Soldiers will move giant navy vehicles in Tipner

The new commanding officer of HMS Collingwood, Captain Rob Vitali. Picture: Keith Woodland/MoD

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THEY are familiar to thousands of motorists who drive past Tipner every day.

Two giant amphibious vehicles which sit at the Pound’s scrapyard have been a feature of the landscape for years.

But tomorrow, soldiers from the Territorial Army will haul the United States Navy vehicles away in a giant tug of war.

The Lighter Amphibious Resupply Crafts (LARCs) are standing in the way of plans to develop the area.

The land is currently being cleared for regeneration work on a new motorway junction for Tipner.

Platoon Commander Captain Nikk Lovelock-Jeffels saw the training value in having the vehicles moved not by machines, but by the strength of his soldiers.

He said: ‘It replicates exactly the scale of recovery mission we could expect to have to face on operations.

‘The job presents a real challenge and an excellent opportunity for the Recovery Mechanics and Vehicle Mechanics of the local TA unit to combine their skills as well as testing the capability of our recently acquired wheeled recovery vehicles.’

A team of 20 Territorial Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers will attach a complex system of winches and ropes to haul each of the LARCs 100 metres on to the concrete.

The LARCs were originally to become tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight.

But the plans were abandoned and the vehicles have sat there ever since.