The 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (Greywolf Brigade) based at Fort Hood in Texas are the first to receive the new version of the M1 Abrams Tank, the M1A2C (SEP v.3).
Troopers in the Greywolf Brigade welcomed the new armor on 20th July 2020 and are ready to begin learning all that the new version offers.
With the increased demands made on armored divisions when facing the enemy and taking part in large-scale ground-based engagements, the upgraded tanks will be an invaluable tool.
The Commander of 3rd Batt. 8th Cav. Regiment, Lt. Col. Nicholas C. Sinclair, said that the upgraded tanks’ receipt was the first time the Army has put a new tank into the field. As they were the first armored division to receive the new tanks, the onus was on them to ensure that they got it right.
In preparation to move these new tanks into the field, the Greywolf troopers will ensure that they become familiar with the new kit. Their plans provide that every man knows how to maintain as well as operate the latest vehicles and how to use them to their best advantage.
Lt. Col. Sinclair said that each tank was equipped with an embedded trainer. The trainer ensures that each trooper can repeat maneuvers many times while the tank is stationary. This means that training can be simulated and ongoing rather than driving from one location to another, using valuable training time.
The embedded trainer is one of the upgrades incorporated into the new tank, but it is by no means the only one. The firing systems have been significantly upgraded to build combat capability.
A platoon sergeant in the Greywolf Brigade, Sgt. 1st Class Kurt Singer, was very complimentary about the new tanks, saying that they were “lightyears ahead” of the existing vehicles that they have. He went on to say that all aspects of the tanks were improved, especially the computerized systems and upgraded fire-control systems. He believes that these upgrades lead to the men becoming more aggressive and consequently more lethal.
Soon the Greywolves will take the new tanks out to undertake live-fire exercises, allowing them to prove that they are the most accomplished and lethal armored brigade in the world today.
Singer was at pains to explain that the tanks’ efficiency depends upon the men operating it as, to use Sgt. Singer’s words, “the soldier makes the vehicle, the vehicle doesn’t make the soldier,” but the technology certainly helps the soldier achieve. The Greywolves are a top-class brigade due to the amount of time training.
The new tank keeps the layout of the previous version of the tank with the driver’s position in the front and center of the vehicle. The turret occupies the middle and the engine at the rear. The tank retains the modular replacement system that currently makes this vehicle easy to manage in the field to facilitate easy maintenance.
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The tank is 9.7 meters long, 3.7 meters wide, and 2.4 meters high. It is operated by a crew of four, a commander, driver, gunner, and loader.