Welcome to 2RCHA
This website has been designed to provide information on the Regiment’s history, recent events and current taskings. 2 RCHA was formed on 7 August, 1950 as the Artillery Component of the Canadian Army Special Force for United Nations service in Korea. Since then, 2 RCHA has operated and trained across the world and across the spectrum of operations including humanitarian relief in Turkey, Honduras, Haiti, and Pakistan, peacekeeping in Cyprus and Bosnia and war fighting in Korea and Afghanistan.
This website also has information on our current operations, training and social events as well as important contacts. On behalf of the Regiment, Welcome to the 2 RHCA website. Ubique!
D Bty Remembers It's Roots
Soldiers from D Battery, 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery attended the Canadian War Museum on February 5th to immerse new and longstanding gunners in the rich history of the Canadian Armed Forces. The emphasis of the trip for was to see a piece of history used by the first gunners of D Battery. On display in the South African War exhibit is a 12-Pounder Field Gun which was manned by left section of D Battery during the rearguard action at the battle of Leliefontein in November 1900. Now more than a century later, the soldiers of D Battery had a chance to take in their history with a lecture on the Boer War from Dr. John Maker and a self guided tour of the Canadian War Museum.
For many, the highlight of the trip was the chance to meet and speak with the Veteran volunteers at the Canadian War Museum. Major Robert O'Donnell (Battery Commander) and Master Warrant Officer James Aucoin (Battery Sergeant-Major) arranged for Lieutentant Colonel (Retired) Mike Walker to promote Gunners Boileau and Jolicoeur-Hebert to the rank of Bombardier. The outing ended with a Battery photo in the Lebreton Gallery in front of Canadian Guns from conflicts past. The soldiers of D Battery returned to Garrison Petawawa with a greater understanding of their history and appreciation for the efforts of those who went before them.
Gunners Take to the Skies
The flight of an M777 Howitzer on Tuesday September 23rd marked a new relationship between the Gunners of the 2nd Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (2 RCHA) and aircrew from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (450 THS). Exercise Viking Gunner afforded the Gunners of D Battery, 2 RCHA the opportunity to conduct aircraft familiarization with 450 Squadron's CH-147 Chinook helicopter. It also allowed the aircrew the chance to lift the 10 ton M777 Howitzer and practice flying with such a payload.
The Gunners of D Battery are no stranger to airmobile operations. During Exercise Maple Resolve this past spring at the Canadian Manoeuvre Training Centre in Wainwright, Alberta, the guns of D Battery were the first guns to be lifted on Canadian soil by Chinook helicopters. These Chinooks belonged to the 2nd Batallion,135th Aviation Regiment of the Colorado Army National Guard. To prepare, D Battery Gunners worked hard to master the art of quickly and safely rigging their howitzers to be lifted, a skill which put them in good standing when it came time to work with 450 THS.
The real test for these two units came during Exercise Collaborative Spirit, which ran from September 29th to October 1st. This exercise was a demonstration of the capabilities of the Canadian Army, which was hosted by 2nd Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (2 CMBG) for industry leaders and military VIPs. The pinnacle of each day's events was most assuredly a demonstration of an air assault. This involved two infantry platoons from the Dukes Company, 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment (1 RCR) capturing an enemy position and securing the immediate area to allow for two M777 Howitzers to be flow in.
During the air assault Gunners from D Battery, 2 RCHA were put to the test as they were required to rapidly prepare their howitzers for action following an airmobile insertion by 450 THS. While each air assault during the three days of Exercise Collaborative Spirit was successful, every iteration provided additional learning points for both the Gunners and the air crew. The training provided by 450 THS was exceptional and ongoing cooperation between the Gunners of 2 RCHA and Air Crew from 450 THS will further solidify the friendship between the two units and without a doubt prepare them for any future deployments.
The Journey of a Thousand Kilometres
On September 11th and 12th 2013, the Officers and NCMs of 2 CMBG participated in the 30th annual Ironman Competition. The day began as a day like many others in the military; at a ridiculous hour in pitch blackness, with a 40 lb ruck on your back and the certain promise of pain. This article will explore the personal motivations for volunteering for this arduous task, for as we all asked ourselves that day, as all Ironmen do – Why did I do this to myself?
My experience with the Ironman began in the summer of 2011, and this is my third competition. I initially had no desire to take part in this event and most likely would not have attempted it if not for the (strong) encouragement of my then-BC Maj Paul Williams. Not really knowing what to expect I did no preparation and completed the Ironman in 10 hours and 15 minutes. For my trouble, I was treated to three days of back-wrenching, zombie-shuffling torment in the wake of what I thought would be an easy go. This first Ironman taught me the importance of training and I did not make the same mistake next year.
In 2012 I learned from this mistake and followed a strict training regimen of longer and longer rucks with plenty of time reserved for canoeing and the rowing machine. I was tasked to Gagetown for the duration of most of the summer and competed in the 2012 CFB Gagetown Bushman (roughly a half-Ironman) with Capt James Neeley as part of my training. I managed to improve my Ironman time to 9 hours and 12 minutes and was out of commission for about a day afterwards.
As I set out on the morning of Sept 11th I went forth backed by a similar training plan. What struck me this year along my journey was the presence of the repeat completers. In 2011 I completed the Ironman with Gnr Meuret of F Bty, having stuck with him the whole race. I remember that I had to help him jerry-rig the yoke of his canoe with twigs and left-over guntape along the way. This year he had been training hard and completed the Ironman for the first time since that first day after recovering from a major injury. Along the way I passed and was passed by Gnr Moon a total of eight times, re-enacting the Ironman grudge match we firmly established in 2012, only this year HE got the better time. As the race ended, I told him that I’d see him again next year and we both laughed. I came in at 8:50, not as fast as I would have liked, but still better than the year before.
The crowds cheered everyone as the day went on, but I noticed something interesting. The longer it took somebody to finish the Ironman, the louder the cheers became. When the final completers came in at 10, 11, even 12 hours, the large crowd gathered included not just the people there at the beginning of the day, but nearly all of those who had just completed the race. As day went on people ran, jogged, walked and hobbled across the line all to a massive crowd screaming encouragement.
I plan to do the Ironman in 2014 for the same reason I see on the same faces out there year after year. For most of us who do this race, it’s not about winning. It’s about pushing the limits and challenging yourself. Proving that you are up to the task. It’s about digging deep and getting the task done no matter how long or difficult it may seem. For those I see year after year, I hope to see you again out there. For those considering the Ironman in 2014, I look forward to passing or being passed by you while encumbered by 100 lbs of ruck and canoe, while both cursing our very existence through a haze of pain and muscle cramps. Why? Do it once and find out.
Written by: Capt M.D. Becker
19 September 2013