FORT STEWART, Ga. – The "Spartan Brigade," 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, hosted a media day live fire demonstration and showcased its modernized vehicle platforms in a static display, Oct. 21 on Fort Stewart. The vehicles featured were the M1A2 SEPv3 Abrams tank, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, the Joint Assault Bridge, the M2A4 Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle, and the M109A7 Paladin howitzer and its accompanying M992A3 Field Artillery Ammunition Support Vehicle.
"The Spartan Brigade is honored to demonstrate the Army's irreversible momentum in modernizing," said Col. Ethan J. Diven, commander of the 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. "The Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. James C. McConville recently said at the 2022 AUSA Conference that 'You don’t need armor if you don’t want to win.' And, he said, 'you don’t win by being on the defense, you have to go on the offense.' Our brigade is the proof that armor still matters, even in the multi-domain operational fight."
Modernization for the Spartan Brigade began in spring of 2021 through divesting its older vehicle platforms as part of the Army’s new Regionally Aligned Readiness and Modernization Model. The brigade received its first modernized vehicles on July 28, 2021, the new Paladin howitzers, and concluded on Sept. 27, 2022, with the firing of its last modernized Abrams tanks. Although the brigade conducted the final test and evaluation of the AMPV this past July, the "Raider Brigade," 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID, is currently slated to be the first unit to receive them during its upcoming modernization.
“The Army has been investing a significant amount of money and effort to ensure our Soldiers have the most modern equipment,” said Lt. Col. James "Jim" E. Perkins, commander of "Mustang Squadron," 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “And that gives them an edge on the battlefield, so if they ever go to battle, they know they have the most lethal, most accurate and most reliable equipment possible to give them the best chance in fighting and coming home to their Families.”
The brigade is now on glide path to execute a rotation at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, in late winter 2023 to validate its readiness and proficiency to deploy, fight and win wherever and whenever the nation calls.
Some of the new features on the modernized vehicle platforms include enhanced armor for added protection, increased technology for better battlefield situational awareness, increased efficiency in power distribution and better supply-chain due to commonality of parts with the Bradley or Abrams platforms.
“The 3rd Infantry Division will turn into the most modernized division next spring," Diven said. “And our sister brigade, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, ‘the Raiders,’ just returned from the [U.S. European Command] area of responsibility on a six month near no-notice deployment where they were serving alongside allies and partners, deterring and reassuring. They will start their modernization window, have already turned in their equipment and are now conducting the training, and so they are on a similar path to us. So, over the next about eight to 12 months, they’ll receive training and become equally modernized.”
Although the 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID, completed modernization on Sept. 27, it will continue to provide lessons learned to the Army and its sister brigade, 1st ABCT, 3rd ID, as it goes through modernization between now and the spring of 2023.
"That makes us feel good knowing that we went through modernization together on a new piece of equipment, and we finished it together," said Spc. Cameron Ford, an armor Soldier assigned to the 6th Sqn., 8th Cav. Regt., 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. "The hours we put into, they might be a lot, but overall, it really comes down to making yourself a better person, a better crew and a better company working together as a whole. And that's something that I think we do really well together."