The first five of 188 tanks arrive from Fort Knox, Kentucky

By Roslyn Giles  - email | bio

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - First people, now equipment have started to fizzle in from Fort Knox, Kentucky to their new home at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning. The first five tanks from the Armor School arrived at Fort Benning.

A group of soldiers gathered for a short briefing on safety at the Orchille Rail Head at Harmony Church where five M1A2 Abrams main battle tanks were located before moving the tanks to the motor pool at Kelley Hill.

"It's historic, this marriage between the infantry and the armor and it's the first day that the hardware, people have been on the ground, but this is the first day hardware portion has made its presence," said Officer Joe Massouda, MCOE Support Operations.

After the briefing, the process of unloading the tanks which weigh 70 tons each began, followed by a road march to Kelley Hill. The tanks will undergo digital multi-range testing before being housed at their permanent home at Harmony Church which is currently under construction.

"This will ensure that the tanks have armor accuracy tests and a few other things before they actually start negotiating the determining if there are any issues with the line of sight or with the gun," added Sergeant Vernon Prohaska, Relocation Operations.

The 1500 horse-powered tanks will subsequently be used to train entry level lieutenants and privates on how the tanks shoot, move and communicate.

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