Panzers East

Whilst the RAF and RN are conducting operations (various) in the Middle East, the Army has been scaring Putin conducting exercises in Eastern Europe.

19 Tank Transporter Squadron are using the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET) tank transporter to send Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicles to Eastern Europe for Exercise BLACK EAGLE due to start in early October as part of the NATO Immediate Assurance Measures.

Heavy Equipment Transporter and Warrior
Heavy Equipment Transporter and Warrior
Heavy Equipment Transporter and Warrior
Heavy Equipment Transporter and Warrior
Heavy Equipment Transporter and Warrior
Heavy Equipment Transporter and Warrior

The HET is some piece of equipment;

The world’s most powerful tank transporter is being used to move the likes of the 62 tonne Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank and the 26 tonne Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle to Eastern Europe for a NATO exercise.

The move to Poland for Ex BLACK EAGLE is being undertaken by 19 Tank Transporter Squadron Royal Logistic Corps based in Bulford, Wiltshire. It is the British Army’s only UK based tank transporter squadron and uses the Heavy Equipment Transporter (HET).

The HET, which consists of a 24 metre multi-wheeled truck and trailer, has a turbocharged diesel engine and can move a 72 tonne load for 300 miles without refuelling. It requires a two man team to operate it.

Corporal Kieran Chapman is in charge of one of the convoys – a group of five vehicles moving from Tidworth Camp to Marchwood Military Port in Hampshire. He said: “I’ve been driving now for seven years and it’s a bit of a beast to drive. It’s a big green machine, with loads of flashing lights and 700 brake horse power and I love it. The truck is the width of the road and you’ve always got to be concentrating, you’ve always got to be on the ball. The turning circle is 30.5 metres and you can imagine it takes a big space for the vehicle to turn around – it’s space awareness really.”
Corporal Adam Copeman, who is also part of 19 Tank Transporter Squadron RLC, said: “I’m driving the recovery truck today just in case one of the others breaks down – we can still get the tasking done on time. I’m at the back of the convoy and if they need me I am there; I’ve got the radio and I’ll come around and assist in anyway. I’ve also been helping loading and chaining down the Warriors on to the trailers. To us it’s second nature as we do it on a daily basis.”

The Warriors will be used on Ex BLACK EAGLE in Poland, which runs from late October to early December and is a bi-lateral UK / Polish exercise and a significant demonstration of the UK’s support to the region and NATO’s Immediate Assurance Measures.

Also included in the move are Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks from the Kings Royal Hussars;

Challenger HET
Challenger HET
Challenger HET
Challenger HET
Challenger RORO
Challenger RORO
Warrior and HET RORO at Marchwood
Warrior and HET RORO at Marchwood

Personnel from 16 Air Assault Brigade have also taken part

Paratroopers from 16 Air Assault Brigade have been working alongside their Polish counterparts as they train together on a NATO exercise in Poland to practise capturing bridges.

Exercise Anakonda has seen A Company, 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment (A Coy, 3 PARA) work with the Polish 16th Airborne Battalion, 16 Battalion Powietrznodesantowy. The troops have planned and carried out missions side by side, to improve their understanding of the similarities and differences between them so that they are better prepared to operate together.

The fortnight-long training at Drawsko Pomorski in north-west Poland is part of a programme of joint exercises and immediate assurance measures designed to reassure NATO allies in Eastern Europe. The main focus of the exercise was a joint parachute assault, with troops jumping from an RAF Hercules and Polish CASA C-295 to capture bridges on the training area.

Major Ben Harrop, Officer Commanding A Coy, said: “This type of mission is what airborne forces were designed for – to parachute in and capture key strategic objectives by surprise within a wider operation. It is fitting that we have practised capturing bridges so soon after the 70th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, which saw British and Polish paratroopers fight together on exactly the same type of operation during the Second World War.”

 

Cpl William Smith, of 6 Platoon, A Company lands on the drop zone with the use of a polish parachute
Cpl William Smith, of 6 Platoon, A Company lands on the drop zone with the use of a polish parachute
Parachute Assault
Parachute Assault
Paratroopers from 3 PARA, A Coy, about to jump at night on to the Polish drop zone
Paratroopers from 3 PARA, A Coy, about to jump at night on to the Polish drop zone
12 Comments
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a
October 6, 2014 3:36 pm

I wish Para officers would stop referring to Arnhem as though it was a shining example to be emulated. Tootal did it in the runup to Herrick 6 – some journalist asked him about the platoon-house strategy and said something to the effect of “but isn’t there a risk there that your troops will be outnumbered, surrounded and cut off?” to which Tootal replied “They’re paras. They’re supposed to be outnumbered, surrounded and cut off. Remember Arnhem!” and the journalist didn’t ask the obvious followup question, viz. “Er, Colonel, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the paras lose at Arnhem?”

Peter Elliott
October 6, 2014 3:56 pm

ISO Containers are visible at Marchwood – but where are the pictures of the bridges the Paras were supposed to be capturing? Poor show TD.

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
October 7, 2014 1:37 pm

“The HET is some piece of equipment”

Meh…. I had chance to look at one of the old 500 hp HET models in afganistan…..honestly, i cant say i was too impressed* …
Its much larger than it needs to be, its crude, has a mediocre engine and a questionable build quality / fit and finish.
The trailer looked like a nice peice of kit though.

Considering the size of your existing MAN fleet , i think you would have been better off going for something like this:

http://www.military-today.com/trucks/man_hx81.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdijNz-fEns

*Disclaimer !….Since i started my career as a truck mechanic working on Scania and later MAN trucks, i might be SOMEWHAT biased ;-)

HOWARD
HOWARD
October 7, 2014 10:00 pm

“Considering the size of your existing MAN fleet , i think you would have been better off going for something like this:”

Quite right! But not of the sub-standard MAN variety. The British Army, who after extensive trials in 2003/04 chose Stewart & Stevenson trucks, but instead had MANs foisted on them by Labour for purely political reasons, would have been better off going for THIS ;

http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?8916-Unipower-gallery&s=c7b56e0e80cc3e25d8c662d1fc082193

instead of that crude behemoth from Oshkosh…

MikeKiloPapa
MikeKiloPapa
October 8, 2014 3:02 pm

@HOWARD

Hmm…didnt know about that one ….it kinda looks like af mix between an Oshkosh PLS and the old soviet missile tractors …..I like it :D
https://oshkoshdefense.com/vehicles/pls/

Especially the Unipower MH-8875 proposed for the HET competition is a beast, with its 750 hp Cummins engine……shame it lost out in the end.

wrt “sub-standard MAN “……I just cant agree to that …..we have operated MAN military trucks for +15 years and they are by far the most reliable vehicle in the army…ever!….they just dont break down. Combined with superb( in case of MAN SX45 ,unmatched) off-road mobility i really dont see how you can call them sub-standard.

WiseApe
October 9, 2014 4:43 pm

There’s also Exercise Silver Arrow in Latvia, involving the cousins, Norwegians, Estonians and the “Lions of England.” AKA 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster Regiment.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-29525358

Dangerous Dave
Dangerous Dave
October 22, 2014 1:12 pm

Since Reading Monty’s “Power of 8” series, shouldn’t we be leaving the CH2 and Warrirors in Poland? After all, that’s where they would be needed to defend NATO from an attack coming from the East – and as Monty says, if we had to deploy them from the UK, the’d probably arrive too late to be any use.

After all, we didn’t spend the Cold War defending West Germany from our bases in France and Belgium, now did we?

Petop
Petop
January 2, 2015 1:50 pm

Howard, im afraid you are wrong ref selection of MAN. There were no extensive tests prior to the decision. It was all done on the back of presentations and paper bid submissions. The final runners were Stewart Stevenson, Oshkosh, Mercedes and MAN. If you notice the lack of UK manufacturers which obviously at the time there was not any. MAN offered more work for UK sub-contractors (Marshalls and Fluid Transfer for example) compared to the others. Physical trials were not carried out until the Contract had been signed. We got the best truck in my eyes out of all of them put forward. And how do i know this…..i was on the Project Team at the time, mainly with the UST variant.

whitelancer
whitelancer
January 2, 2015 2:53 pm

How absurd is that! A competition to find a new tank transporter (HET if you prefer) and its all done on paper with no actual trials! So how do you know it was best?
Sometimes of course they conduct trials for appearance sake, having already decided what they are going to choose.

petop
petop
January 3, 2015 10:04 pm

Whitelancer, i wasnt going on about HET….this was Support Vehicle. I think the reasoning was some of the bids may not have met the criteria laid down in the tender. So it ended up with one by default. To be fair MAN SV was put through quite a rigorous set of trials. I went into the climatic chamber at Boscombe Down, countless miles at Millbrook and i took the Commons Defence Select committee around Crowthorne in UST. The only negative points were tyres could of been better which was proven on first BATUS deployment coinciding with worse winter in recent history and we should of bought more 9t rather than 6t as it was noticed that front axle weights were close to being exceeded with TES variants in Helmand. 6t was using a COTS chassis to be fair but 9t and 15t were better.

whitelancer
whitelancer
January 3, 2015 11:00 pm

petop sorry about that. I’m not that up on transport.
If you have a choice of one, not a lot you can do.
As far as trials go I think it was a real pity they got rid of Chertesy.