Troopers with the US Army’s Greywolf brigade became the first to receive the Army’s newest version of the M1 Abrams Tank, the M1A2C (SEP v.3).
The new tank, which rectifies many of the space, weight and power issues identified during Operation Iraqi Freedom, was delivered to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, at Fort Hood, Texas, on July 20.
In addition to having improved survivability, the M1A2 SEPv.3 can host any mature technology the Army deems operationally relevant. Improvements focus on increasing the electrical power margin, vehicle health management systems, integrated counter-improvised explosive device protection, a new auxiliary power unit, embedded training and an ammunition data link.
The overall modernization of the Greywolf brigade marks a milestone in armed forces history. The new addition of the M1A2C allows the brigade, and Army, to meet new limits when fighting adversaries and engaging in large-scale ground combat operations.
“This is the first time we have fielded a new tank in about 16 years,” said Lt. Col. Nicholas C. Sinclair, Commander of 3rd Batt. 8th Cav. Reg. “We will be the first ones trained on this so it’s really special to us to make sure we’re doing it right.”
Over the course of the next few weeks Greywolf troopers will become familiar with the new equipment. They plan to ensure every crew member knows how to operate, maintain, and utilize the tank in preparation of fielding the equipment.
Sinclair stated, inside every tank is an embedded trainer that allows the troopers to get repetitions in while the tank is stationary rather than moving to a new location to conduct simulated training.
The embedded trainer is one of many modernizations made to the tank, but it’s not the only thing that makes it superior to its predecessors. There are updated firing systems that help build combat power as well.
“These are lightyears ahead of the tanks we had before,” said Sgt. 1st Class Kurt Singer, a platoon sergeant in the Greywolf brigade. “The computer systems in these and the fire-control systems are amazing. You become more lethal, more aggressive, and all aspects of the tanks are better.”
The troopers are now expected to take the tanks to the field for gunnery live-fire exercises.