In an effort to get a glimpse into the training and dedication of the members of our Canadian Forces, fifteen members of the Regimental Council enrolled in the prestigious “Pathfinder” course, at the Dutch National Para Centrum, Teuge Holland to attempt to earn their “Dutch B Wings.”
As you may know, Reservists — people who lead an active life at home, with families and regular civilian employment — make up a critical component of today’s Canadian Forces. These Reservists, when called upon to serve, leave their work, friends and family to go abroad on missions that are sometimes located in very difficult situations; largely in the promotion of freedom and democracy.
The funds we intend to raise through this activity will be donated to specific regiments as well as various military related charities, such as the International Knightly Order of St. George, the Military Families Fund (MFF), 33 Signals Regiment Foundation and other charities, such as the True Patriot Love Foundation, that step in and assist military persons where governments are unable.
In the words of Shaun Francis, Chair of the True Patriot Love Foundation:
“We’ve come together as patriotic Canadians to honour members of our Canadian Forces and to remember that when a soldier serves, their families serve too, and they serve as volunteers. Today’s CF members who have been deployed are young, with families to support and career aspirations. Often, when they return their families need our support because a soldier’s recovery does not happen overnight. Whether it’s childcare, or financial aid so that a spouse can take time off work to be at the bedside of an injured soldier, our Foundation’s mission is to be there.”
From Roy Mobsby (5 Abn Bd retired), Jump/Operations Coordinator Pathfinder Parachute Group UK. www.pathfindergroupuk.com
Congratulations to all the members of Operation Wolfpack on gaining your Dutch B wing and our own Pathfinder proficiency wings.
As you know myself and the other senior instructors of the Pathfinder Parachute group are all former British Paratroopers. As well as that we are all qualified as Free fall display jumpers and as such have seen the both the civilian and military side of our sport.
We welcome all on our courses. Our aim is not to turn out pretend Para’s but people who want to challenge themselves, to go that extra mile and find out what the end product is really like. Sliding into the open void from a serviceable aircraft and trusting yourself to our instruction and a large piece of nylon is about as scary as it can get. No matter what dangerous sports you have done before this is the ultimate challenge. Your mind and body are screaming at you not to do it. Its unnatural, however your drills take over and by the time you have decided you don’t want to do this your already under the parachute and starting to enjoy it. Your first jump the drills take over. The second jump is like ‘Dead men walking’ as you go out to the aircraft.You now know what to expect. After your third jump its your sport and your hooked. It gets easier after this.You have conquered your fear and now its anticipation you feel as you go out to the aircraft. You should never lose this feeling. Its what keeps you concentrating on the jump at hand.
When Col Fogerty contacted us we had a few reservations. It was a long way to come for a parachute course. So many things could go wrong and the weather was the biggest worry. Mother nature has a way of turning around and biting you in the bum. Your people were coming all that way for a very good cause, one that mirrors our own ‘Help for heroes’ so we wanted to help in anyway we could. We had a ‘Wet weather’ program of battlefield tours just in case but as it turned out it wasn’t needed and at the end you managed to fit in the tours as well.
Col Fogerty is a good judge of character and surrounded himself with like minded people who were up for the challenge. They gave 200% and our instructors responded to that. Everyone on the course worked hard although some found the training easier than others. You bonded as a team very quickly and I thought most of you had known each other for years so I was very surprised when I found out most of you had only just met. The ‘Buddy, buddy’ system that we employ helps and the parachute packing phase is always a good way to encourage team work.
To say this was one of the most enjoyable courses we have taught in twenty years would not be a lie. I congratulate each and everyone of you on earning your wings. I hope you all continue to parachute and you would be most welcome at either Normandy or Arnhem for our anniversary jumps.
Lastly I hope you raise your target figure and more.You have worked hard for your foundation and it deserves to do well. Well done everyone involved and good luck for the future.
Best regards. Roy
From the desk of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel Justin R. Fogarty
33 Signals Regiment Foundation: Operation Wolfpack Holland: Situation Report.