European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Apr 29 1968, Page 12

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European Stars And Stripes (Newspaper) - April 29, 1968, Darmstadt, HesseThe Armor it s tankers aweigh ume at 50-ton Metal monsters Are grinding out yardage Over training ranges while gunners go for broke contest tables that make their Schoolboy multiplication seem a snap. You be also All kinds of critics Shadow ing you scouting and scoring. It s enough to give even the most Veteran Tanker the jitters As he com petes in the tank Crew qualification course to Csc. Generals like to look in on the seventh army proceedings too scanning the once a year live fire proceedings fro control towers and sitting in on Brief Ings and debriefings. But four Star ranks breathing Down necks is part of the game during these crucial tests that Are considered usar eur s world series for tankers. This is an unbelievably big thing Tous tankers will Tell you. You re on top of the world if you qualify Down inthe dumps if you Don t. It can make or break a passing score is 840 out of 1,200 for daytime rounds while 720 will get you by at Small yellow tank Silhouette is painted on the m60s to signify the four Man Crew s capability. An engraved Banner is added for Crews that com through with trophies Are awarded to High scorers. The Tough to Csc is conducted under the strict surveillance of Range officers Over a twisting three Quarter Mil course studded with nine fixed and mov ing targets simulating troops tanks an trucks. An assistant Range instructor theman in the control Tower is the instructor rides atop the tank at. An Umpire. A scoring jeep trails behind with officials who determine firing accuracy. They re in Contact with the bunkers from where the targets Are operated. Tank Crew members Are the com Mander Driver loader and gunner. The gunner s responsibility concerns the105mm main gun and 7.62mm coaxial machine gun. The commander operate the 50-caliber machine gun from his tur ret Perch. He s also Able to take Over the main gun if necessary. A Jive ammo is fired from All guns on enemy positions with Points deter mined by the number of hits Speed with which the rounds Are fired and the Man Ner in which orders Are Given an carried out. Tanker Lingo is standardized so tha tall Crews speak and understand the same cryptic commands. Just one word like heat tells the gunner that a High explosive anti tank round i needed. During the Post run debriefing solemn sweating Crews hear their performance sharply Analysed. The Umpire exhaustively explains his grading. Two weeks Are spent warming up forthe table Viii Range 42 showdown. The other seven tables prepare the Crew for their own High the first three tables Are fired at the tank units Home bases while in through Viii Are run at Grafe Woehr. Not until table vhf do the Crews use All their weapons on the same course. Loader slams round into Breech As tankers Zero in on firing Range 45 at Graf Page 12 the stars and stripes i a i. I. �lf4fm Isis observer from 3rd army div watches through scope As tank in backs Romoes through live firing exercise on the Range at Grafe Woehr. Gunner Peers through sights at target Down Range during sex observer keeps careful tabs on action pro Tower during phases when lev a at Home on the Rane massive 155mm self propelled howitzer squats under camouflage net during firing. T he big guns have their Day a Graf. That s when they can Star putting Metal on target in the vast training ground s Impact areas. Forward and Aerial observers Radi Oback instructions on what is required to Zero in the heavy live fire from155mm self propelled howitzers. The 100-Pound shells Streak Over tree lined ridges into the Impact area 8,000 Yards s All part of the artillery s annual 48-hour army training tests run along the lines of realistic situations. All aspects of the units operations regraded communications mobility maintenance and 65 seconds of firing Forward observers Only a few Hundred Yard from the target in a Hillside Bunker relay corrections Back to such units As the 3rd army div s 2nd in 27th arty from Friedberg. A second round is loaded the Gunis adjusted for effective fire and the round is on its Way to the.20,000-Squareyard target. A third round is ready to fire i another 10 seconds. The Mission is to fire on the enemy and destroy him Clearing the Way for spearhead in Fantry and Armor with the gun Crews the Bat teries carry troops of infantrymen who guard the firing position. In addition there Are the clerks Cooks suppl personnel and maintenance men. One Battery c of the 2nd in 6tharty moved its 18 pieces of rolling Stock from Convoy into firing position Complete with defense perimeter in 2 minutes believed to be a record at least for the battalion. Spec. 4 Robert Griffith of 27th arty plots Impact Points of 155mm rounds. The stars and stripes Page 13

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