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Jan 21
20 tweets

Woke up this morning to find a thread from someone claiming I posted things that are "100% untrue" about the "M1." I hesitate to respond to @david D. - especially since he posted an insulting tweet (violating my rule #1) - but providing tank insight is important to me. 1/20

david D.

david D.

i recently posted something about @MarkHertling after he posted things about the M1 tank. things that are 100% untrue. i may have been a little harsh about my reply to him. here is the simple truth, we are here to help ukr, not say things that may hurt them.
"David" is a "former ADA 16/14R & 96B/P (an air defense soldier & intel analyst w/ airborne experience). He is a "master driver & a 22 yr combat vet." To which I say "thanks for ur service." Don't know how much tank experience he has, but he gets some things right in his 🧵2/
He also gets things wrong. Since he gives his creds, here are mine: -37 years in armor. -served on M60, M60A1, M60A2,M1, M1A1, M1A2 -tank platoon leader, company commander (x2), cav sqdn S3 (in combat), cav squadron Cdr at Armor School (teaching M1 Tank Commanders Course) 3/
-Squadron commander, ran the M1 tank commander's course (while also providing tanks to all leaders who trained at Ft Knox). -Our squadron trained all soldier/NCOs/Officers (LTs-LTCs) who had never been on an M1/M1A1 tank before while maintaining 120 M1/M1A1/M1A2 tanks. 4/
-tank brigade commander, with the mission to deploy to Korea (helped me understand the challenges of moving tanks & establishing logistics flow across oceans). -Commander Ops Groups at the National Training Center (helped me see how diff units employ tanks on a "battlefield"). 5/
-Asst Div Commander/Support for a Tank Division in Combat (learned how tough to supply a division w/ tanks when supply lines were long & cut by the enemy). -Tank Division Commander in combat. -Commander US Army, Europe, where we partnered w/ & trained Ukraine's army.6/
Here's what I learned about tanks: -The M1-series, in my view, is the best in the world. -Training of tank crews/units is critical, and can't be hand-waved (if you do w/ an M1, you'll be ineffective while breaking lots of stuff). -Everyone is an M1 expert, until they break it.7/
-There's a reason tankers are called "DATs" (dumb-ass-tankers). It's because they break things in their tanks & then rely on maintainers/master gunners/loggies to fix it. -Older tanks break more often (the M1 was fielded in the 1980's) 8/
-Having fired T-72s, Chieftains, Challengers, Leo IIs & Abrams, the M1 requires the most turret training. -Same true for the engine. The pack "blows" when drivers aren't trained. A FUPP (the combined engine/trans) is expensive (about $1.5 million) & then must be replaced. 9/
*Some* M1 repairs require part replacements (requiring many high tech spare parts to be in a PLL). Other replacements require pulling things (like FUPPs, sights, etc) to a log center/depot w/ new one being sent forward. It's a 500 mile supply line from Poland to the Donbas. 10/
Having serviced 250 tanks in 1st Armored when I was ADC-S, you don't just "put parts on an DHL/C17 or a MI-17 and hop to the front lines." (I'm also curious about the "warehouses" David names in "Pirmasens," "Hohenfels" (the correct spellings) that can turn these parts?...11/
...that's because US Army, Europe hasn't had permanently stationed tanks since 2013, and the ones there are part of the rotational unit). While we're on that point, I'm wondering where the 300 Abrams tanks would immediately that David would deliver to Ukraine? 12/
Here are some of David's other assertions: -UA got experience with T64s, so it'll be easy to switch to M1A1s. (I vehemently disagree). -"the M1 is one of the easiest tanks in the world to keep running with a motivated crew." (you need crew + an entire support system)....13/
-the "motor" is a "jet engine" & can be fixed by Ukrainian jet experts in Ukraine or General Dynamic techs in Poland (first, it's a *turbine engine* & fixing it requires knowing it, which takes training & certification). (BTW, it's a *multi-fuel turbine engine*) 14/
-"if the Iraqi's, Saudi's, Egypt troops can use the M1, the UKR will have no issues." Iraqis paid billions for M1s w/ a permanent GD maintenance contract & a 5-year training period. Saudis bought M1A2s w/ a 7 year training program, with maintenance contract still in place.15/
David points out "there are politics and costs involved in this decision." To which I respond "yeah, no kidding." That's sometimes, unfortunately, what happens when you're in an alliance. 16/
I'll add one last important point: @Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has repeatedly said the *GOAL* is to provide UKR with equipment that they can immediately put to use & which they can easily sustain. UKR's army is getting LOTS of different equipment from many different nations. Here are some: 17/
Brad's, Strykers, M777, HIMARS, MRAPs, HMMWVs, Gephards, Patriots, AMX10s, M106's, NASAMs, HAWK, Caesers...etc, etc, etc. UKR Army Commanders who I talk with want tanks, but have admitted they struggle w logistics, repair parts getting to the right places, and resupply. 18/
So reducing the burden must be a key consideration...and in my professional opinion, the Abrams would cause more of a burden due to training & resupply to a force that's in a tough fight. Also in my view, LEO II's would mean less of a burden. 19/
But the decision involves politics, and funding, and decisions. So, no @david D., I won't "debate" you on these issues. I would recommend in the future you not insult people w/o knowing their background and goals. 20/20


Retired soldier. Loves family, dedicated to nation. Student of leadership, nat’l security & healthcare.
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