An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : News : Article View
NEWS | June 15, 2023

Oregon Army Guard Conducts Tank Gunnery with Moroccan Army

By Maj. Robert Taylor, 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team

TAN TAN, Morocco - More than two dozen Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team’s 3-116th Combined Arms Battalion conducted tank gunnery training with members of the Royal Moroccan Army in the Tan Tan Training Area, June 8-10 during Exercise African Lion 2023.

The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team is headquartered in Boise, Idaho, with battalions in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Nevada.

Over three days, Soldiers from both armies conducted tank gunnery tables III, V and VI using the Abrams Main Battle Tank. U.S. Soldiers operate the M1A2 SEPV2 version and Moroccan Soldiers operate the M1A1 model.

“The tanks are the same. There’s just a slight difference between them,” said Master Sgt. Aghzaf Abdelkrim, 15 Regiment Royal Char, Royal Moroccan Army.

Abdelkrim completed the U.S. Army’s Master Gunner Common Core course last year. He said he enjoys working with and sharing his culture with American Soldiers. He is training alongside more than two dozen Soldiers from the 3-116th CAB and a few Idaho Army National Guard tank master gunners and instructors.

“Our focus is on target acquisition, troop commands and building relationships with our Moroccan counterparts,” said Master Sgt. Joe Carson, the battalion’s tank master gunner.

The Soldiers are conducting gunnery in preparation for a joint live-fire demonstration later in the exercise. Realistic training during peace increases the capability of both armies to work together and win on the battlefield.

“The Moroccan soldiers are sound tankers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Johnny Barnes, an Idaho Army National Guard 19K M1 armor crewman instructor with the 204th Regional Training Institute. “They show a huge interest in learning how we do things. I would go to war with the Moroccans any day.”

Approximately 8,000 personnel from 18 nations are participating in African Lion 2023, U.S. Africa Command’s largest annual combined joint exercise in Ghana, Morocco, Senegal and Tunisia May 13 to June 18.



Related Articles
Sniper section members fire MK 22 Precision Sniper Rifles issued to the Oregon Army National Guard on Feb. 7, 2024, during the new equipment training range day at Orchard Combat Training Center in Idaho.
Oregon Army National Guard Upgrades Sniper Rifles
By Maj. Wayne Clyne, | Feb. 12, 2024
BOISE, Idaho - The Oregon Army National Guard is modernizing its sniper capabilities with new MK 22 Precision Sniper Rifles.Sgt. Tyler Takagi, a sniper team member with the 41st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, said the Army...

A 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment M1A2 SEPv2 Abrams Tank crew fires their 120 mm main gun as part of the battalion's table VI qualification at Orchard Combat Training Center near Boise, Idaho, July 23, 2023.
Oregon Army National Guard Tankers Train with Live Fire
By Maj. Wayne Clyne, | Aug. 3, 2023
ORCHARD COMBAT TRAINING CENTER, Idaho - The Oregon Army National Guard’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, sharpened its combat skills during annual training in late July, focusing on qualifying tank and Bradley Fighting...

Oregon Army National Guard Sgt. Colton A. Church, an infantryman assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, pauses for a photograph following his presentation ceremony for the Army Soldier’s Medal at the Orchards Combat Training Center near Boise, Idaho, July 21, 2023. Church was award the Soldier’s Medal for saving the life of a passenger stranded in a burning vehicle Sept. 23, 2020.
Oregon National Guard Soldier Recognized for Heroic Actions
By John Hughel, | Aug. 2, 2023
BOISE, Idaho - Maj. Gen. Michael E. Stencel, the adjutant general for the Oregon National Guard, visited the 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, during annual training at the Orchards Combat Operation Center July 21 and...