Taliban war pushes tanks into storage

From The Sunday Times
July 5, 2009
Taliban war pushes tanks into storage
Michael Smith
The British Army has been ordered to park up its Challenger 2 tanks for the next three years to release crews to drive the new mine-resistant vehicles in Afghanistan.

The move is part of an order from General Sir David Richards, who takes over as head of the army next month, to focus efforts on fighting the Taliban.

The crews will continue to be trained and their Challenger 2 tanks will be serviced. However, the drivers and mechanics will be sent to Afghanistan to operate mine-resistant armoured vehicles including the Viking and Warthog.

Last week, Trooper Joshua Hammond, 18, of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, was killed in a Viking vehicle by a Taliban roadside bomb. Hammond, who died alongside Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, 39, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, would n o r m a l l y h a v e d r i v e n a Challenger 2 tank
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