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RODRIGUEZ RANGE, South Korea — The Army’s recent ground wars haven’t been fought solely with the big guns of tanks or a versatile armored infantry.

So the 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment tried something a little different last week by bringing tanks and Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Rodriguez Range at the same time for live-fire crew qualifications.

The combination gets crew soldiers the practice they need while showing the officers what versatility brings to a fight, said 1-72 commander Lt. Col. Thomas Isom of Miami.

“Company commanders lose a tank platoon, but they gain infantry,” Isom said. “They learn capabilities and what they require.”

Same goes for the Bradley officers, who learn about fuel consumption and efficiencies needed to keep tanks running at full speed, Isom said.

Crews go through Table VIII gunnery, or live-fire exercise, twice each year. Tables, similar to stages, progress through operations and live fires.

At Table VIII, those skills are tested and scored. Although tanks and Bradleys are together at the gunnery, they fire separately because they have different criteria.

Bradleys must attain marks of distinguished, superior or qualified. Tanks must score at least 70 points on a 100-point scale.

“It’s fun and we enjoy it, so I don’t really look at it as tough,” said tanker Sgt. Michael McHugh of Greenville, N.Y. “But it is a challenge.”

Crews must hit targets as far as 2,400 meters away. The targets include anything from buildings and trucks to pop-up snipers and infantry.

The crews have a few wrinkles thrown in. For example, they may have to fire without power optics or their primary weapon’s sights.

Each crew qualifies in a series of offensive and defensive scenarios. The split on Tuesday was six live fires during the day and four at night, said Sgt. 1st Class Manuel Paulino, a Bradley master gunner from Pawtucket, R.I.

Out of 42 Bradleys, only three had fired together as intact crews, Paulino said.

However, he added, “A lot of these guys have experience being on the ground” in combat zones. That’s meant spending a lot of time on familiarization with the armored infantry carrier, he said.

Crewmembers have been preparing for months, he said. They’ve gone over safety and maintenance and trained in virtual reality simulators repeatedly before firing their first rounds at Rodriguez Range, soldiers said.

The 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry and the 4th Battalion, 7th Cavalry brought some armor to 1-72’s gunnery as well. They’ll also train with brigade military police during the 28 days of scheduled field training.

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