A new ride for the Sherbrooke Hussars
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.