LAV involved in fatal CFB Wainwright accident has history of rollovers
Maj. Mark Popov, right, from Petawawa, Ont. ario of The Royal Canadian Dragoons watches a Light Armored Vehicle (LAV) driven by Canadian soldiers in the Dand area of Kandahar Province, southern Afghanistan on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Published Thursday, May 22, 2014 1:43PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 22, 2014 6:43PM EDT
The light armoured vehicle involved in an accident that killed Lt.-Col Dan Bobbitt at CFB Wainwright in Alberta has a history of rollover accidents and is in the midst of a major upgrade.
The LAV III, as the vehicle is known, has been involved in more than a dozen rollovers since it was introduced in 1999, The Canadian Press reports.
Some of those rollovers include accidents that took place in Afghanistan and resulted in at least five deaths.
In 2011, the Canadian military launched a $1-billion upgrade to its LAV III fleet to improve the vehicles’ stability and armour.
Bobbitt, whose regiment is based in Petawawa, Ont., was killed Wednesday during a major military exercise when the LAVIII he was in rolled over. Four other soldiers from his regiment were injured in the accident.
It’s not known whether the vehicle Bobbitt was in had already been upgraded. The accident is currently under investigation.
Despite rollovers involving the LAV III over the years, one veteran said Thursday the vehicle is considered a major asset to Canadian military operations abroad and at home.
David MacDonald of the Wounded Warriors group said that in Afghanistan, the vehicles were “hated by the Taliban, they were envied and wanted by our allies and they were loved by the Canadian soldiers.”
MacDonald said that LAV IIIs have been used not only in Afghanistan, but also in Bosnia and during domestic operations, such as the military’s assistance in Calgary during the devastating 2013 flood.
MacDonald, who was seriously injured in a rollover involving another type of military vehicle in Afghanistan, said he has personally witnessed a LAVIII sustain multiple attacks in battle.
“They’re just an excellent, all-around combat vehicle,” he said.
The Canadian Forces website describes the LAV III as “a relatively-well protected, all‑weather vehicle that can be used on most types of terrain.”
The vehicle can travel up to 100 kilometres per hour on roads and can cross “hard-bottomed” bodies of water up to 1.5 metres deep.
With files from The Canadian Press