Kan. National Guard begins training on new tanks

FORT RILEY, Kan. (KSNT) The Kansas National Guard has started training its combined arms battalion on the army’s new tanks.

Kansas National Guard’s 2137 combined arms battalion has started training on their new M1A2 tanks and Bradley’s.

Grantham Sponsel says training on them has been a learning process.

“Nothing really in this world would get you ready for it cause I mean that’s 72 tons of, meant to kill people with, you know,” Sponsel said.

The Bradley’s are mainly used for transporting solders, to and from locations.

The M1’s are used to engage combat.

All 29 tanks have state of the art equipment like this rear view camera.

“The M1A2 set V2 tanks is a digital platform, which has a digital fire control system, which in turn allows the tank crew to engage in multiple enemies simultaneously,” Lt. Col. Steve Denney said.

Only four soldiers can fit into one of these tanks, each has a specific job they have to do in order to operate it properly during combat.

Those jobs are driver, gunner, loader and DC, the person responsible for communications.

Crew members are trained in all positions.

Sponsel is a loader.

“You can feel it throughout the whole thing, I mean, close your eyes so that you don’t get dust in your eyes when the gun goes off on the dirt and everything around,” Sponsel said.

These types of tanks have already been used in combat, including in Iraq.

Each crew member must complete 55 hours of training.

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