New Special Forces Vehicles: The CPA 10 At the Controls
(Source: French Air and Space Force; issued Dec 01, 2020)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
The French Air Force’s commando unit, known as CPA 10, is currently working up on two new mission vehicles: the VPS 2 special patrol vehicle (pictured) and the Polaris Quad, both of which are due to become standard issue for all French special operations units. (FR AF photo)
Every day, the operators of the Air Parachute Commando (CPA) 10, armed wing of the Air Force Special Forces, prepare for their missions. Recently, the arrival of new vehicles, the Special Patrol Vehicles 2 (VPS2) and the Polaris Quad, will optimize their operations and training.

"The added value of these new vehicles is both their agility and their functionality," explains Vincent, head of training on special forces vehicles in the commando. “The Special Patrol Vehicle 2 is the successor to the VPS1 in service since 2006. It is designed by and for special forces. It is a malleable and critical tool in the success of special operations. It aims to be common to all units working for the benefit of the Special Operations Command (COS).

“The quad, meanwhile, is a vehicle that will make the difference during our missions through its agility, speed, discretion and off-road performance. It is his versatility that makes him a considerable asset,” says the trainer.

Vincent's role is to guide operators, from initial familiarization through to its perfect mastery. After a first theoretical phase, the trainees, holders of a car license and a heavy vehicle license for VPS, must adapt to driving these new vehicles. The theory focuses in particular on the advanced mechanics of machines and on the safety aspects to be integrated. For example, they must know how to adapt the tire pressure according to the terrain, to move as effectively as possible in sand, mud or a rocky environment.

“During the practical phase, we go through all the possibilities offered by the vehicles,” explains Vincent. Trajectories, crossings, ditches, fords, on different terrains, day and night, are all functions allowed by these devices. For example, sand removal will be possible using the Black Snake, a rope that allows you to pull a stuck vehicle in as little time as possible. The progress is undeniable. "

“To be ready for anything, you have to put yourself in good condition, anticipating and studying everything that may happen,” specifies Marius, group leader. Once mastery of a vehicle has been acquired, operators are faced with situations in real conditions. The purpose of all our training is the operational,” he continues.

These training courses are also the scene of “retraining” for certain operators. The versatility of vehicles is matched only by that of operators. This is why mastering new tools for some is as important as maintaining skills for others. “The more trained personnel we have, the greater the possibilities for employing vehicles,” concludes Marius before handing over to one of his operators, Dan.

The latter then confides with enthusiasm: "I have just been trained on the quad. These vehicles allow us to never be constrained by the terrain, to always dominate the situation. They are additional vectors to ensure the success of the mission. "

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