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    Tank you for your service

    Iron Union 14, U.S. Army tanks from 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, stand ready to move

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Daryl Bradford | U.S. Army tanks from 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team,...... read more read more



    Story by Staff Sgt. Daryl Bradford 

    Task Force Spartan

    When we were children, some of us only dreamed of seeing a tank up close. A lot of people get that opportunity at a museum or military instillation with decommissioned vehicles, but few ever get to drive one.

    “Who doesn’t like tanks?” asked Spc. Isaiah Cabrera, from Hemet, California, a tank driver with 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division. “It’s a pretty cool job in my opinion.”

    Cabrera has only been in the military for year and seven months, but is already living that dream of driving one of those powerful machines in the military for exercise Iron Union 14.

    “Iron Union is the joint training operations between the UAE Land Forces and the United States,” said Cabrera. “I feel like I’m being a part of something bigger by being here, and it’s a huge experience for everyone to train with another nation’s army.”

    Iron Union is a quarterly exercise between Task Force Spartan and UAE Land Forces that is designed to strengthen military-to-military relationships through a joint government approach to future, complex national security challenges.

    Cabrera and other U.S. Soldiers from 1st Bn., 6th Inf. Reg., 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div. out of Fort Bliss, Texas, are the service members participating in Iron Union 14, driving the U.S. Army’s primary combat tank, the M-1 Abrams.

    Cabrera said he is excited to be at Iron Union and enjoys being in the Army.

    Even though it is early in his career, Cabrera is intending to stay in the service for the long haul and wants to use his education benefits to pay for school eventually.

    Cabrera feels he is on the right track to meet his goal but also recognizes the work load is sometimes a team effort.

    “My job with the unit is as a driver for the 3/4 tank,” said Cabrera. “I keep it on track, but with the TC and everyone else on the crew, it’s making sure everyone is on line — formation wise —and that everything goes smoothly.”

    Cabrera realizing that his service is about a larger purpose, shows a professionalism that hasn’t gone unnoticed. His first sergeant has recognized it, seeing a potential for career growth.

    “He used his knowledge and experience to maneuver his tank effortlessly, allowing his tank commander to complete the mission,” said 1st Sgt. Merrell Blake, first sergeant for Charlie Company, 1st Bn., 6th Inf. Reg., 2nd BCT, 1st Armored Div. “He has demonstrated the ability multiple times to be an effective leader. I have no doubt that he will make a great Non-Commissioned Officer one day.”

    Iron Union is about moving, communicating, and sharing ideas with the UAE Land Forces, and Cabrera said he understands the importance of this.

    “In the long run, if anything ever goes south they’ll be there,” said Cabrera. “And the same for us with them.”

    Cabrera said he has learned some valuable lessons during his short time in the UAE for Iron Union 14.

    “I’m able to see from their perspective — be in their shoes,” said Cabrera. “Training with another military for long hours builds me stronger knowing they are going through the same thing.”



    Date Taken: 02.25.2021
    Date Posted: 02.26.2021 02:52
    Story ID: 389800
    Location: AE

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