The hum of unmanned, aerial vehicles could be heard overhead as cannons blasted smoke through the air at the Taylors Creek Drop Zone on Fort Stewart Friday.
In a dual-purpose training exercise, some of the Army’s fiercest combat vehicles strutted their steel and wheels for a mounted pass and review, sponsored by the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.
The mounted review was the first on post since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
“On the field today is the power of the 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat,” Sgt. Jason Stadel told the crowd of family members and division leaders.
“This awesome collection of combat power includes 58 M1 main battle tanks, 79 M2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, 29 M3 Bradley Cavalry Fighting Vehicles…”
Stadel continued the list with more than 300 vehicles being announced.
“What you are seeing in front of you is how we line up when we’re in Kuwait, getting ready to go into combat in Iraq and anytime the brigade prepares for an attack,” 2nd BCT commander Col. Charles Sexton said before the ceremony.
“First the cavalry leads to secure the route, next is the armored battalion, which can fight against anything, then it is the brigade troops battalion, which has the military intelligence, the UAV flies overhead and he looks at the route, then you got support carrying your supplies, artillery is next, then there is the rear guard with the tanks and Bradleys,” he said.
“This movement is not easy,” he told the crowd. “This is what your husbands and wives do.”
As each vehicle tracked up the red clay road, Sexton saluted his men. Family members, such as Jennifer Gardner, 19, wife of Pvt. Justin Gardner, stood patiently waiting for a chance to waive at their loved ones.
“I think I got a picture of the wrong one,” she said laughing. “But it’s awesome. I didn’t know they had to be all lined up and stuff. It’s pretty neat.”
Friday’s ceremony was put on by the Spartan Brigade in celebration of World War II’s Victory in Europe Day.
The 3rd ID was the only American division to fight on all fronts of the European war.