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Staff Sgt. Daryl Carroll loads an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Staff Sgt. Daryl Carroll loads an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Staff Sgt. Daryl Carroll loads an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Staff Sgt. Daryl Carroll loads an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Sgt. John Kopeck fires an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Sgt. John Kopeck fires an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. ()

Soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team load a 120 mm mortar inside of an M113 mortar carrier, during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team load a 120 mm mortar inside of an M113 mortar carrier, during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team fire a 120 mm mortar inside of an M113 mortar carrier, during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team fire a 120 mm mortar inside of an M113 mortar carrier, during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Pvt. Dylan Calkins mans a .50-caliber machine gun mounted to an M113 mortar carrier, during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Pvt. Dylan Calkins mans a .50-caliber machine gun mounted to an M113 mortar carrier, during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Sgt. John Kopeck fires an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Sgt. John Kopeck fires an M240 machine gun mounted to an M1120 HEMTT Load Handling System during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

Empty cartidges and links after a few rounds of live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

Empty cartidges and links after a few rounds of live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

M109 Paladins fire during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.

M109 Paladins fire during live-fire training at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Halfway through their rotation in Europe, soldiers with the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, caught up with live-fire training in Germany.

The Grafenwoehr ranges echoed with explosions and gunfire when the 2ABCT soldiers conducted a combined-arms, live-fire exercise, employing 120 mm mortars, M109 Paladin 155 mm artillery and M1A2 Abrams tanks.

The midpoint milestone was also marked with convoy protection drills, when Army truck drivers practiced shooting targets with machine guns mounted on their vehicles.

“So far this has been a great rotation,” said 2ABCT soldier Sgt. John Kopeck. “We’ve been really busy with training. More than we would have back home. Our newer soldiers are getting fast-tracked into their jobs and learning what it means to be a soldier.”

The 2ABCT began its tour in Europe this September; it is the second armored brigade to spend a nine-month rotation on the Continent in support of operation Atlantic Resolve, the U.S. commitment to deter a more assertive Russia.

egnash.martin@stripes.comTwitter: @Marty_Stripes


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