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Cavalry troops perfect tank operations day and night

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Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, U.S. Army

Soldiers in an M1A2 Abrams tank with Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, roll off of the Clabber Creek Multiuse Range on June 6. A platoon consisting of four tanks qualified on the range for both day and night operations.

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Abrams crews with Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, completed their platoon qualification table, also known as Table XII, on June 6.

“All of the platoons qualify on both day and night live-fire exercises,” said Spc. Jonathan Woods. “With four tanks in a platoon and a crew of four soldiers in each tank, everyone has to be able to do their job efficiently at this range.”

The company held its battlefield-simulated qualification at Clabber Creek Multiuse range for the day and night fire.

During the training, after all rounds were spent, a compartment fire was simulated to evaluate the procedures the crews had in place.

The team evacuated, and those procedures included turning the engine off, repositioning the rounds and grabbing sensitive items, said Sgt. Thomas Chamberlin.

Uninjured crew members evacuated the “casualty,” lifting him out of the tank to a safe distance. A guard pulled security as the rest of the crew provided casualty care.

When the tanks returned to the staging area, the company commander spoke with the tanker crews to express how he thought they performed.

“You guys did a great job out there, everyone did what they were supposed to do,” said Capt. Sean Clifford, company commander. “I’m proud of you all.”

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Sgt. Brandon Banzhaf, U.S. Army

Soldiers in an M1A2 Abrams tank with Delta Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, roll off of the Clabber Creek Multiuse Range on June 6. A platoon consisting of four tanks qualified on the range for both day and night operations.

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