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Mean Machines Showcase Recovery Service for Damaged Combat Vehicles

March 8, 2011

“An international gathering of military recovery know-how.”

The Theatre Equipment Support Battalion (TESB) recently held an Interoperability Exercise (IOX) at Camp Bastion.  It was a high profile event attended by UK, US, Danish, Estonian and Afghan forces. The exercise demonstrated how vehicles are recovered during Combat Logistic Patrols (CLPs) in the event of breakdown, being bogged down or disabled by enemy action.  This exercise was an opportunity to demonstrate multi-national procedures and ensure compliance between the different nations.

British Recovery Mechanics Rescue a Jackal. Photo: Flt Lt Nick Downs. Crown Copyright 2011.

Warrant Officer Tucker who helped organise the event said: “It was a very successful exercise, which reinforced the links between the various nations so that we are all working together to prove that  we will be able to improve our rate of success in recovery operations across Helmand.”

The demonstration began when a small Springer vehicle raced off a Chinook, driven by British Recovery Mechanics.  The springer normally carries all the basic equipment to assist in the recovery of a vehicle.  The two man Springer crew headed towards a Jackal lying on its side.  Two cables were attached and in no time at all, the vehicle was righted and a ‘casualty’ successfully extracted.

The other demonstrations included a United States Marine Corps M88 raised by a Danish Wisent and a Wisent being winched from deep mud and recovered onto a U.S Army Heavy Equipment Trailer (HET).  This involved precision measurement with not a cm to spare.  The ANA recovery crew demonstrated the use of their International Wrecker to lift a vehicle onto their Medium Tactical Vehicle.

Danish Wisent winched from deep mud and recovered onto a US Army Heavy Equipment Trailer (HET). Picture: Flt Lt Nick Downs. Crown Copyright 2011.

Finally, a UK Support Vehicle (Recovery) of 26 tonnes was recovered from deep mud by the Danish Wisent and a U.S M88 Hercules (Heavy Equipment Recovery Combat Utility Lift and Evacuation System); the combination of both vehicles giving a joint pulling power of 200 Tonnes.

The British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) were there to film this event and you can watch the film by clicking on the image below.

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