The UK Tank Transport Detachment

Capt. Benoit Guilloux
First published in
SFOR Informer#140, June 6, 2002

Recently, the AS90s of the Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) were in Glamoc for the Balkan Gunner exercise. Ever wonder how these armoured vehicles travel? Based along with the RHA in Sipovo is a small detachment from 8 Transport Regiment.

Sipovo - Only 13 people, all drivers, make up this detachment under the authority of CSS (Combat Support Squadron). Lance Cpl. John Thistlewhite is 2IC, (second in command).
A million kilometres
Thistlewhite has 20 years of service in the transport trade. "Our major mission is transport. We also supply recovery. Here, we have eight tank transporters," he said. Asked about the distance he might have covered during his military career, Thistlewhite answers, "I would say a million. About 150,000 km in the Gulf, and in only four months." As for the local driving, "it is dangerous, that's the easiest way to put it."
Cpl. Nettleton has his share of time in the military too. "I have been in the army for eleven years, and joined 3rd Squadron, seven years ago. It is my fourth tour in the Balkans. There is a lot of change; it is developing a lot now. The first time I was here was in 1994, when things were different. There were not as many open routes as there are today for instance."
Pte. Joel Kelly joined one year ago. "I like my job. I drive a Scammel Commander. The biggest truck we have here. It has 65 horse power," said Kelly.
Lance Cpl. Scott Ross sees things positively. "We get very valuable experience driving on Bosnian roads."
Loading the AS90
So, how do they travel? "We get details from the OPS Room -- we attend a coordination meeting. There we arrange things and load. We can load an AS90 in less than five minutes with a good crew," said Thistlewhite.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: UK
SFOR at Work

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Photos: Cpl. Lee Purvis

Lcpl. John Thistlewhite, 2IC of the Tank Transport Detachment in Sipovo.


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Pte. Joel Kelly ( left ) and Lcpl. Thistlewhite look over the route.