Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It's not Tee Cover Ride...

Carren and I chuckl everytime we hear that mispronounced.

Here's the backstory:

I am an armor officer, which means that I command tanks. I started with four, as a tank platoon leader, and graduated to fourteen as a tank company commander. Hopefully, I'll someday command an armor battalion of forty-four tanks, or a modular battalion of 30 tanks and 40 bradley fighting vehicles.

In summary, I know tanks.

My position on the tank is the tank commander. The other crew positions are the gunner, who shoots the big pointy thing, the driver, who squishes things, and the loader, who (among other things) ensures he loads the proper type of 80+ pound round into the breach, closes the breach, arms the gun and gets the hell out of it's way, all in about 6 seconds.

But I command the tank, and control the actions of everyone on board. From My Position... in the tank, I can control the turret, the main gun, coaial machine gun, and my .50 caliber machine gun. I have a big joystick (and joystick is a wonderfully accurate name for it) that I can use to control the turret, main gun, and coax. Usually, I tell the gunner where to point it and he engages the targets when I tell him to fire. Sometimes, for a bevy of reasons, the tank commander has to grab his joystick--called the tank commander's override, (because when it is grasped, it takes control of the turret and guns away from the gunner's control handles)and fight the tank's weapons systems from his position, instead of telling the gunner where and when to shoot.

When the tank commander does this, he gives a "fire command" a series of short orders to alert the crew to perform certain duties pertaining the nature of the engagement. Normally, it would sound like this" (assume the tank is in the defense, and the target it's trying to kill is a personnel carrier.)
TC: "Gunner H.E.A.T (high explosive anti-tank round), PC (personnel carrier)"
Gunner: "Identified" (the gunner sees the target)
Loader: (after loading the round, armong the gun, and getting out of the way) "Up"
TC: "Driver, move up." (to move up in the battle position, to clear the gun so you don't shoot the berm you are hidiing behind)
TC: (after making sure the gun is clear) "Driver, stop."
TC: "Fire"
Gunner: "On the way!" (I am pulling the trigger, right now.)
TC: (after making sure the target is hit) "Target, cease fire. Driver back up."

We do this every time, for every target. Although the command may change a little, depending on offense or defense, target type, ammo selection, etc., we do it this way every time, on every tank.

Now, if I (the tank commander) decide that for any reason I need to take over for the gunner, and pull the trigger myself, it sounds like this: (assume the tank is moving (offense), the gun would already be loaded and armed (no point in going hunting with an empty gun).
TC: "From my position... On the way!"

The "from my position" tells everyone that I am firing the gun, not the gunner. On the way tells them that in about .0001 seconds after the "way!" I'll be pulling the trigger and the gun will go boom.

So I am taking total resopnsibility when I say "From My Position..." and warning others that someting is about to have a bad day with "On the way!"

And the tool I use to do that--the T.C. (Tank Commander's) Override.

The name of the blog is a warning--I am fixin' to lay waste, and I take responsibility for what I say (with the exception of what I mention in the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.) And the tool I use to do that...

Amazing that a stupid dogface could figure that out, huh, mr kerry?


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