FORT HOOD, Texas- Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, completed tank mounted maneuvers at Dalton Mountain Multiuse Range, here, Aug. 9-12, for the upcoming "Black Jack" gunnery.

Tankers trained in driver's familiarization, boresighting, acquiring targets, and assembly area procedures.

"Our platoon made progress in crew and individual tasks this week and we feel that given our current glide path, we will be able to tackle the upcoming gunnery," said 2nd Lt. Kaleb Blankenship.

The advanced training used air-ground integration, supported by elements from 1st Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, 1st Air Cav. Bde.

"Training using helecopters really increased the excitement of the field problem and gave us a new respect for integrated training," said Spc. Richard Deleon, one of the Black Knight troopers on the range.

Led by company commanders, Capt. Jay Smith and Capt. David Niederauer, Soldiers from 1st Bn, 5th Cav. Regt., trained on individual and crew level skills needed for combat operations. This was the first chance in over a year-and-half for Soldiers to participate in mounted maneuver training.

Lt. Col Barry Daniels, commander for 1st Bn, 5th Cav. Regt., said the training directives designated mounted maneuver training as integral to the war fighting capability of his unit.

The Black Knights training regime is part of Daniels' "blocking and tackling" approach to improving the battalion's war fighting capability. By emphasizing individual and crew level proficiencies and focusing on the combined arms core fighting abilities, he believes a lethal and highly trained fighting force can remain flexible and accomplish a wide range of battlefield tasks.

Tank maneuvers are the mainstay of the armor companies' core competencies needed to accomplish the battalion commander's philosophy.

The Black Knights will continue gunnery training throughout September, culminating in tank gunnery qualification in October. Until then, Black Knight Soldiers will continue to train on basic skills in preparation for gunnery.