CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait - Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, conducted a Table VI tank gunnery exercise in their M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks at the Udairi Range Complex, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Thursday.
Tank crews fired their main gun, a 120 mm smoothbore gun, of their M1A2 System Enhancement Package V2 down range during their training. The crews fired two different types of rounds during the range, Sabot and High Explosive Anti-Tank.
“Sabot is essentially a penetrator, think of a very hard and sharp spear,” said Capt. Stephen Harmon, Destroyer Company commander, 1-15th Infantry, 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID. “We generally reserve the Sabots for enemy main battle tanks, as they are most likely to penetrate over any other round. The HEAT is used to destroy armored personnel carriers and light trucks; really any type of vehicle.”
The M1A2, which has been battle tested during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, can reach speed in excess of 40 miles per hour, and its main gun has a range in excess of 2 miles.
“We have proven on the battle field that we can engage targets out to extreme ranges with this vehicle,” said Harmon. “We can do it exceptionally fast, we can do it in bad weather, we can do it at night, and we can do it on the move.”
A total of 29 crews from Crusader and Destroyer Companies conducted the training in preparation for Table VIII, the qualification range.
“We know that these soldiers have already proven their proficiency at gunnery, they have done that in the States,” said Harmon. “But what we have been able to do is take these armored vehicles, bring them out here and learn to fight in this environment.”
The M1A2 Abrams crews fired their main guns from both the stationary position and on the move. After each set of tanks completed their run through Table VI, they immediately received feedback on how they performed during their run.
“I had a blast, me and my whole crew are ready to go see if we scored high enough to make Top Tank.” said Cpl. William Delaney, assigned to Destroyer Company.
“The big thing with the American Army is the proficiency of the crews,” said Harmon. “If we take one of the best tanks in the world and mix it with the best armored crew member in the world we are always going to have a successful engagement.”
Soldiers of 1-15 Infantry are scheduled to begin training alongside their Kuwaiti counterparts in the near future. The combined training is in accordance with the United States’ partnership with the Kuwaiti military which promotes peace and stability in the region.