The King's Own Calgary Regiment showed off two new tactical armoured patrol vehicles outside of Mewata Armoury at the annual St. Georges Day parade and veterans homecoming on Sunday.
The new vehicles are half of the four the Calgary regiment expects to receive. The all-terrain vehicles are topped with remote weapons stations. The Canadian Armed Forces have ordered 500 TAPVs, valued at $603 million.
Capt. Colin Laroche said until now, the soldiers were essentially training on the equivalent of a Chevrolet truck.
"For our soldiers and for the soldiers we're bringing into the regimental family, there's a huge difference between training on a training platform like a G-Wagon … and training on an actual armoured vehicle," Laroche said.
"It's a big step up for everybody, a lot more opportunity for guys to actually get a feel for what their job would be."
The vehicles are crewed by five personnel, and weigh 18,300 kilograms when fully loaded for combat. They can speed ahead at 110 kilometres per hour.
Lt.-Col. Christopher Hunt said the part-time reserve regiment is actively recruiting new crews for the four vehicles.
The regiment, which specializes in training armoured fighting vehicle crews, is looking to hire 50 new soldiers by fall. There are approximately 1,000 army reservists living and training in Calgary.
"It allows us to train on par with the regular force, and so we now have a modern armoured fighting vehicle with modern fire control systems and computer assisted driving and maintenance systems.
"It allows our soldiers to develop those technical skill-sets which they can use on these vehicles if they're training with the regular force. It also allows them to transition more quickly to working on heavier vehicles including main battle tanks."
Hunt said the soldiers train on Wednesday nights, one to two weekends each month and a couple full weeks every year.
The other two new vehicles are undergoing final checks, but should be available to the regiment within the next month.
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