Thursday, September 11, 2008

State-of-the-art military trucks head to Helmand

State-of-the-art military trucks head to Helmand

An Equipment and Logistics news article
10 Sep 08

Over 40 of the military's latest support vehicles set sail from Marchwood military port in Southampton, Hampshire, yesterday, Tuesday 9 September 2008, heading for Afghanistan where they will form the backbone of 3 Commando Brigade's vital logistical support network.

The state-of-the-art vehicles are part of a fleet of almost 200 tough, all-terrain cargo vehicles destined for 3 Commando Brigade, which will haul thousands of tonnes of fuel, ammunition, water and spare parts across the deserts of Afghanistan.

The air-conditioned vehicles are the latest addition to the defence cargo vehicle fleet and will give the Royal Marines in Afghanistan a much more effective and capable fleet of trucks - newer, more efficient, more reliable and better protected.

A spokesman for 3 Commando Brigade said:

"Good logistics are a vital part of any deployment and this is especially true of somewhere like Afghanistan which has virtually no roads and where the tough terrain and climatic conditions test machines to their limits. These new vehicles are among the best of their type in the world and will give us a step-change in capability helping ensure we have the right equipment and supplies in the right place at the right time."

The vehicles, which range from nine to fifteen tonnes, are part of a massive procurement of over 7,000 vehicles being bought under a £1.3 billion defence contract.

Scott Seefeldt of the General Support Vehicles Integrated Project Team (GSV IPT) at Defence Equipment and Support said:

"This complex and demanding work has been completed to a high standard by UK based contracts and represents yet another investment in the protection of UK troops while deployed on operations."

"The GSV IPT has managed to deliver almost twice as much platforms on this sailing than was originally anticipated through the hard work and determination of the team within the IPT and the UK contracts."

Defence Secretary Des Browne confirmed in July 2008 that 3 Commando Brigade, Royal Marines will replace 16 Air Assault Brigade in October 2008 as the lead formation of UK forces in Afghanistan. 3 Commando Brigade will command the majority of the units serving in Afghanistan. Their deployment is expected to last until April 2009.

The new force elements deploying under the command of 3 Commando Brigade will be either direct replacements for capabilities already in place in Afghanistan or comprise elements of the force level increases that were announced on 16 June 2008. The deployment will add to existing military contributions from the UK and other nations as part of a NATO drive to create safe space for reconstruction.

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