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How inglorious ...Ottawa Guns Moved on Flatbeds-Article


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Canuck Forces test their metal

By STEPHANIE RUBEC, Ottawa Bureau (Sun newspapers)

OTTAWA --  Ceremonial cannons used to kick off official Parliament Hill events now have to be transported on a flat bed tow-trucks because of dangerously rusted wheels.

Tuesday's throne speech was capped with the four howitzers -- that fired the traditional 21-gun-salute during the ceremony -- being pushed onto a rented trucks and hauled off.

Warrant Officer Rob Glen, 30th Field Regiment spokesman, said the wheels on his four gun-haulers have been okayed but not the trucks that tow them.

The guns are usually towed on their own trailers by the regiment's seven medium weight trucks, but those vehicles have been parked because their wheels are rusting out and are in danger of snapping off.

"We, of course, have to bow to the safety requirements of the general population so (towing) was the option that we chose," Glen said.

The cost to rent a local flatbed tow truck was $385.

Glen said the Canadian Forces are first repairing rusty wheels on trucks used in training and operations so his won't be replaced before the fall.

The howitzers, owned by the regiment, are used exclusively for events like Remembrance Day, the September police memorial and May's Victoria Day so they'll have to rent the tow truck a few more times.

Alliance MP Peter Goldring said the wheel rust out is just the tip of the military's problems of disrepair.

"It certainly says something about the sad state of affairs and the preparedness of the military," Goldring said. "You just can't call the auto club when you need help to move your army. It gives a whole new meaning to emergency road service."

Goldring accused the Liberals of allowing the military to fall into disrepair by not increasing funding and slammed them for failing to pledge more money in Tuesday's throne speech.

"I think they have misplaced priorities and they have to do something about it and do something about it fast," he said.

About 5,400 military trucks, trailers and gun-haulers are parked until their wheels are fully inspected and cleared of rust.

Those price tags to put all these rusty 18-year-old military vehicles, guns and trailers back on the road could be steeper than the projected $12 million.

2 Charlie

Hmm, I know where this is going, especially with my proclaimed arch nemesis here.

When the MLVW‘s came on line I was in a gun regiment, I remember the briefings with regards to fleet life, etc.

At the time the five-ton was the primary ammo hauler in conjunction with the 548’s . One of the checks conducted at the LMT during the ATI was to check the wheel rings.

So when did this fall by the wayside. Both incorporate the same wheel/tire mounting style. I am concerned mostly as this is a maintenance issue, and I do not recall this ever being dropped from maintenance pubs. Was it just an example of innocent oversight, did we become complacent or is our equipment truly suffering degradation to an unsafe level. We as a military have a history of over extending the life cycle of the majority of our equipment.

Notably the Sea Kings, Labradors, Buffalos, T 33‘s, Tutors, Herc‘s, all of our naval fleet (excluding our newest acquisitions). The army has a history of over extended life cycles with the old jeeps, only a few troops had to die before they were deemed pretty much non-road worthy. The old deuce, 5 tons, M-113‘s, need I go on, or will my ‘AN‘ dispute the aforementioned as well. The other side to the coin, is if the equipment doesn’t roll out very often, there are inherent problems with weather affects and simple aging of components.

There are many sides to this issue, unfortunately, we have found ourselves in the predicament that there is a problem and we cannot readily fix it.

To refer to the LAV program, yes I am glad that the equip (re-equipping is occurring), it will make it easier to maintain the fleet, and yes provide us with a modern mechanism to present a military presence whether PKO‘s or whatever. I have a concern as to the general acceptance, but if you starve someone long enough, what ever you give him or her will be greatly appreciated.

The LAV (MOWAG) family serves a very specific role, light, urban, mobile etc. I am concerned that we are adapting it for pretty much every front line function. However, the LAV family as originally designed has an inherent weakness with its top armour. We are strengthening the sides, etc, but the top remains a concern. Yes I am aware of our vision and mission, we have discussed this previously, I make my point again the, vision is vague and we are adopting a program with pro’s and con’s, no clear end solution

What does this have to do with wheel/tire probs. Simple, once the equip is deployed and manned, will this become a long forgotten issue until something goes wrong and someone gets injured or worse. Like the MLVW fleet, it was forgotten about until wheels started falling off.

To my AN, even we the CF have adopted a new anti armour weapon that is designed to strike the top of armour vehicles, the weakest point, hmm. :eek: