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Stopped in their tracks: US Army fails to make top 3 in NATO tank challenge


American tank crews have failed to place in the Strong Europe Tank Challenge, a competition co-hosted and sponsored by US Army Europe. The three-day event gathered the best NATO crews to compete against each other in a set of armored warfare tests.

The Strong Europe Tank Challenge was jointly hosted from May 10 to 12 by the US Army and the German Bundeswehr at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The three-day event involved crews from Denmark, Germany, Italy, Poland and Slovenia – which each sent platoons of four tanks – and the United States, which sent two platoons of four tanks.

The tank competition appears to be the first of its type to be held by NATO in Europe since 1991, the year the USSR dissolved. Designed to develop armored warfare skills, the tank challenge is also in line with the NATO trend of planning to counter what it calls an “assertive Russia.”

Crews taking part in the competition conducted either offensive or defensive operations, including an obstacle course with 13 different sections, a shooting competition, and tank-based navigation. The platoons were given points for each event in an effort to gain the highest score out of 1,000.

In one event, competing crews had to correctly identify 25 “friendly” and “threatening” vehicles while traveling around a course. Other events involved operating in the aftermath of a simulated chemical weapons attack, dealing with improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and managing medical emergencies, according to a US Army press release.

The German team took top honors, followed by the Danish tank crew in


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