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Army Guard unit among first Army-wide to receive updated battle tank

By Army National Guard Sgt. Darron Salzer | National Guard Bureau | June 6, 2012

ARLINGTON, Va. - Soldiers from the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team-made up of units from the Oregon, Idaho and Montana Army National Guard - are the first Army Guard unit, and among the first Army-wide, to receive some of the Army's most up-to-date fighting vehicles.

The 116th CBCT showcased their new M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, M3A3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicles and the M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank System Enhancement Package Version II, during a rollout ceremony for the public June 2 in Boise, Idaho, where the 116th CBCT is headquartered.

"It takes a special kind of Soldier with intellect, capability, commitment and just war-fight experience," said Army Maj. Gen. Timothy Kadavy, deputy director Army National Guard, of what it takes to operate such an advanced fighting system.

"We have that in the Army National Guard and here in Idaho, particularly with the 116th [CBCT], and that is why these vehicles are here," Kadavy said.

The Soldiers seemed just as enthusiastic about the new vehicles and were eager to show the public their skills.

"[The Army] having the confidence in us to operate this equipment shows that we can operate at the exact same level as the active component can … if not better," said Army Staff Sgt. Michael Bautista, a member of the 116th CBCT.

The 116th CBCT, who returned from a deployment to Iraq in 2011, is scheduled to receive 81 M2A3 Bradleys and 58 M1A2 Abrams tanks.