Minister MacKay visits CFB Pet 0
Minister of Defence Peter MacKay was on hand at CFB Petawawa Friday to help open a $21.8 million LAV III facility, which will be used to house and help maintain the upgraded light armoured vehicles. Here, the Defence Minister, centre, cuts the ribbon to officially open the facility, along with Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant, and Petawawa Mayor/Renfrew County Warden Bob Sweet. Flanking them are, on the left, Acting RSM CWO for 2CMBG Kevin Donovan, and Acting 2 CMBG Commander Lt. Col. James Price, and on the far right, Base Commander Lt. Col. Chris Moyle, and Base CWO Daniel Benoit. For more community photos, please visit our website photo gallery at www.thedailyobserver.ca.
CFB PETAWAWA – On Friday, Base Petawawa welcomed its Minister of Defence, as the Honourable Peter MacKay came out to help celebrate the official opening of a new LAV III facility.
The $21.8 million building supports the LAV III upgrade project, announced in July 2009, which aims to upgrade the armoured vehicle fleet by improving the protection, mobility and lethality of the machines. The contract to construct the building itself was awarded in October 2010 to Frecon Construction Limited of Pembroke.
Minister MacKay, who took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MP Cheryl Gallant and representatives of the base and 2 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, said every time he visits Petawawa, he is reminded of its long military history and the contributions its troops have made to Canada in the 100-plus years of its existence.
“Soldiers from Petawawa have been involved in every one of the major operations Canada has been a part of, from the First and Second World Wars, to Korea, from post-war peacekeeping missions to being front and centre of the mission in Afghanistan, and disaster relief operations at home and abroad,” MacKay said.
Now that things are ramping down in the wake of the ending of combat operations in Afghanistan doesn’t mean they can let down their guard.
Minister MacKay said while they are now operating at a slower operational tempo for the time being, that may not last, and the prudent thing is to be ready for anything.“It remains a dangerous world,” the Defence Minister said, “and sooner or later, the Canadian Forces may be called on again, and with very little notice. Because of this, they have to be ready with the best equipment and backing the government can provide them.”
This new building is part of that ongoing commitment, he added.
The facility will house the new and improved Light Armoured Vehicles (LAVs) which form the backbone of the Canadian Army. This 9,840-square-metre building is to be used as a crew work area to support support day-to-day training and driver maintenance. It is required as the newly upgraded LAV IIIs must have indoor accommodation for storage, as well as ongoing maintenance and training.
The facility is divided into three modules to accommodate various units, with each able to hold up to 32 LAVs for a total of 96 of the vehicles at any one time.
The Defence Minister said this structure is in keeping with the Canada First Defence Strategy, which has set out a detailed road map for the modernization of the Canadian Forces. New infrastructure, such as the $240 million in new construction which has happened or ongoing at CFB Petawawa, is designed to support a first-class, modern military that is ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century.
The LAV III building is also a green one, in that it has been designed using the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver features to include rainwater harvesting, solar wall system, storm water management, landscaping to eliminate irrigation, low flow fixtures, lighting and temperature controls.
“This is not just army green, but environmentally green,” Minister Mackay said. It helped create 102 jobs in the area, and the project came in on time and under budget, something he said all Defence Ministers like to hear.
The Defence Minister said he wanted to take the opportunity to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving, particularly the military families who are “the force behind our force,” by offering support to the people in uniform back on the home front.
Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist