Researching The Royal Canadian Regiment

2RCR Report; Feb 1970

Pro Patria Issue No. 3, 27 February 1970

2RCR CFPO 5050


From: LCol J.A. Cowan, CD

The Minister of National Defence announced in Sep the planned reduction of Canadian Forces in Europe and the relocation of 4 CMBG during 1970. From the press and other sources you will be aware that the reduction in Canadian Forces in Europe will result in a 5,000 man force, both land and air elements, collocated at the two main air stations of Lahr and Bad Solligen. The now organization to be titled, Canadian Forces Europe, will consist of two main components. These are:

4 Canadian Mechanized Battle Group

one armoured regiment
one artillery regiment
two mechanized infantry battalions
one engineer squadron
logistic support units

1 Canadian Air Group

two strike/attack squadrons one reconnaissance squadron

The new force will be commanded by an airman, MGen Laubman, and each of the two major components will have one-star commanders. The two mechanized infantry battalions will retain their present equipment and will be allotted operational roles in Central Army Group which are compatible with their fully mechanized posture. One battalion will be manned by 1 R22eR and the second will be manned by 2RCR/2 PPCLI. The latter will be titled Mechanized Commando (1 Airborne Regiment).

2 RCR as a unit title and with the remaining personnel will return to Canada and re-locate at Camp Gagetown during the summer of 1970. The unit will be reinforced to establishment strength by personnel from 1 and 2 RHC.

The move south to the area of the "Black Forest" has been received with mixed feelings. We in the Royal Canadian Regiment share with our colleagues in the Canadian Guards very fond memories of our past association with the City of Soest and surrounding area. The friendship that now exists with the local population is the result of tremendous efforts by many of you who are now reading this newsletter back in Canada. It is not easy to say farewell to such a fine overseas home but like any professional soldier we accept the decision to re-locate without question and hope that our efforts in the new location will eventually produce the same friendly atmosphere which we now enjoy in Westphalia.

The majority of 2 RCR personnel now in Germany on the first or second year of their tour will move to S. Germany (Bad Sollingen) between Jul and 3ep 1970. Some of our personnel will be retained in the Soest area for some months thereafter to close out or hand over the brigade camps to the German authorities. Others will rotate to Canada with 2 RCR or on posting to our other battalions.

We are well into the planning for the move including the despatch of Recce parties under Maj A.C. Conyers to our new home at Bad Sollingen. The DCO, Maj Phil Spencer, is busy sorting out the equipment tables for the new unit and the Adjt, Capt Rick St. Germain, is burning the candles slotting our personnel into positions in the new mixed RCR/PPCLI Commando. All of this is being done without any relaxation in our present operational commitments and normal busy life of exercises, courses and representation duties.

Unlike our 1st Battalion which seems to have restricted their members to RCR personnel, we have in 2 RCR over two hundred all ranks who started their military careers in the Canadian guards and the Black Watch. Our Sergeants' Mess alone contains 40% newly badged RCR senior NCOs. In the light of recent news of the disbandment of some infantry regiments, I am pleased that we took the lead in opening the door to serving members of our sister regiments. For it is these officers, NCOs and men who will find the transition from their former regiments to the RCR much easier because of their voluntary rebadging at the time they moved to Europe.

Pro Patria

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