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troung
07 Dec 06,, 06:02
Cdn tanks fire in battle for 1st time in 50 years

Updated Sun. Dec. 3 2006 5:33 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Canadian tanks were involved in battle on Sunday, for the first time in half a century.

The newly-deployed Leopard Tanks fired their cannons in response to a Taliban rocket attack on the forward operating base near the village of Panjwaii, Afghanistan.

The tank squadron arrived at the base just one day earlier. The convoy made an impressive show of force as it travelled through the village on Saturday, and Sunday's Taliban attack appeared to be a direct response to the display, said CTV's Steve Chao, reporting from the base.

"Just before the sun went down two rockets were fired at the Canadian forward operating base in Ma'sum Ghar where we are currently," Chao told CTV Newsnet.

"In response to the two rockets that were fired, the Canadian Leopard tanks returned fire. We could hear the echo through the mountains where we are and this marked the first time in more than 50 years that Canadian tanks have been involved in combat."

Canada became the first NATO country to send tanks into combat in Afghanistan on Saturday.

"They know we're here ... (and) we think they're somewhat nervous of us,'' Cpl. Andrew Baird, 23, of Parry Sound, Ont. told The Canadian Press.

"I think it surprised them that we arrived and we're here now and we're here to stay.''

"The Taliban refer to the tanks as the superbeast. They used to refer to the Russian attacks as beasts and we're called the superbeasts now.''

The tanks were sent into action after weeks of trial runs, and only after they were shipped to the war-torn nation at a cost of $1 million per tank, said Chao.

They will be used to protect convoys -- which have often been targeted by roadside and suicide bombings -- and Canada's reconstruction team as it attempts to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure.

Canadian casualties have been high in the south due to attacks by suicide bombers, and the tanks' arrival helped boost spirits.

"It does bring a few things to the table. The Battle Group is extremely well-equipped and prepared for their mission,'' said Maj. Trevor Cadieu, commander of B-Squadron.

"We're here to augment it with increased fire capability. We have the ability to reach out and touch up to several kilometres,'' he added.

Tanks were last used in Afghanistan's rugged terrain three decades ago when the former Soviet Union made its siege on the nation.

However, Chao said the big difference, according to Canadian commanders, is that the Leopard Tanks are there to protect Afghans and put down the Taliban insurgency.

In addition, the Canadian tanks have been tailored specifically for service in local terrain.

They are equipped with more powerful engines than traditional tanks and a more accurate 105-millimetre gun.

And the Canadian Forces has spent almost $200 million on custom upgrades, beefing up the tank's armour and weapons systems for combat in the rugged mountain passes where the Soviets failed.

There are about 2,500 Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan. Including Monday's deaths, 44 have died since 2002, plus one diplomat.

With files from The Canadian Press and a report from CTV's Steve Chao in Kandahar

troung
07 Dec 06,, 06:17
Canadian tanks deployed in combat situation for 1st time since Korean War
Published: Saturday, December 2, 2006 | 12:32 PM ET
Canadian Press: BILL GRAVELAND
PANJWAII, Afghanistan (CP) - It's the reason they're called "rolling thunder."

The throaty roar of engines announcing the approach of the squadron of Canadian Leopard tanks could be heard from kilometres away as they emerged from the mist and rain Saturday to back up ground troops in the war-torn Panjwaii district.

The 42-tonne monsters left Kandahar Airfield under the cover of darkness early Saturday morning in the first combat deployment of Canadian tanks since the Korean War.

Hours later they rolled down the streets of the village of Panjwaii in an impressive show of force on their way to the nearby forward operating base, or FOB.

Residents of Panjwaii, hearing the rumble of the metal tracks biting into the concrete, rushed from their homes to watch the biggest display of firepower since their war with the Soviets in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

It also caused excitement at the FOB. Battle weary troops, who have been fighting the Taliban on a regular basis, couldn't contain their glee.

"Merry Christmas to the Taliban," said one soldier.

"It's time to open a can of whuppass," said another.

The tank crews, members of Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians) armoured regiment based in Edmonton, were excited to be finally joining the fight.

"This is definitely going to send a serious message to the Taliban," said Trooper Ian MacDougall, 30, of Burlington, Ont.

"Everybody likes the tanks. It's the first combat deployment since Korea. It's pretty interesting to be part of that."

Military officials will only say the Leopard tanks are there to "augment" the efforts of the Battle Group in this region, surrounded by mountains, fields of opium poppies and marijuana and a former stronghold of the Taliban.

Moving the tanks through the village was no accident.

"I'm confident the sign of the tanks showing up will represent to the people around here and probably the Taliban as well the resolve of the coalition to bring security to this area," said Maj. Trevor Cadieu, 33, of Vernon, B.C., commander of the squadron.

"Introducing the Leopard tank into this theatre will certainly beef up our firepower and protection. We're dealing largely with an insurgent threat that chooses to fight us with small arms and RPGs (rocket propelled grenades)."

"We have that ability to reach out to several kilometres with a 105-millimetre cannon," he added.

Trooper Matt Dube, 25, of Montreal said he saw a few smiles on the faces of the residents of Panjwaii and has hopes his squadron will ultimately making a difference in the region.

"It's going to be great because we're really going to help them solve this problem once and for all," Dube said with a smile. "I think we will do great here and eventually peace will come back to this region."

"We're finally going to do our job."

Cadieu said it's been tough sitting on the sidelines while the fighting was going on in Panjwaii.

"It's been a long journey for this squadron and we've been in Afghanistan now for about a month so these soldiers are extremely motivated to join the fight with the Battle Group and to be able to contribute to any operations here," added Cadieu.

"It is historic. The Strathconas have had tanks deployed to Kosovo but it is the first time tanks have been deployed in combat operations since Korea," he said.

And while the remains of Soviet tanks still sit rusting in the village and surrounding area, these tanks are suited for the mountainous terrain said the commander.

"The terrain here isn't bad at all for tanks. We just conducted a move over 60 or 70 kilometres. We started this move with the whole squadron, we finished the move with the whole squadron," added Cadieu.

Dube said the Taliban won't know what hit them when they eventually go toe-to-toe with the Leopards.

"Nothing on the ground right now can compare to this. This is ten times more powerful than anything on the ground," said Dube.

"I mean 25-millimetre guns on LAVs (light armoured vehicles) is the biggest thing we have right now. This is bigger. This is stronger."

Canada spent C$200 million upgrading the Leopard tanks and improving their armour. It cost $1 million apiece to transport 15 of the tanks, which each have a four-member crew, from their base at Wainwright, Alta., to the Kandahar base.

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Leo-C2 MEXAS, T-LAVs, RG-31s, Bisons and LAV-IIIs; Canada is not playing.

Archer
07 Dec 06,, 08:26
Expect the ISI to supply newer RPG variants to the Talibs.

Asim Aquil
07 Dec 06,, 09:40
The tank squadron arrived at the base just one day earlier. The convoy made an impressive show of force as it travelled through the village
Great show. Scaring villagers, ooh real bad.


on Saturday, and Sunday's Taliban attack appeared to be a direct response to the display, said CTV's Steve Chao, reporting from the base.

"Just before the sun went down two rockets were fired at the Canadian forward operating base in Ma'sum Ghar where we are currently," Chao told CTV Newsnet.
Yeah perhaps the villagers didn't like you guys showing the force...




"The Taliban refer to the tanks as the superbeast. They used to refer to the Russian attacks as beasts and we're called the superbeasts now.''

That's a bad thing you idiot! The Russians were a nation-wide enemy and now you're basically a super-enemy :)


They will be used to protect convoys -- which have often been targeted by roadside and suicide bombings -- and Canada's reconstruction team as it attempts to rebuild Afghanistan's infrastructure.
At this point this article should have mentioned what construction work was going on at this village, or what convoy was it protecting. Perhaps that would exonerate them from that comment of "impressive show of force" in a village.


Canadian casualties have been high in the south due to attacks by suicide bombers, and the tanks' arrival helped boost spirits.
They should be used to guard the Pak-Afghan borders.


"We're here to augment it with increased fire capability. We have the ability to reach out and touch up to several kilometres,'' he added.
Yay!


Tanks were last used in Afghanistan's rugged terrain three decades ago when the former Soviet Union made its siege on the nation.
And now we have the Super-siege :)


However, Chao said the big difference, according to Canadian commanders, is that the Leopard Tanks are there to protect Afghans and put down the Taliban insurgency.
But the tanks were to guard the convoys? Ok its a big enough difference in spirit anyway.

In addition, the Canadian tanks have been tailored specifically for service in local terrain.

They are equipped with more powerful engines than traditional tanks and a more accurate 105-millimetre gun.

And the Canadian Forces has spent almost $200 million on custom upgrades, beefing up the tank's armour and weapons systems for combat in the rugged mountain passes where the Soviets failed.


There are about 2,500 Canadian troops serving in Afghanistan. Including Monday's deaths, 44 have died since 2002, plus one diplomat.
Thats not so bad, considering the amount of Afghans that have died.

Officer of Engineers
07 Dec 06,, 10:53
Yes, the Taliban is stopping the Canadians cold.

Asim Aquil
07 Dec 06,, 10:57
Yes, the Taliban is stopping the Canadians cold.
Happens when you shoot blind.

Officer of Engineers
07 Dec 06,, 11:00
Apparently, you can't read.

Asim Aquil
07 Dec 06,, 11:04
Apparently, you can't read.
You can't tell who is who. :)

Blademaster
07 Dec 06,, 18:39
Sir, why do you have a US flag in your profile? Are you implying that Canada is now part of US? ;)

Officer of Engineers
07 Dec 06,, 19:41
Situation corrected.

gunnut
07 Dec 06,, 22:23
Great show. Scaring villagers, ooh real bad.

I guess it's better than sawing someone's head off and then post the video on the internet.

Dreadnought
08 Dec 06,, 18:16
Ooe, You and the rest of the Canadians Stop bullying those "poor" taliban human shields and supporters..;)

canoe
08 Dec 06,, 21:23
Great show. Scaring villagers, ooh real bad.
Yeah perhaps the villagers didn't like you guys showing the force...


The tanks were backing up troops in the Panjwaii district unfortunately we haven't developed a silent run option for the tanks. We considered painting them a lovely pink color to make them look friendly to the villagers but found the violent seizures it caused problematic.


That's a bad thing you idiot! The Russians were a nation-wide enemy and now you're basically a super-enemy :)

Depends if your in the north or the south of A-stan.


At this point this article should have mentioned what construction work was going on at this village, or what convoy was it protecting. Perhaps that would exonerate them from that comment of "impressive show of force" in a village.

OPSEC.


They should be used to guard the Pak-Afghan borders.
I think we should mine the Pak-Afghan border.



And now we have the Super-siege :)
With 15 tanks. Right... Maybe next time we'll bring 30 so we can conquer the entire middle east.


But the tanks were to guard the convoys? Ok its a big enough difference in spirit anyway.
The tanks will do convoy duty, protection duty and engage the Taliban whenever theres action. Their a peice of mil kit that will support the mission like everything else there.


Thats not so bad, considering the amount of Afghans that have died.

Afghans have been dieing in war for how many years now? Too bad the Northern Alliance and Taliban didn't do body counts, it'd be pretty impressive. Unless someone actually puts a government in place. And gets organizations like the Taliban under control alot more people will continue dieing for a very long time.

Archer
10 Dec 06,, 06:37
The tanks were backing up troops in the Panjwaii district unfortunately we haven't developed a silent run option for the tanks. We considered painting them a lovely pink color to make them look friendly to the villagers but found the violent seizures it caused problematic.

:biggrin: :biggrin:

Talib 1: As salaam o aleikum, the infidels are insulting us by firing pink weapons at us!
Talib 2: Just shut up and run!




I think we should mine the Pak-Afghan border.

Good point, why hasnt that been done yet?



With 15 tanks. Right... Maybe next time we'll bring 30 so we can conquer the entire middle east.

You might even succeed! But then again, why would you want to conquer the entire ME? Please learn from your neighbours. A quick victory against one ME nation alone is bad enough! ;)


The tanks will do convoy duty, protection duty and engage the Taliban whenever theres action. Their a peice of mil kit that will support the mission like everything else there.



Afghans have been dieing in war for how many years now? Too bad the Northern Alliance and Taliban didn't do body counts, it'd be pretty impressive. Unless someone actually puts a government in place. And gets organizations like the Taliban under control alot more people will continue dieing for a very long time.

Judging by Asim Aquils reaction, you blokes are doing the right thing. More tanks!

Officer of Engineers
10 Dec 06,, 09:35
I think we should mine the Pak-Afghan border.Good point, why hasnt that been done yet?1) It doesn't work. The Soviets tried. You need to watch the minefields and the mere length and terrain means that there will be leakage.

2) The Canadians can't exactly ignore the Ottawa Treaty.

sappersgt
10 Dec 06,, 18:14
I think we should mine the Pak-Afghan border.


Minefields are obstacles that impair or hinder movement. They don't prevent movement. A military axiom is that obstacles need to covered by fire. It's the troops behind the obstacle that prevent movement.That means putting troops behind every foot of mined border. It's just too long.

troung
12 Dec 06,, 01:23
Sorry ass Canadians scared to line up and fight with the Taliban have to run over mules with tanks... :mad: :mad:

Canmoore
12 Dec 06,, 04:02
"The Taliban refer to the tanks as the superbeast. They used to refer to the Russian attacks as beasts and we're called the superbeasts now.''

LOL that made me laugh

Canmoore
12 Dec 06,, 04:03
Sir, why do you have a US flag in your profile? Are you implying that Canada is now part of US? ;)

How do I even get a flag on my profile?

Canmoore
12 Dec 06,, 04:05
How do I even get a flag on my profile?

situation corrected :biggrin:

Archer
13 Dec 06,, 12:45
1) It doesn't work. The Soviets tried. You need to watch the minefields and the mere length and terrain means that there will be leakage.

2) The Canadians can't exactly ignore the Ottawa Treaty.

Thanks Col!