Author's Military Service in Germany 1981-1983, and 1989-1992

The author served on two military tours in Germany as a Canadian Forces Intelligence Officer. The first was from 1981 to 1983 with Headquarters, Canadian Forces Europe (HQ FFE), and the second was from 1989 to 1992 with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4 CMBG).

For those interested in the history of 4 CMBG, there is a separate web page on this site dedicated in its honour.

I had the extraordinary privilege of serving as the Deputy G2 (Intelligence Officer) working in the back of an M577 Command Post with 4 CMBG based at CFB Lahr, Germany from 1989 to 1992.  I therefore have an interest in the origins of the tanks and armoured fighting vehicles found in Canada.  In an effort to help maintain the record of Canada's military history, I have documented some of the preserved equipment on display in Canada and overseas with details, photos and research on other pages you will find on this website.

(DND Photo)

4 CMBG HQ and Sig Sqn Officers and Senior NCOs January 1992.

Fourth row: Capt Barbier, Capt Lapointe, Capt Bayes, Sgt Branchaud, MWO Moring, MWO Euteneier, MWO Landry, MWO Mackenzie, Sgt Wills, Sgt Bolke, WO Forcier, Capt Jones, Sgt Paradis, MWO Holleley

Third row: Mr Jonhston, Capt Fitzsimmons, MWO Anderson, Sgt Tetreault, Sgt Rhyno, Sgt Castonquay, Sgt Tremblay, Sgt Macdonald, Sgt Snodgrass, WO Teakles, PO2 Hunter, Sgt Dunlop, MWO MacLeod, WO Poulin, Sgt Chaykowsky, Mr Schlager

Second row: Capt Haindl, Capt Roth, Capt Hill, WO Sutcliffe, Capt Beauchemin, Capt Murray, Capt Cressman, Capt Kiropoulos, Sgt Schenk, Sgt Mcphee, WO Nepton, WO Power, WO Macgillivary, Capt Gibson, Sgt BeaulieuSitting: Maj Rousseau, Maj Levesque, Maj Grant, Mr Dickson, CWO Desjardins, LCol Bastien, BGen Addy, Maj Francki, Capt Raymond, CWO Lapierre, Capt Angiolini, Maj Stocker, Capt Skaarup.

Capt H.A. Skaarup in the 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (4 CMBG), Command Post M577, Fallex 91.

Capt H.A. Skaarup briefing SACEUR General John R. Galvin and LGen George R. Joulwan  & BGen J.J.M.R. Gaudreau, 4 CMBG HQ, G2 Section, Fallex 91.

Our Command Post, Fallex 91.  1, Capt Mike Rouleau, 3, Capt H.A. Skaarup.

(Author Photo)

M577 Command Post on display at the NBMHM, 5 CDSB Gagetown, New Brunswick.

We worked with a lot of Allied forces along the way, and while in Germany, would go on annual NATO exercises in the fall.  Some our training took place at the US forces installation at Hohenfels, where we were loaned a number of examples of former Soviet kit to familiarize our soldiers with the Warsaw Pact weapons and equipment.  This is me with a T-62 main battle tank that was one of those pieces of kit.

From 1956 to 1988, the Hohenfels Training Area was used by NATO forces consisting primarily of American, German, Canadian, and occasionally British and French forces.  In 1988, Hohenfels became the home of the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC), the mission of which was to provide realistic combined arms training for the United States Army, Europe, and Seventh Army's maneuver battalion task forces in force-on-force exercises.

Canadian Forces Europe

Canadian Forces Europe (CFE) was the Canadian Forces military formation in Europe during the Cold War.  The CF assisted other NATO allies in being prepared to counter the military activities of Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

Canadian Forces Europe (CFE) consisted of two formations in what was known as West Germany before the Berlin Wall fell in November 1990.  These formations included Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Lahr with 4 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group (1957-1993), and No. 1 Canadian Air Division (1 CAD), RCAF, at CFB Base Baden-Soellingen and CFB Base Lahr, which later became No. 1 Canadian Air Group (1 CAG).  Both formations were closed in 1993 with the end of the Cold War.

Aerial view of the airfield at CFB Lahr.

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