Federal Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan was at CFB Gagetown Monday to take a look at the 37 new logistics trucks that were delivered to the base last fall.
Sajjan says the new trucks, which replace three-decade-old elements of the fleet, are integral to helping the armed forces function wherever they are deployed.
“In Gagetown, here you see the tanks. This is the combat training centre, so you see a lot of the other vehicles. But for a military to function, you need an efficient logistics system and you need the vehicles to be able to support all those troops,” Sajjan said.
Logistics trucks are generally used wherever the armed forces are deployed. They can act as mess halls, command posts, or whatever else the mission calls for.
In July 2015, the federal government awarded two contracts to Mack Defense valued at $834 million, to deliver new trucks, trailers, armoured protection systems and in-service support.
According to Colonel Francois Lavoie, the old trucks had a wider variance of parts used to fill these needs, and so required greater upkeep and more pieces to serve the same tasks.
“The trucks are actually replacing a larger number of vehicles through their increased capability and capacity in terms of cargo ability and that’s one of the benefits of this truck over the truck it’s replacing,” he said.
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The new trucks also offer increased safety as well. When being deployed to combat zones, the old trucks would have armour bolted to the cabs. Now the cabs can been switched between the light and armoured versions depending on the situation.
“More importantly we are able to deploy it into different threat zones around the world and they can mix and match some of the modular protection systems as well. That’s something that’s very important for us,” Sajjan said.
In all, the federal government has purchased 1,500 new trucks to update the country’s entire fleet.
The 218 trucks being sent to Atlantic Canada will mostly be housed at the Gagetown base.