Cavalry Squadron (4 troops of 4 vehicles, instead of recce which usually consists of 3 troops of 8
vehicles) and did traditional fire base tasks, cleared small towns with support of infantry,
engineers and US artillery. This was another great experience and they appreciated the scale of
US training capacities. This exercise was a challenge for our Regimental HQ 2IC as the shipping
and border regulations were complicated! Each vehicle spent 36 hours in a cleaning process to
be allowed back into Canada.
In February, the Regiment formed a Battlegroup and deployed to the Bécancour/Nicolet area
for Ex RAFALE BLANCHE 2016. The Regiment was composed of 2 recce squadrons, 1 light
infantry company and a half squadron as enemy force. Reservists and regular force members
were integrated and trained for 9 days in the cold. The exercise also included participation from
the civilian police force, the Mayors of Nicolet and Trois-Rivières as well as police officers from
Nicolet’s national police school. Troopers really enjoyed training in the civilian sectors, they
learned the complexity of domestic operations and quickly learned to fight an enemy without
damaging your own infrastructure. It was learned that avoidance of collateral damage is a
major factor to consider when planning.
In February, we received a visit from a PeeWee hockey team involved in the famous Quebec
PeeWee hockey tournament. LCol Landry, Valcartier’s CO, had 2 players from little Boston
Bruins stay at his home for the duration of the tournament. We organised a Dog & Pony show
and the kids really appreciated the visit.
In March, D Squadron deployed to France for Mountain operations training with our sister
Regiment, the 4e Régiment de Chasseurs. They were trained in cross-country skiing, mountain
operations and also received avalanche training. They visited the village of Gap, Grenoble and
the City of Paris while overseas.
Finally, the Regiment conducted its annual gun camp in Valcartier where they conducted live
fire manoeuvres at the patrol level.
Currently, the Regiment has about 60 soldiers deployed on international operations in Haiti,
Kuwait, Poland, Ukraine, Congo and Afghanistan.
I wish you a great summer and if you have any comments or questions, please don’t hesitate to
write or call me at 418-268-8897.
For more pictures and news, you can consult www.12rbc.ca and our Facebook site 12e
Régiment blindé du Canada TR or 12e Régiment blindé du Canada (page officielle)