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Minnesota National Guard
Tankers Conduct Winter Operations

Minnesota National Guard CAMP RIPLEY, Minn Armor crewmen of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 136th Infantry Regiment moved out into the snow for winter drivers training and refinement of tank operations March 9-10

"Winter drivers,training is a perishable skill which needs to be refreshed in order to instill safety and competence for our combat vehicle crews," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Reiten, unit readiness NCO for Charlie Company, 2-136

Combat arms units of the 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division expect a steady tempo of readiness training this summer including maneuver, gunnery, and individual Soldier skills In preparation for this training, unit commanders organize intense vehicle maintenance plans and developmental training such as driver's certification, weapons qualification, and physical conditioning"

Learning to operate the 70-ton M1A1SA Abrams Tank is a never ending task with detailed maintenance checks relating to track function, engine care, and weapon system serviceability "Every young Soldier following tanker basic training learns the standard operation of the vehicle, but advanced skills are learned from experienced tank commanders and NCOs at their unit," said Sgt Walter Remick, a tank commander with Delta Company, 2-136

Every Soldier meets new challenges as the training year changes and the mission gets more elaborate The composure of a good driver along with the knowledge and leadership of the vehicle commander makes operating the combat vehicle a lot easier even under stressful conditions

"Soldiers are expected to be experienced in all areas of the tank and able to cross train when necessary The importance of training and simulations is essential in reducing risk before full speed operations," said Lanoux, the battalion master gunner for 2-136

Late night track maintenance and early Saturday morning mission briefs before rolling out were the main focus for the unit leadership During drill the crews spent every possible moment together working as a team to complete tasks such as gunnery crew drills, vehicle identification and tank system operations

By Sgt Anthony Housey
Camp Ripley Public Affairs
March 10, 2013


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