This State’s National Guard Boasts The Army’s Best Tank Crew. Now They’re Going Up Against Active-Duty Forces
For the past two years, the North Carolina National Guard has been able to claim the nation’s top tank crew.
Now, the state hopes to be the first unit to defend that title when it sends soldiers to compete against active-duty forces next month.
The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team — the defending Sullivan Cup champions — will send a crew of four soldiers to Fort Benning, Georgia, for the biennial competition.
In 2016, the “Old Hickory” team beat out 15 other crews, including teams from traditional armor powerhouses like those found at Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Fort Stewart, Georgia.
The victory caught many by surprise. A National Guard tank crew had not won the competition before.
But, officials said, the 30th ABCT’s victory proved that National Guard soldiers were just as good — if not better — than their active-duty counterparts
Members of this year’s team know they won’t be overlooked.
“We’re planning on winning,” said 1st Lt. Noah Jawitz, the tank commander. “But we’re not catching them by surprise.”
The top 5 tank crews participate in the final shoot off on the last day of the 2016 Sullivan Cup Competition May 6, 2016, at Fort Benning, Ga..
Jawitz leads a four-man team that is based at a North Carolina National Guard armory in Sanford.
They’ve been training together since January, he said. That training includes physical fitness and time in a tank simulator in Sanford, and weekly trips to Fort Bragg. There, the crew is able to practice using tanks at the North Carolina National Guard’s Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site.
At the large motor pool last week, Jawitz’s team focused their efforts on one of the tasks they anticipate will be part of the Sullivan Cup.
During a chilly morning, the team effectively changed a tire. But instead of working on the family …read more
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