Support our mission
 
Ukrainian tankers drive a T-64BM tank through a car set up as an obstacle during a portion of the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Ukrainian tankers drive a T-64BM tank through a car set up as an obstacle during a portion of the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Ukrainian tankers drive a T-64BM tank through a car set up as an obstacle during a portion of the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Ukrainian tankers drive a T-64BM tank through a car set up as an obstacle during a portion of the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
The aftermath of a Ukrainian T-64BM tank driving through the front end of this car, set up as an obstacle at the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
The aftermath of a Ukrainian T-64BM tank driving through the front end of this car, set up as an obstacle at the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Down the barrel of a German Leopard 2A6 tank participating in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Down the barrel of a German Leopard 2A6 tank participating in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
French Leclerc tanks speed to their targets at the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
French Leclerc tanks speed to their targets at the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Observers from the United States, Ukraine, Germany and five other nations watch the live-fire portion of the French army tank demonstration during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Observers from the United States, Ukraine, Germany and five other nations watch the live-fire portion of the French army tank demonstration during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Ukrainian tankers atop a T-64BM tank get ready to maneuver their tank through obstacles during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017.
Ukrainian tankers atop a T-64BM tank get ready to maneuver their tank through obstacles during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
French tankers firing on targets in Leclerc tanks during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11.
French tankers firing on targets in Leclerc tanks during the Strong Europe Tank Challenge at Grafenwoehr, Germany, Thursday, May 11. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Austria came out on top Friday in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, an annual event in which tankers are tested in armored warfare skills.

The challenge pitted tank platoons of six NATO allies and partner nations in a variety of events that tested the tankers’ skills. Germany came in second place, and the United States secured third place.

It was a tough competition. France, Ukraine, and Poland also competed in the challenge, all scoring very close to the top three. The challenge tested the soldiers’ talent and ability inside and outside their tanks, giving every country a fair shot at winning by not focusing on the technical specifications of their vehicles. The events featured offensive and defensive operations, an obstacle course and a combat pistol shoot.

The competition allowed the multinational group of tankers to share techniques with one another to improve overall effectiveness. The Ukrainian platoon offered particular insight because of their recent experience fighting against enemy tanks.

Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, the comander of U.S. Army Europe, said the challenge was designed to foster both a competitive and cooperative spirit among the tankers. After trying their best during the day to outperform their competitors, each night they would get together to exchange professional knowledge, he said.

egnash.martin@stripes.com @Marty_Stripes

Migrated

stars and stripes videos

around the web

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up