In December 2014 the order was signed creating Headquarters Squadron (HQ Sqn) RCACS. The change would see C Sqn absorb the orphan entities at the RCACS to create a new, robust HQ Sqn capable of both delivering and supporting training at the RCACS. The Sqn is structured along the lines of a traditional HQ Sqn from a line Regiment with a number of differences inherent in its function. HQ Sqn contains SHQ, Adm Tp, 1 Tp (DP1 Core), 2 Tp (DP1 PCF), Worthy Tp (Reception, OPFOR, Battle Lab), Transport Tp, QM & TQ. The goal in this restructuring was to optimize resources in order to deliver the highest quality training in a constrained fiscal environment.
HQ Sqn has 3 main functions. The first is the continued production of Armoured Crewman through the DP1 and initial PCF required in order to become qualified members of the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps and be badged into a Regiment. The second main function of the new HQ Sqn is to provide support to all RCACS training; this includes fuel, ammo, troop lift, range party, OPFOR, and Battle Lab simulation. The third function of HQ Sqn, as the senior Sqn in the school, is to run the most senior courses offered at the RCACS; Armoured Direct Fire Specialist and DP4 Squadron Sergeant Major Course.
Squadron Sergeant-Major Course (DP4)
The aim of the training is to prepare crewman to perform their duties as an Armour Squadron Sergeant-Major within an Armour Regiment. The course is divided into 2 portions: one theoretical and one field. Students from across all PRes and Reg Force armoured Regiments gather to receive instruction from senior MWO on all matters relating to the tactical side of the SSM’s job. From dealing with C/S 8 and Svc Battalion, to establishing Running Replens, DPs, and air drop zones. The senior WO candidates of the course are expected to implement what they have learned from the theoretical portion in the field portion with the coaching aid of their directing staff. Recently this course has been combined with CTC’s Combat Team Commander’s Course in order to provide enhanced training realism and real commodity demands.
HQ Sqn is also the organization responsible for maintaining the qualifications and employability of school staff through a variety of courses and training. These courses include, Leopard 2 Driver, Gunner, and Crew Commander Gunnery, Coyote Driver, Leopard 2 Crew Commander Cross Over, All Terrain Vehicle & Utility Terrain Vehicle, Light Over Snow Vehicle, and driver wheeled courses for MSVS, HLVW, LSVW, & LUVW. We also facilitate course loading for necessary courses run externally including Defensive Driving Course, Safe backing, Airbrakes, FAHR, and Dangerous Goods.
Armoured Crewman Course (DP 1)
The aim of the training is to produce an Armoured Crewman capable of performing the duties of an Armour soldier working in an Armoured Squadron. The course is split into two portions: with the first being similar to BMQ-L, in that it teaches people how to be soldiers in an Army environment and focuses on dismounted section level operations and the use of small arms. The second portion is a Coyote Driver and Surveillance Operator course which is designed to teach soldiers how to operate the Coyote CRV, how to function as part of a CRV crew and the fundamentals of mounted operations. In the near future the nature of this course will be shifting, with less emphasis being placed on reconnaissance and the Coyote CRV. The new course will consist of a dismounted first portion, similar to the current course and will culminate with a single PCF as determined by the Regiments, in conjunction with the RCACS. These PCFs will range from Leopard 2 driver to LAVIII driver, depending on the requirements of the Corps at the time of the course.