Canadian Forces have been deployed to Afghanistan in a variety of roles since late 2001. As part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Canadian troops have conducted missions to support the Afghan Government in establishing itself in a country torn apart by years of war, provide safe areas for the Afghan population, and assist with the reconstruction of the country’s infrastructure. The Canadian contingent in Afghanistan has evolved over the years of combat, with many lessons learned and an ever-evolving deployment of vehicles in order to provide the maximum amount of protection for the crews, as well as the proper amount of firepower and logistics support to the troops on the ground.
For both the modeller and military enthusiast, there has been a variety of accessible information, both on the Internet and in a variety of publications over the years. As the combat mission comes to a close in 2011, it is important to continue looking at the variety of modifications of the vehicles in order to see the future of Canadian mechanized warfare.
This new book from Tankograd provides an up-to-date look at the wide variety of vehicles presently used by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. These range from all-terrain utility vehicles to state-of-the-art main battle tanks. The book is not a complete chronology or depiction of all of the Canadian vehicles deployed to Afghanistan over the years; however, the book does give the reader a current perspective on Canadian vehicles used, along with details on the latest modifications. Carl Schulze’s photos were taken between December 2009 and January 2010, and as a result they are limited to Task Force 3-09.
The book is soft cover with 64 numbered pages. The images are of a very high quality, and generally profile vehicles at the Forward Operating Bases or deployed on missions “beyond the wire.” This is not a detailed walkaround-type book, but multiple shots of available vehicles provide the reader with good information that will assist in modelling projects. Text is in both German and English (per other Tankograd titles).
The book begins with a very good explanation of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan from 2001 to the present day, discussing the variety of teams and units involved in the overall deployment:
ISAF deployment- includes the mandate, timeline, and enemy forces overview
Canadian Forces in Afghanistan- includes overview of the mission and individual unit deployments
Operation Athena- mission overview, timeline, and individual unit deployments
Operation Medusa- mission overview and timeline
Joint Task Force Afghanistan- command structure overview
Joint Task Force Afghanistan Headquarters- command structure overview
Commander Kandahar Airfield (COMKAF)- command overview
National Support Element- mission overview
Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing- mission overview and components
Health Service Support Unit- mission overview
Operation Archer and Operation Accius- mission overview and command elements
Military Police Company- mission overview
Task Force Kandahar- mission overview
Kandahar Province- geographic and historical overview
Battle Group- mission and unit overview
Operational Mentor and Liaison Team- mission and structure overview
Kandahar Province Reconstruction Team- mission and structure overview
End of Mission- timeline and casualty numbers up to January 31, 2010.
There are a total of 127 colour images, including the inside of the front and rear covers. Each page generally consists of two or three images, and all have German and English captions.
The following Canadian vehicles can be found in the book:
CH-170 Heron UAV
CH-146 Griffin helicopter
M-Gator 6x6 utility vehicle
Mercedes G-Wagon Light Utility Wheeled Vehicle (LUWV)
Light Support Vehicle Wheeled (LSVW)
Medium Logistics Vehicle Wheeled (MLVW)
Heavy Logistics Vehicle Wheeled (HLVW)
HLVW Heavy Mobile Repair Team (HMRT)
Western Star M4866S Heavy Engineering Support Vehicle (HESV)
Actros 8x8 Armoured Heavy Support Vehicle System (AHSVS) Cargo
AHSVS Load Handling System (LHS)
AHSVS Heavy Wrecker Recovery Vehicle
AHSVS Flat Deck Recovery System and 25 Ton Semi-Trailer
AHSVS Tank Transporter and 72 Ton Trailer
Champion 730R 6x4 Grader
Zettelmeyer ZL 5001F Bucket Loader
Multi-Purpose Engineering Vehicle (MPEV) Bucket Loader
Daewoo Solar 220LC-III Tracked Excavator
Krupp KMK 2025 Mobile Crane
CASE 50 Super L Loader Backhoe
Kalmar Rough Terrain Container Handler RT240
Manitex Liftking ULC LK934 Forklift
Manitex Liftking ULC LK 8L42 Low Profile Rough Terrain Forklift
Manitex Liftking ULC LKI2000 Forklift
Manitex Liftking ULC LK35C Rough Terrain Container Handler
RG-31 Mk.3 Armoured Patrol Vehicle (APV)
Cougar 6x6 Expedient Route Opening Capability (EROC)
Husky Towed/Mine Detection Vehicle (T/MDV)
Buffalo A1 Mine Protected/Clearance Vehicle (MP/CV)
Buffalo A2 Mine Protected/Clearance Vehicle (MP/CV)
Bison 8x8 Ambulance
Bison 8x8 C3I (Command, Control, Communication, and Intelligence)
Bison 8x8 Electronic Warfare
Bison 8x8 Mobile Repair Team (MRT)
Bison 8x8 Mobile Recovery Vehicle (MRV)
Coyote Reconnaissance Vehicle
LAV III LORIT (LAV Operational Requirements Integration Task)
LAV III RWS (Remote Weapon Station)
M113A3 One Meter Turret TLAV (Tracked Light Armoured Vehicle)
M113A3 RWS TLAV (Tracked Light Armoured Vehicle)
M113A3 RWS Mobile Tactical Vehicle Light (MTVL)
M577A3 Command Post
M777A1 155 mm Towed Howitzer
M113A3 MTVF (Mobile Tactical Vehicle Fitter)
M113A3 MTVR (Mobile Tactical Vehicle Recovery)
Leopard C2 with mine plough
Taurus ARV (Armoured Recovery Vehicle)
Badger AEV (Armoured Engineer Vehicle)
Leopard 2A6M CAN
Leopard 2A6M CAN with mine rollers
Buffalo ARV 3
It is always difficult balancing coverage of combat vehicles and logistic and support vehicles. In attempting to create an overall look at all Canadian vehicles in Afghanistan, there is a heavy emphasis on support and logistical ones (for example, there are six images specifically of forklifts and only five images of the Leopard C2).
But I found the book to be laid-out in an organized manner starting from the soft skin vehicles and moving toward the armoured ones. The captions provide both generic vehicle information, as well as technical information regarding specific upgrades or modifications. Information is also supplied as to where the photo was taken where possible. The book offers the reader a very good overview of the vehicles currently used by Canada in Afghanistan, though there is only one image of the Coyote included, and this is a Canadian Department of Defence image taken back in 2002 when the Coyotes first deployed and were painted CARC tan. The reason for the lack of Coyote images is that they may not have been available for photos due to mission deployments. There are no images of the Iltis and this is to be expected, as they were replaced by the G-Wagon several years ago.
Highs: The most up-to-date coverage of Canadian vehicles in Afghanistan.Lows: Logistics and Support vehicle images outweigh images of combat vehicles.Verdict: Very good images and a good overall account of the current Canadian vehicles in Afghanistan.
Our Thanks to Tankograd Publishing! This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.