FORT HOOD, Texas-- Soldiers from the 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, carried out multiple gunnery tables that concluded March 2, 2018 at Fort Hood, Texas.
These gunnery tables took place only three months after the brigade had returned from a nine-month deployment in Kuwait. The 3rd ABCT's reset phase happened faster than usual, which reinforces the Army's commitment to sustaining combat readiness.
U.S. Army Capt. Nicholas Dean, commander of company B, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, outlined some of the challenges his unit had to overcome while resetting equipment, assigning new personnel and executing training to achieve the required capabilities necessary to enter the Train-Ready Force Pool.
"Since we got back, there were a lot of transitions with Soldiers leaving the unit, to getting all of our equipment back, but everyone put in the long hours and strides needed to ensure that we were combat effective as soon as possible," he said.
Having just gotten the bulk of their vehicles back, completing this important task is usually not done for some time but the entire brigade is ahead of schedule.
Although the brigade prepared quickly, it is not an easy task. Each unit has to prepare to be on mission for days at a time, in this case weeks.
U.S. Army Sgt. Rebecca Beesley, a medic attached to company B, 1st Squadron, 12th Cavalry Regiment, explained the importance of preparing for these ranges.
"On these ranges we're far from the rest of the base, in the field, so we need to be ready for anything. For example, earlier in the week it was thunder-storming and if you don't have your wet weather gear you'll get wet then sick and it'll take you out of the fight. Now we're missing someone who is a vital part of our team," she said.
After all the preparations were made, the brigade moved out into the field. The tables saw Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Abrams Battle Tanks firing on multiple ranges in order to validate their training.
Spc. Bradley Niemann, a tank gunner with company B, 1-12 CAV, echoed the focus and sentiment of many of his fellow Soldiers out on the range.
"Shooting gunnery gives the company level an idea of the lethality of the tank crews, as well as giving the crews time to better prepare for the battlefield," he said. "Along with that comes a lot of moving pieces that can be hard to manage, but when you find that target and the tank commander gives you the call to fire it's the greatest feeling in the world."
The top tank crews from each battalion will compete for the right to represent the 3rd ABCT and 1st CAV at the Sullivan Cup, at Fort Benning, Ga. in May. In addition, the brigade is preparing to support their Army Total Force partners, the 155th ABCT from the Mississippi Army National Guard, during their multi-echelon integrated brigade training (MBIT) at Fort Bliss, Tx.