Alpha Squadron name their ASLAVs
The ceremony on February 21, 2014 in Waler Lines harks back to WWI when crews inscribed their armoured vehicles with a name, chosen by the driver, that started with the letter of their squadron.
Achilles, Agamemnon, Angry Birds and Aotearoa are just some of the names now adorning the ASLAVs and support vehicles of 2nd Cavalry Regiment’s Alpha Squadron, which were collectively baptised by the smashing of a champagne bottle on their hulls.
Officer Commanding Alpha Squadron Major Scott Klima said the ceremony symbolically linking the crew and vehicle was an important start point for a partnership based on accountability and equipment husbandry, which will be maintained through the next 12 months.
“Over the past 13 years crews have continually rotated through the serviceable vehicles to maintain support to operations,” he said.
“This ceremony recognises the relationship between the cavalryman and his mount and, with the reduction in operational tempo, crews will remain with their vehicle for the full training year.”
Since 1999, Alpha Squadron has deployed to East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, and now they are the “foot on the ground,” as 2nd Cavalry Regiment establishes an Armoured Combat Regiment as part of Plan Beersheeba.
Maj Klima said while Alpha Squadron would remain a cavalry squadron under the ACR construct, it would be moving to Townsville at the end of 2014.
He said things may change in the wider Army, however, the core role of Alpha Squadron, and especially its soldiers, would remain unchanged.
“The soldiers of 2nd Cavalry Regiment have a quiet, professional pride in their work,” Maj Klima said.
“The soldiers are exactly what I have always thought Australian soldiers should be; keen, professional and proud.
“They know how to work, they know how to play and they embrace the identity that is Alpha Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment.”
Maj Klima said he was immensely proud of being part of Alpha Squadron as it continued to write its own history.
“The guys know the work they have done, the work they continue to do and the legacy that they leave for those to follow, he said.
“There is no better feeling than seeing the pride in the face of one of your men when he says he is a member of the squadron.”