Zagan, Poland— Tank and Bradley crews from 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade, 4th Infantry Division conducted their first zero and Live-Fire Accuracy Screening Tests at Presidential Range in Swietozow, Poland, January 16.
After traveling approximately 6,400 miles, transporting 3,500 personnel, and 2,700 vehicles, 3rd ABCT is actively training to ensure their combat vehicles and crews are certified before deploying across Europe for use in training with partner nations.
According to Staff Sgt. William Gunther, battalion tank master gunner assigned to 1st Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, 4th Infantry Division the Soldiers worked diligently, day and night, to ensure the tanks were off-loaded and properly maintained to be able to conduct the live-fire training.
Not only were they required to conduct proper preventive maintenance, checks and services, but the crews have to conduct gunnery skills testing including loading rounds, bore-sighting, fire drills and many others. And all of this has to be done in a compressed time-frame.
“If you look at the amount of time, we’ve only been on the ground less than ten days, and we’re already conducting a live-fire accuracy screen table showing that we are building combat power rapidly and the speed of assembly that comes with it,” said Lt. Col. Stephen Capehart, battalion commander for 1st Battalion, 68th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division.
The unit trained at their home station in Fort Carson, Colorado prior to a 30-day training rotation at the National Training Center in Fort Erwin, California to prepare for this mission.
“We have been training for this mission for the last year and I think it shows the agility of an armored brigade that can be able to push combat power forward, build it and get it out here firing within ten days,” said Capehart. “It’s amazing to be able to see that and the support that we’ve received at echelon made this happen.”
According to Capehart, within the next month, his battalion will be positioned in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia training alongside multinational allies.
“Readiness doesn’t end, we will build combat power, get validated, get ready to fight and then continue the mission,” he said.
The arrival of 4th ID marks the start of back-to-back rotations of armored brigades in Europe as part of Atlantic Resolve. This rotation will enhance deterrence capabilities in the region, improve the U.S. ability to respond to potential crises and defend allies and partners in the European community. U.S. forces will focus on strengthening capabilities and sustaining readiness through bilateral and multinational training and exercises.