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    Idaho Army National Guard’s 1-204th RTI qualifies eight Soldiers as M1A2 tank commanders

    Idaho Army National Guard’s 1-204th RTI qualifies eight Soldiers as M1A2 tank commanders

    Photo By Crystal Farris | Soldiers fire a 120mm Sabot round from a M1A2 tank during a live-fire training...... read more read more



    Story by 2nd Lt. Crystal Farris 

    Idaho Army National Guard

    The Idaho Army National Guard’s Armor Training Company 19K, 1-204th Regional Training Institute (Armor) Battalion, graduated eight Soldiers from its M1A2 Tank Commanders Certification Course on Gowen Field, July 28, making them fully qualified tank commanders.

    Soldiers came from multiple units and four different states, including four Soldiers from the Idaho Army National Guard.

    They are: 1st Lt. Arthur Edwards, Sgt. Tyler Frederick, Staff Sgt. Scott Jenkins and Sgt. Tyler Worthington, Idaho Army National Guard; 2nd Lt. Xavier Chapa and 1st Lt. Michael Colyer, Nevada Army National Guard; Capt. Kevin Dighans, Montana Army National Guard; and Staff Sgt. Clifford Comstock, Minnesota Army National Guard.

    In the two-week course, Soldiers enhanced their technical skills as tank commanders by learning to operate an M1A2 tank and command a crew to operate the vehicle as they would when destroying an enemy position.

    “We dig very deeply into the tank, how it works and how to use its capabilities to be more effective on the battlefield,” said Sergeant 1st Class Alex Harris, Armor Training Company 19K instructor. “At the end of the course, Soldiers should be more effective tank commanders.”

    Soldiers practiced employing tank weapon systems and conducting vehicle maneuvers prior to completing a gunnery skill test. They were evaluated on their ability to command a tank, give proper fire commands and accurately eliminate a target from their tank.

    “It’s been an awesome experience getting to learn how the fire control system works and how the tank functions,” said Dighans, Charlie Company, 1-163rd Combined Arms Battalion.

    Soldiers conducted multiple live-fire exercises in the Idaho Army National Guard’s Orchard Combat Training Center, where they practiced loading and firing 120mm Sabot and multi-purpose anti-tank rounds at targets up to 5,000 meters away.

    “Shooting live-fire has definitely been the highlight of this training,” said Dighans. “This is my first time firing a tank and a round this big, which makes it pretty exciting to see it go downrange.”

    The course, is available to Soldiers from the Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard components who are M1 armor crewman, want to branch armor or prepare for master gunner school.

    The Idaho Army National Guard is one of two training sites including Fort Benning to offer the course. The OCTC has approximately six live-fire tank ranges and eight tank maneuver sites, making it one of the leading combat training centers in the Northwest.

    “This is a great program for Idaho because we have the availability of an enormous training area right outside our back door,” said Harris. “We can literally get in our vehicles on base, cross the street, drive down the road and train.”

    In addition to the M1A2 Tank Commanders Certification Course, the company also offers an M1A1 Tank Commanders Certification Course, reclassification courses and an advanced leader’s course for Soldiers in the M1 armor career track.



    Date Taken: 08.03.2018
    Date Posted: 08.03.2018 12:43
    Story ID: 287139
    Location: BOISE, IDAHO, US

    Web Views: 779
    Downloads: 1