By Story by Staff Sgt. Michael West
2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division
CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait – 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team held a SABOT Academy socially distanced graduation ceremony for Kuwaiti Land Force Soldiers, Kuwaiti National Guardsmen, and Soldiers within the unit, near Camp Buehring, Kuwait on January 5, 2021.
KLF, KNG, and 2ABCT Soldiers participated in over 80 instructional classroom hours. Topics of instruction included: proper and safe range operations, range setup and scenario development, ammunition characteristics, tank and Bradley fire control systems, 25mm and 120mm gun theory, and advanced conduct of fire.
The SABOT Academy’s makeup included a total of 28 students with 14 coming from 2ABCT subordinate units and 14 from Kuwait Land Forces and Kuwaiti National Guard.
“This course is intended to prepare Soldiers for the rigors of Master Gunner School,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jackson Leflar, SABOT Academy instructor and 2ABCT Abrams Bradley fighting vehicle master gunner. “SABOT Academy was designed more as a crash course and personal assessment of the ability to process and retain the information that is being taught.”
For more than four decades, it has been the charge of the master gunner to ensure that armor officers and noncommissioned officers possess the skills necessary to prepare and train Soldiers for all aspects of gunnery and modern combat operations.
The graduation ceremony was attended by distinguished guests to include, Task Force Spartan Deputy Commanding General of Maneuver, Brig. Gen. Ronald W. Burkett, the 35th Armor Brigade Commander, Brig. Gen. Al-Zubi Mubarak, and other leaders from the KLF, KNG and 2ABCT battalion leadership.
Brig. Gen. Mubarak remarked in his address during the ceremony on the importance that armor troops play on the battlefield in winning at a strategic level.
"We were really pleased for this great opportunity, not just to bring in our Kuwaiti partners and have them sit-in on our 10-day course," said Col. Michael P. Wagner, 2ABCT Commander. "It was also about developing and training both our teams to gain critical knowledge and confidence on operating a multitude of weapon systems. We were able to reinforce Soldiers from both our formations so that they can excel in the Master Gunner course when given the chance."
The SABOT Academy identified eight Soldiers from the three formations who are ready for the 100-day Master Gunner School held at Fort Benning, Georgia.
U.S. ARMY RESERVE
DEPT. OF DEFENSE
U.S. CENTRAL COMMAND
DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY
BEST WARRIOR COMPETITION