By Mr. Bryan Gatchell (Benning)May 2, 2018
FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 2, 2018) - After the first full day of competition May 1 at Fort Benning, Georgia, the 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, took the lead in the Sullivan Cup, the biennial competition to determine the top four-person tank crew in the world.
The 316th Cavalry Brigade hosts the competition to highlight the tank's platform lethality and application of Integrated Weapons Training Strategy.
To open the competition, 1st Squadron, 16th Cavalry Regiment, 316th Cav. Bde., held a live-fire demonstration April 30 for the public at Red Cloud Range to showcase combined arms operations, integration of tank maneuvers, unmanned aerial vehicles surveillance, and mortar fires while defeating an enemy attack. The audience, who listened through double hearing protection, heard narration of the condensed event and the radio broadcast of the participants between the concussive firing of the tanks' main guns.
During the first full day of competition May 1, competitors performed a stress shoot adapted specifically for tank crews and a ranked combat maneuver exercise.
The timed stress shoot started as the crew members moved through an obstacle course. After the obstacles, they shot 9mm pistols at paper targets. They then moved to a tank for cover and shot an M4 standing, kneeling and prone. The competitors then entered the tank and shot the M240 from the loader's station. The second two tank crew members began the obstacles once the first two started shooting the M240. All four crew members helped move simulated casualties away from the firing line to stop the time.
The second event of the day took place in the Close Combat Tactical Trainer at the Clarke Simulation Center at Harmony Church. Four tank crews at a time started in predetermined positions at different corners of a simulated maneuver exercise grounds, where they performed combat operations. The tanks then notionally moved to a central objective and held it against the other tanks. The last tanks standing in the initial rounds moved on to a final round, and the first through fourth placing crews gained points.
The top five competitors after the first day of competition are:
- First: 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division
- Second: 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division
- Third: 1st ABCT, 1st CD
- Fourth: 2nd ABCT, 1st Armored Division
- Fifth: 2nd ABCT, 3rd Infantry Division
During the second and third days of the competition, tank crews are set to conduct a live-fire exercise at the Digital Multipurpose Range Complex to test platform lethality according to the Integrated Weapons Training Strategy, each conducting six daytime and four nighttime engagements, firing every weapon system on the tank under different situations, and conducting a call for fire and a call for medical evacuation.
Also, they are scheduled conduct a situational training exercise by preparing for combat operations, engaging with opposition forces after occupying a hasty battle position, reacting to a simulated chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) attack, reacting to indirect fire, conducting an evacuation drill, and breaking and resetting track and performing preventive maintenance checks and services.
To see photos from the Sullivan Cup, visit the "PHOTO ALBUM" link in the "Related Links" section on this page.