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06/08/22: Sherp ATVs help with tough terrain in field operations

The majority of UN peacekeeping missions operate in environments with inadequate infrastructure. This can present significant logistical challenges.

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For example, seasonal and environmental factors – such as heavy rainy seasons – can make it difficult for UN missions to reach certain areas and populations. In a peacekeeping environment, this is a critical challenge. Overcoming it has significant impact on already limited resources.

In 2021, with the encouragement and advice from the Office of Supply Chain Management (OSCM), the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) partnered with the World Food Programme (WFP) to discuss potential solutions that would help peacekeeping operations overcome these challenges.

In April 2022, fifteen utility task vehicles (known as Sherp ATVs) and trailers were leased from WFP and delivered to Bor, South Sudan. The all-terrain vehicles are built for extreme conditions such as climbing over obstacles and charging across open water.

UNMISS, in collaboration with the Indian battalion, is conducting a trial to assess the performance of the fleet and its suitability for different operations. As part of the trial, UNMISS will conduct driver training programmes and develop standard operating procedures for different fleet uses.

“We are very excited about this trial,” says Maurizia Calo, OIC, Logistics Division, OSCM.

“If these vehicles demonstrate suitability, we will be looking into ways of making them more readily available to other field missions with similar terrain challenges.”

OSCM’s Sourcing Support Service is continuously looking to improve the solutions in engineering, medical support, rations, fuel, and transport. This activity is aligned to the Vehicle Fleet Category Strategy which recommends purchasing of vehicles through global system contracts, exploring leasing as a sourcing modality, and outsourcing maintenance services and spare parts management.

“There is no better time than the present to start exploring new and innovative solutions to overcoming the increasingly complex operating challenges we face in our field missions. Much kudos to UNMISS and their mission support team for this creative initiative,” says Christian Saunders, Assistant Secretary-General for Supply Chain Management.

The Office of Supply Chain Management is in the Department of Operational Support (DOS).

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