CAMP SHELBY, Miss. - The 2nd Battalion, 198th Combined Arms Battalion shook the ground Sept. 14, 2012, at Camp Shelby Joint Forces Training Center, Miss., during its gunnery exercises.
The CAB’s C and D companies successfully negotiated the modified training table range requirements. The modified table is a .50-cal. M2 machine gun and 105 mm main gun combination of engagements in the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank. The main purpose for this exercise is to maintain accuracy of this important and perishable skill.
“You can’t beat the experience of putting live rounds down these gun tubes,” said Battalion Commander Lt. Col. John Harlan, who also participated in the exercise. “I am real happy with everybody. They have been safe and that is the main thing.”
The units were evaluated with specific criteria such as crew duties, engagement times, fire commands, safety and conduct of fire on the range. They were graded by the 154th Regional Training Institute, a CSJTF host unit, to ensure an unbiased evaluation. There is an After Action Review conducted for each crew that provides constructive criticism to highlight their strengths and draw attention to any weaknesses. The exercise is conducted annually in order to improve their gunnery skills.
Each crew is composed of a driver, loader, gunner and a tank commander. Each member of the crew plays a vital role in the process in the tank’s operation.
Sgt. David Busby, a gunner in Charlie Company, said the best part of the day is “watching the main gun go down range and tear something up.”
At the end of the day, the soldiers say the preparation, training and heat is worthwhile. When the gunner shouts, “On the Way” expect an impact.