30th Armored Brigade Combat team conducts Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise
Story by LTC Cynthia King on 09/21/2019
“It demonstrates the firepower, precision, and lethality of an Armored Brigade Combat Team,” said U.S. Army Col. Robert Bumgardner, commander, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, North Carolina Army National Guard, when describing the Combined Arms Live-Fire Exercise (CALFX).
Delta-Troop, 1-150th Cavalry Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, participated in the CALFX in the vicinity of Fort Bliss, Texas, Sept. 20, 2019. Crews operating the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, mortars, and M109 Paladins were able to exercise their weapons’ capabilities on one of the largest military training ranges in the United States.
“We had a tank company in the fight, with mortars and a field artillery battery in support,” said Bumgardner. “The scenario included a passage of lines through the Scout platoons, moving forward to destroy the enemy.”
The CALFX was the culminating event for the unit, as they are mobilized to support Operation Spartan Shield in the Middle East. The tank crews had to meet the table gunnery requirements before advancing to the complexities of the live-fire.
Throughout the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team’s training time at Fort Bliss, they received support and assistance from First Army, who served in the roles of observers, controllers, and advisers.
Joining the CALFX was U.S. Army Col. Jacob Larkowich, commander 188th Infantry Brigade, First Army Division East, who stated they were observing the training to assist with any safety measures.
“This event is the unit’s opportunity to execute all of the skills they’ve built upon,” said Larkowich.
U.S. Army Lt. Col. Clifford Brackman, commander 1-150th Cavalry Regiment, 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, said that the tanks involved in the CALFX were supported by unit sections with 125mm mortar fire and 155mm cannons from field artillery.
“Any chance they have to launch rounds downrange, they are fired-up,” said Brackman when describing the morale of his Soldiers.
Bumgardner equated the importance of readiness and proficiency of these crews to how U.S. armored forces performed during the Persian Gulf War in 1991.
“While technology may have advanced since the tank battles in the Gulf War, one thing has never changed and that is the lethality, physical toughness, and mental resolve of the U.S. Soldier in combat,” said Bumgardner.
Brackman said that the training ranges and facilities at Fort Bliss have been outstanding for his Soldiers. He added that they always look forward to any opportunity to demonstrate their military proficiency and skills.
“This is how commanders build trust in their troops,” said Brackman. “We know these Soldiers are ready for their mission, and combat.”
The 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team is comprised of units from the North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Ohio Army National Guard. They will support Task Force Spartan in training and working with host nation partners in the Middle East, to assist them maintain stability in the region.