11th MEU Completes Tank Qualifications

September 13, 2019

Marines assigned to the tank platoon of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment Landing Team, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, completed their semiannual crew qualifications at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, Aug. 21.

The Marines, as a part of the MEU Augmentation Program – Kuwait, began joint limited technical inspections on four M1A1 Abrams tanks and an M88A2 Hercules recovery vehicle to prepare them for upcoming semiannual crew qualifications.

After ensuring the vehicles were fully operational, Marines moved from Camp Arifjan to Camp Buehring after ensuring the vehicles were fully operational and began their live fire exercises. In order to qualify, the tank crews completed a series of ranges that increased in difficulty with multiple engagements occurring from several distances, during both day and night shoots.

190819-M-ET529-1055 Photo by Cpl. Israel Chincio

“This exercise is important because it allows us to stay proficient as tank crews and stay relevant with our qualifications,” said Gunnery Sgt. Travis Colson, 11th MEU tank platoon sergeant. “This exercise benefits me and my Marines tremendously. It gives us the opportunity to train within our MOS and diversify what we are used to.” 

Demonstrating their expeditionary capability, the Marines adapted their schedule to work under a compressed training timeline. The platoon completed 45 days of intensive training in Kuwait. 

The Boxer ARG and 11th MEU are deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations in support of naval operations to ensure maritime stability and security in the Central Region, connecting the Mediterranean and the Pacific through the Western Indian Ocean and three strategic choke points.