National Guard soldiers are among the most highly trained warriors in the world. They also commandeer some of the most advanced machines ever created. The M1 Abrams is the main battle tank of the Guard and packs quite a punch in combat.
The original M1 Abrams went into service in 1980. Since then, these tanks have seen combat in the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan, and the Iraq War. Over the years, a number of modifications have been made. The M1A1 and M1A2 were the culminations of these improvements. With another more advanced model under development (the M1A3), the Abrams will likely stay in service with the National Guard for multiple decades.
The current M1A2 boasts a massive 105mm rifled main gun. The tank’s engine is no less impressive, sporting 1,500 horsepower. This power enables the Abrams to travel at a max speed of over 40 miles per hour. This maneuverability contributes to the tank’s success in combat.
As an Abrams crewmember, you will be trained in one of four specialties. The gunner is responsible for operating the main gun and taking out heavy enemy units. The loader is in charge of making sure the reloading process goes smoothly so that the unit can keep pounding the enemy. As an Abrams driver, you will learn how to traverse some of the most rugged terrain and utilize the tank’s maneuvering cabability. The commander ties together all the crewmembers’ abilities by guiding them through the battlefield and cooperating with other Abrams crews.
The Abrams is one of the most feared and combat effective battle tanks seen on today’s battlefields. The National Guard has hundreds of these tanks in service, and you could be one of the next crewmembers to operate this machine.