Viking out, Warthog in as 2 RTR unleash new beast.
Soldiers from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment delivering security in Afghanistan have traded in their old Viking vehicles and upgraded to something even better – the mighty Warthog.
2 RTR, as the unit is known, will use Warthog’s outstanding manoeuvrability to bring firepower and armoured support wherever it’s needed. To reflect the new vehicle at their disposal, 2 RTR soldiers in theatre are now known as “Warthog Group” – and they are already renowned as one of the most mobile ground units under British command in Helmand.
Warthog is a relatively light but robust tracked vehicle. It consists of two cabs: the front cab houses the driver and commander and is armed with a heavy weapons turret. The rear cab is used for carrying infantry.
The new vehicle has greater armour protection and more power than its predecessor – but still retains the superb cross-country performance for which the Viking was known.
Corporal Tristan ‘Tiny’ Cordery (35), from Fowey in Cornwall, is a veteran of two tours of Iraq and one of Kosovo, and has also served in Afghanistan before. He has now returned to Afghanistan as a Warthog commander with 2 RTR.
Cpl Cordery said: “I’m excited about using the new Warthog vehicle. We can use Warthog to get where other vehicles cannot go. We can move around the battlefield and provide protection to the infantry and engineers while they work.”
Trooper Nick Dinsdale (29), from Basildon, Essex, will be driving a Warthog in Helmand and it is a task that he relishes.
Tpr Dinsdale said: “I joined the Royal Tank Regiment to drive big vehicles and Warthog really is a big boy’s toy. It’s great cross country.
“I like the versatility of tracked vehicles – where you can go and what you can do is so much greater than with wheels. It does take some getting used to though. We’ve tested Warthog to the limit – I’m really impressed with it.”
Warthog isn’t just about mobility though; it’s also about packing a punch and defeating the insurgents.
Cpl Cordery explained: “We can choose between the heavy, grenade or general purpose machine guns. This gives me as the Warthog commander the flexibility to tailor my armament to the mission – and that’s a vital capability in order to succeed in the complicated environment of Afghanistan.
“With this firepower comes good armour. The Warthog can take rocket-propelled grenade hits, machine gun fire and has better protection from IEDs.
“This combination of firepower and protection is what us Tankies are looking for in a vehicle. We’re ready to go out with a RTR mentality and apply armoured tactics.”
Lieutenant Andrew Maggs, 25 from Guildford, commands a troop of 2 RTR vehicles in the Warthog Group. His first missions are to protect development projects which are Afghan Governments priorities. Under the watchful eye of the Warthog Group, road works connecting Sangin and Lashkar Gah will be able to proceed quicker and more safely.
Lt Maggs said: “I’m really keen to crack on with work. Warthog is a great bit of kit. As specialists at fighting on vehicles, we’re looking forward to using it and showing what it can do.”