By Pfc. Evan Loyd
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER – M1A1 Abrams Main Battle tanks from the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division and Iraqi T-72 tanks have been on opposite sides of the firing line since they first saw each other in Operation Desert Storm.
Recently, leaders from the 2nd BCT, 1st Armd. Div. and Iraqi security forces brought the two tanks together and fired in the same direction on the Iraqi's Besmaya Range Complex for a live-fire demonstration, Oct. 31, 2008, at Forward Operating Base Hammer.
Both tanks fired rounds from a defensive position and the Abrams demonstrated its ability to fire on the move during the demonstration.
Master Sgt. Wilmer Morales, a master gunner for the Iron Brigade, facilitated a class on the M1A1 and answered the Iraqi leader's questions.
Both groups of leaders then had a hands-on tour of the M1A1 and the T-72.
"This is the closest I've ever been to a working T-72," said Sgt. 1st Class Dustin Rinehart, a non-commissioned officer in 2nd BCT, 1st Armd. Div.'s Command Security Detail. "Only time I've seen them before this is down a gunsite or in a museum."
After the first live-fire demonstration, both groups leaders were invited to fire the others tanks.