Army soldiers fire new Abrams tanks for first time

By James LaPorta  |  April 5, 2018 at 1:41 PM
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April 5 (UPI) -- U.S. Army soldiers at Fort Stewart in Georgia have started field training with the new M1A1-SA Abrams tanks, the Army announced this week.

Soldiers with the 3rd Infantry Division's Delta Tank Company, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team fired the main and support weapon systems on the M1A1-SA Abrams tanks during a field training exercise in late March.

"Gunnery is beyond critical," Army Capt. Freddy Mitchell, commander of Delta Tank, said in a press release on Wednesday.

"It is a necessary event to create lethal crews. Training like this is advantageous to the unit's lethality," Mitchell said.

The Army said the tank unit is training to master the ability to close in on enemy forces using fire and movement in order to destroy or capture enemy forces while engaged in sustained, large-scale combat operations.

"Today our crews are being evaluated on their proficiency to engage targets from various positions using the Abrams' weapon systems," said Army Sgt. 1st Class Jose Lopez, master gunner and platoon sergeant with Delta Tank. "Because the Abrams is a stabilized platform, it allows accurate fires even while advancing towards enemy positions."

"The Abrams is the most lethal land warfare platform, battle-tested in both Desert Storm and Iraq," Mitchell said. "This tank brings another long-range, direct-fire weapons system to our brigade."

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