Reservist soldiers from The Royal Yeomanry in Shropshire have received their first Jackal reconnaissance vehicle.
Originally bought for the Army in Afghanistan, the Jackal is designed to protect personnel against roadside explosions and mine attacks.
It has taken a while for the vehicle to reach reservists, but a special delivery in Telford of the Royal Yeomanry’s first Jackal marks the start of their roll out and their conversion from using their old armoured vehicles.
It means they can train on and crew the same vehicles that regular Army units use for reconnaissance, something which will help them to hit the ground running when called to support other regiments.
“It’s definitely Christmas has come early this year,” said Sergeant Robert Gilbert.
“They’ve had to do a lot of work to get their full C licences to crew these vehicles and now they’re very eager to start their training.
"I think it’s going to make us really useful.
Not just to the regiment but the brigade.”
“This is a huge move for the Royal Yeomanry,” added Captain Richard Harris.
“It brings us into line, not only in terms of our training and equipment and weapons systems but now also our… vehicles as well.
"This brings us the closest we’ve ever been in line with the regular Army. And that’s a really important thing for the reserves.”
So how does the Jackal compare to what’s gone before?
The key difference is the Jackal’s superior cross country capabilities.
Unlike the previous Land Rover-based vehicle, it can cover all terrain - from jungles, deserts and northwest Europe, where the Yeomanry usually operates.
It also has better armour and blast protection underneath the vehicle.
So far one Jackal vehicle has been delivered to Shropshire, with the Royal Yeomanry promised a further 13 in the future.