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The Hamilton Spectator
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Wednesday March 11, 2009
The army's fleet of armoured vehicles, battered by the demands of the Afghanistan mission, is in a state of "crisis," the head of the army says.

Lt.-Gen. Andrew Leslie, chief of the land staff, said up to three-quarters of some specialty vehicles used for training in Canada are sidelined by maintenance woes.

"We are running out of time to keep your army functioning the way that it should because our vehicle breakage rates are now far higher than I've ever seen them," Leslie warned senators yesterday

"We've been run hard now for seven years. And the places where we run our equipment is pretty rough and ... the enemy is attacking our equipment," Leslie said.

The equipment woes, coupled with a shortage of senior personnel, may force the army to take a one-year "operational break" to rebuild starting in July 2011, once the current commitment in Afghanistan is over, Leslie said.

Despite the pause, Leslie said the army still would be ready to respond to emergencies if called upon. "We will always be prepared to carry out our various national and international tasks," he told the Senate defence committee.

But it was the sad state of the army's equipment that was in the spotlight yesterday as Leslie said he might need more money to get the vehicles up and running again. Source.

Army running on empty
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