American tank crews have failed to place in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, a competition co-hosted and sponsored by US Army Europe. The three-day event gathered the best NATO crews to compete against each other in a set of armored warfare tests.I've been chewing on this for days. The usual anti-US muppets have been dropping this news in the comments section of this blog, I've gotten tons of e-mails about it....its been a major talking point.
The Strong Europe Tank Challenge was jointly hosted from May 10 to 12 by the US Army and the German Bundeswehr at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The three-day event involved crews from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland and Slovenia – which each sent platoons of four tanks – and the United States, which sent two platoons of four tanks.
The tank competition appears to be the first of its type to be held by NATO in Europe since 1991, the year the USSR dissolved. Designed to develop armored warfare skills, the tank challenge is also in line with the NATO trend of planning to counter what it calls an “assertive Russia.”
Crews taking part in the competition conducted either offensive or defensive operations, including an obstacle course with 13 different sections, a shooting competition, and tank-based navigation. The platoons were given points for each event in an effort to gain the highest score out of 1,000.
In one event, competing crews had to correctly identify 25 “friendly” and “threatening” vehicles while traveling around a course. Other events involved operating in the aftermath of a simulated chemical weapons attack, dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and managing medical emergencies, according to a US Army press release.
The German team took top honors, followed by the Danish tank crew in second. Third place went to Poland. The teams representing the US Army – which sponsored and advertised the event on social media – failed to make the top three.
Notably, all the teams were allowed to use tanks of slightly different types. The German platoon brought a Leopard 2A6, one of the best NATO-developed tanks that features a modified turret, enhanced mine resistance and a longer main gun barrel.
But I wonder.
No excuses and the Army needs to tell us what went wrong. As much as I pound on them I do expect excellence from our brother service. Especially in armored warfare...MOST DEFINITELY in TANK WARFARE!
So what are some of the theories? Some are saying that we didn't have the best crews available. Others are saying that its a budget play and that the Army is using the contest to push the McMaster's theme of the US falling behind other nations in armored warfare. A few are saying that its a by product of bouncing soldiers around the globe...that this is just the latest example of how our forces are being eroded by too many deployments, training exercises etc...
I really don't know. What I do know is that from what I've read the Germans and Poles skull stomped us and us beating the Italians was a close run thing.
Whatever the reason, this is an unsatisfactory performance. I wanted to look away but I can't. US Army Europe needs to tell us the how's, who's and what for's.