Local regiment christens new armoured vehicle the ‘Calgary’

The commanding officer of the King’s Own Calgary Regiment says the unit’s newest addition is a high-tech modern military machine, which is carrying on a millennia-old tradition.

The regiment named its newest vehicle on Saturday — a Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle, or TAPV for short — with the name of the city the regiment calls home.

Lt-Col. Christopher Hunt, commanding officer of the regiment, said the tradition of naming military vehicles originated with naming horses on the battlefield transports.

He said the 20-tonne vehicle now known as the TAPV Calgary is designed for “general purpose duties … for things like convoy escorts, reconnaissance patrols and for transporting troops around the battlefield,” Hunt said.

But the TAPV isn’t just a fancy new transport to get soldiers from point A to point B.

The armoured vehicle has a set of finely sharpened teeth in the form of a 7.62mm C6 belt-fed machine gun and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher.

“The automatic grenade launcher is a machine gun that, instead of firing bullets, fires grenades,” Hunt said. “And it’ll fire them out to over a kilometre. It’s pretty impressive.”

The interior of TAPV Calgary as seen from the gunner’s seat. (Ryan Rumbolt / Postmedia)

The TAPV is just the most recent vehicle to bear the Calgary name in the King’s Own’s 82-year history.

Hunt addressed the regiment and told how an immobilized Churchill tank named Calgary helped defend evacuating troops in Dieppe during the Second World War, bombarding German positions until all it’s ammunition was depleted.

The Sherman tank sitting outside the Mewata Armoury in downtown Calgary is also called Calgary, while a tank recovery vehicle serving in Afghanistan was the most recent military machine to hold the title.

Hunt said the recovery vehicle was given the name in honour of Calgary-based soldier Cpl. Nathan Hornberg who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007.

“He was killed in action when they were trying to recover a tank that was disabled. After that happened, the mechanics that also worked on those armoured recovery vehicles were trying to decide what to name the new tank and they almost didn’t say anything,” Hunt said.

“They all looked at each other and said ‘Calgary’ because Nathan was from Calgary and a member of the King’s Own. It was just a natural fit.”

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi stands in front of the TAPV named Calgary at the Mewata Armoury on Dec. 8, 2018. (Ryan Rumbolt / Postmedia)

Mayor Naheed Nenshi attended the military parade along with the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Lois E. Mitchell.

Before asking if being mayor entitles him to the TAPV Calgary’s “extra set of keys,” Nenshi said he is honoured to have the city’s name emblazoned on the new TAPV and thanked the regiment and all members of the Canadian Armed Forces for “continuing to fight for Canadian values … so people around the world might have a little taste of that freedom that we take for granted every single day.”

“I am unbelievably proud that this TAPV has this name because it reminds people here and around the world of values for which we stand every single day,” the mayor said.


On Twitter: @RCRumbolt


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