A new ride for the Sher­brooke Hus­sars

Sherbrooke Record - - FRONT PAGE - By Gor­don Lam­bie

The Sher­brooke Hus­sars are the first re­serve unit in Canada to re­ceive the all-new Tac­ti­cal Ar­moured Pa­trol Ve­hi­cle or TAPV. At a demon­stra­tion of two of the new ve­hi­cles on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, the Hus­sars’ Com­man­der, Lieu­tenant-colonel Louis­benoit Du­til, ex­plained that the re­servists have re­ceived five TAPVS out of the ini­tial ship­ment of 500.

“It’s the new­est piece of equip­ment to be fielded in the Cana­dian Forces,” Du­til said. “Our guys have been trained on the small jeep, the G Wagon, for the last fif­teen years. New we’re get­ting new equip­ment. It’s not nec­es­sar­ily re­plac­ing the Jeep, but it will con­trib­ute to the ma­neu­vers and tac­tics of ar­moured re­con­nais­sance.”

Ac­cord­ing to the com­man­der, The TAPV is a wheeled com­bat ve­hi­cle that can per­form a va­ri­ety of roles both on the bat­tle­field and in do­mes­tic re­sponse sit­u­a­tions. While Du­til un­der­lined the ve­hi­cle’s main role of ar­moured re­con­nais­sance, he pointed out that the wheel clear­ance of 1.5 me­tres also makes the TAPV handy for flood op­er­a­tions.

“It’s a re­ally awe­some piece of equip­ment,” the com­man­der said, ex­plain­ing that it was de­signed post-afghanistan with pro­tec­tion against im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vices in mind. “It’s a pa­trol ve­hi­cle, it’s a con­voy es­cort, it’s a se­cu­rity ve­hi­cle,” he added ex­plain­ing that the ma­chine comes in dif­fer­ent con­fig­u­ra­tions suited to dif­fer­ent needs. Sher­brooke’s five are in the re­con­nais­sance con­fig­u­ra­tion that in­cludes an au­to­mated roof tur­ret and so­phis­ti­cated cam­era sys­tems.

“You will see the ve­hi­cles,” Du­til said, point­ing out that the en­tire unit needs to be trained on “the beast” as both driv­ers and gun­ners. “The driv­ers need to drive in the city, drive on the high­way, and drive in the coun­try­side.”

At 6.81 me­tres in length, 2.75 me­tres wide, and 3.21 me­tres in height, the 18,300 kg “beast” is hard to miss, but the com­man­der said that any­one look­ing for a chance to see the TAPV up close doesn’t need to rely on crossed fin­gers be­cause of the up­com­ing open house day across all Armed Forces ar­mouries in the coun­try.

“The pop­u­la­tion is in­vited to go to both Sher­brooke ar­mouries, but the TAPV is for the Sher­brooke Hus­sars, and the Sher­brooke Hus­sars are in the Wil­liam Street ar­moury,” Du­til said, not­ing that the Wil­liam Street site tends to get less at­ten­tion than the ar­mory of Les Fusiliers de Sher­brooke on Belvedere Street.

“When­ever peo­ple talk about the mil­i­tary, they show up at the Belvedere Ar­moury,” he said, “but there are two ar­mouries in Sher­brooke.”

The ar­moury of Que­bec’s only bilin­gual re­serve unit, as well as the 52e Am­bu­lance de cam­pagne field hospi­tal unit, will be open to the public for vis­its from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. this com­ing Satur­day.

GOR­DON LAM­BIE

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