MOBILE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT OFFICER
MAPP: On the desert battlefield, in heavy snow and on the open road, we’re the men and women who get the Canadian Forces in gear. We’re Mobile Support Equipment Operators, the highly trained soldier-drivers who keep the trucks and trailers rolling.
I’m Private Jarrett Mapp from Halifax, Nova Scotia. I’m a Mobile Support Equipment Operator currently posted in my hometown of Halifax.
And I’m Master Corporal Tony Kearney from Ottawa, Ontario, Mobile Support Equipment Operator located at CFB Petawawa, CSS training company.
MOBILE SUPPORT EQUIPMENT OPERATOR
KEARNEY: From road graders to troop buses, from field ambulances to dump trucks, Mobile Support Equipment Operators, or MSE Ops, keep the big wheels turning. We drive fuel tankers for our F-18s and the plows that keep the runways clear for combat and cargo operations. We haul food, construction supplies and ammunition, and deliver the daily mail to our troops on deployment. And we truly love being up in the cab and behind the wheel.
Basically, we are the ones that push the supplies to the forward areas and it gives us great satisfaction to be able to do that, knowing that other soldiers and other personnel can carry on with their job.
MAPP: We transport equipment to troops that are out in the field doing exercises and things like that. We provide water, food, all that.
KEARNEY: Without the bullets and beans, they can’t do their jobs and that’s what we provide.
If this exciting, hands-on trade sounds like it fits your career plans, here’s the path you’ll follow.
MAPP: After basic training, MSE Ops head to Borden, Ontario, for their trade-specific training. At Borden, you’ll learn to drive the vehicles that the Forces rely on across Canada and on deployments overseas.
Plus there are driving skills that are specialized for military operations. I’m talking about battlefield mapping, camouflage, tactical driving and re-supplying our fighters at advanced forward positions. That’s where your soldier training really kicks in.
When we’re driving in a combat area, we’re responsible for protecting our own convoys and our own vehicles from anything that the enemy might throw our way.
KEARNEY: It makes you nervous, but at the same time, we’ve gone through so many drills and had so much training that everything becomes instinctive.
I’ve been deployed to Afghanistan twice supporting our troops over there with everything from artillery shells to packages from home.
I not only took part in convoys, I also ran convoys overseas. I’ve been involved with driving armoured vehicles, as well as providing security within the area.
As a Mobile Support Equipment Operator, you’re in charge of that big piece of equipment. You’ve got your freight or you’ve got your passengers and you’ve got to deliver them safely. That’s a serious responsibility and a real sense of accomplishment when you get the job done.
MAPP: And there are pathways that lead to some really incredible jobs like a course in evasive anti-terrorism driving.
I’ve been in the Forces for only two years, but I’m already qualified to drive staff cars, 15-passenger vans and five-ton trucks. Also dump trucks and front-end loaders, the toys we played with when we were kids.
Growing up, yes, it was Tonka trucks and, you know, now learning the bigger vehicles and things like that, it feels like I’m a kid again. You know, now instead of playing with them, I’m driving them and actually learning how the machine works and stuff and it’s fabulous.
KEARNEY: You can drive and/or operate anything from a small Jeep all the way up to tractor-trailers, excavators, dump trucks, refuellers as well and it was just the whole adventure in that, in being able to actually operate something that made me make that decision.
MAPP: I don’t wanna sit around and just look at the same four walls and do the same thing and I can get out and be involved with the public, I get to see things, I get to travel. I’ve seen so much since I got into the military, I’ve met a lot of great people, my co-workers are fabulous and I’m just having a ball with it.