(JL) Members of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery recently deployed to London, England to provide public duties as part of the Queen’s Guard.
These duties include the ceremonial guarding of various Royal locations across London and the surrounding area.
Today, we’re joined by Major Michael Crosier, Guard Commander of the regiment’s United Kingdom Public Duties Contingent to tell us more about how and why the Canadian Armed Forces are participating.
Major Crosier, thank you for joining us today.
Sir, can you tell us a little bit about the significance of the CAF contributing to the Queen’s Guard?
(MC) The significance of the contingent working with the Queen's Guard is that, as a Commonwealth country, we're working with the British Armed Forces and this year specifically marks the anniversary of A and B Batteries standing up as Canada's first regular force unit which paved the way to Canada becoming its own nation.
(JL) Which official Royal residences will the contingent be guarding and what do those sorts of resposibilities entail?
(MC) So the contingent will be on guard here at Buckingham Palace, St. James's Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. So these jobs include standing post as you see in front of Buckingham Palace as well as at St. James and Windsor Castle. At Tower of London, they’ll be doing the Ceremony of the Keys.
(JL) And I imagine there was a great deal of preparation required for these responsibilities. Can you talk a little bit about the training before you left?
(MC) Yes. So the contingent conducted six weeks of training back in Shilo, Manitoba, the home station where the First Regiment Royal Canadian Horse Artillery is stationed. So we did four weeks on our own with basic foot drill followed by two weeks which was led by a British drill instructor who came to Canada and walked us through all these mounts and dismounting procedures. After about a week's time, we deployed here and we conducted another week’s worth of training before being successful at our Fit for Role inspection.
(JL) And before we let you go, sir, anything else you’d like to add?
(MC) This is a great honour and a privilege representing Canada in the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery and everybody is honoured to be here.
(JL) Major Crosier, I can certainly say that all of us are very proud to see you and your soldiers out there. Thank you very much for your time today.