New Zeland Army sent LAV Light Armoured Vehicle in Afghanistan to better protect soldiers 1504111
Defense News - New Zealand
Friday , April 15, 2011, 02:39 PM
New Zeland Army sent LAV Light Armoured Vehicle in Afghanistan to better protect his soldiers.
Five light armoured vehicles (LAVs) from the New Zealand Army have been secretly flown to Afghanistan to better protect New Zealand soldiers deployed in Afghanistan.
LAV Light Armoured Vehicle New Zealand Army
The deployment of the LAVs is partly a response to the death of Lieutenant Tim O'Donnell who was killed last August when his smaller and lighter armoured Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb.
Defence Minister Wayne Mapp said over the last couple of years there have been substantial upgrades to the roads in Bamiyan and "as a consequence we are now able to deploy them".
The Defence Force chartered a Qantas 747 in March to take the five LAVs into Afghanistan. It has been searching for a Humvee replacement since June last year.
Three other LAVs that were being used by the SAS (Special Forces) in Kabul have also been sent to Bamiyan.
Air Vice Marshal Peter Stockwell, the Joint Forces Commander, said the deployment means a range of options will be available to troops.
"There's now going to be a mix of vehicles. So there'll be the light armoured vehicle, there'll still be Humvees, there'll still be Hiluxes, because we need to be able to get over some of the more difficult routes."
While the LAVs are bigger and better armoured, they also require an extra two dozen people to operate, taking the number of Kiwi soldiers in Bamiyan back up to the government's cap of 140.
Mapp says the government remains committed to a 2014 withdrawal from Afghanistan.
New Zeland army LAV Light Armoured Vehicle in Afghanistan