FORT BENNING, GA (WXTX) - They started bright and early this morning, soldiers from Fort Knox unloading more than 150 tanks from their Armor School in Kentucky.
Fort Benning's new addition of the Armor School, and their tanks, will completely change the way Fort Benning trains.
"It's very crucial, every infantry and armor officer will be trained here at Fort Benning, Georgia. By October we will train 51% of the United States Army," said C.W. 4 Curtis Grover, Logistics Officer, DOTS
With each tank weighing at least 7 tons, ground guides surround the tanks being unloaded, one in front and several on the sides to ensure precision and safety.
Safety Specialist Jim Messer says these tanks can't just stop when something is in front of them, "With the rail head options you really have to make sure that the ground guides and the units are in communication," said Platoon Sgt., David Flores with the 316th Cavalry. He loves riding the tanks. "It's actually fun being in there and driving it. The training side it gets repetitive being inside and actually driving and shooting the Bradley's and the tanks."
Officer Grover recalls when he was in Germany with a 2nd Lt. from the infantry who had never seen or been in a tank. He's excited that will never be the case at Fort Benning again, "The army has always trained as we fought but now that we brought the armor here we can now have a combined arms with the infantry and armor together."
As of Tuesday, Fort Benning has about 72% of the tanks from Fort Knox. They'll start training troops here on the tanks October 1st. "You go through intense gunnery sessions which is probably about 2 weeks to a couple of months from shooting fake bullets to shooting real bullets."
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