The Bayonet

Tuesday, May. 20, 2014

Army crowns top tank crew

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Fort Benning's 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, beat out 16 other tank crews May 15 to win the second biennial Sullivan Cup competition on Harmony Church.

The crew included Spc. Benjamin Whiteman, Sgt. Kevin Luu, Sgt. 1st Class James Grider and Pfc. Thomas Carter, who said the crew trained several months to earn the trophy and keep it on Fort Benning turf.

"We showed (other teams) that if you want to compete at our house, you have to bring your top game," Carter said.

Grider said they were confident and relied on teamwork throughout the competition.

"You don't get anywhere on your own," he said. "Without all these guys, we wouldn't be standing where we are today."

Taking second- and third-place spots, respectively, were the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, of Fort Hood, Texas, and 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, currently stationed in Dongducheon, South Korea.

The Sullivan Cup included four days of physical, tactical and precision gunnery tasks, as the crews endured heat, rain and fatigue through a series of day and night challenges.

The last four crews competed in a final shoot out, graded by identifying targets and engage them with various weapons.

The competition was named for retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, who attended the competition and congratulated the crews. Sullivan said the event represents the excellence in the Army and tank crews who use the tasks from the competition to prepare for real-world training and wars.

"I'm proud of them ... this is not an amateur sport, this is a performance of standard," Sullivan said.

"Thanks to all of the competitors and everyone who made this possible. It's a world-class event in the Army and that we can be proud of it and I am proud to be included."

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