Private crew in the driving seat

The
Army’s new fleet of tank transporters is to be driven by privatised soldiers.

Under
a £300m private finance initiative deal to replace the Army’s ageing Scammell
transporters, the Fasttrax consortium will provide a third of the drivers and
mechanics for the new fleet. The consortium, headed by engineering company
Brown and Root, will supply about 80 sponsored reserves to maintain and operate
the 92 transporters.

The
ground-breaking arrangement was designed to increase cooperation between the
military and the private sector and free regular soldiers for "core
military activities".

Although
they will be employed by Fasttrax, the reservists will receive full military
training and will be fully integrated into their Army units.

Defence
procurement minister Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean said, "This is a
concept that has strong support in the private sector and there is a firm
commitment by the Army to make it work well in practice."

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