First M1A1 In Afghanistan


Abrams Tank Unloaded for Afghan Operations

12/06/2010 – Although other allies have been using tanks for some time, notably the Danish, the U.S. has decided to do so as well.  The Danes have the advantage of using the smaller and more maneuverable Leopard Tank, but the U.S. now sees the advantage of the protection and firepower, which a tank can provide against insurgents.

The Marines have been using variants of their tanks in Afghanistan as well, such as the vehicle to do mine clearing in Marja earlier this year. As noted in a Washington Post piece,

The Marines had wanted to take tanks into Afghanistan when they began deploying in large numbers in spring 2009, but the top coalition commander then, Army Gen. David D. McKiernan, rejected the request, in part because of concern it could remind Afghans of the tank-heavy Soviet occupation in the 1980’s. As it became clear that other units were getting the green light to engage in more heavy-handed measures, the Marines asked again, noting that Canadian and Danish troops had used a small number of tanks in southern Afghanistan. This time, the decision rested with Petraeus, in charge since July. He approved it last month, the officials said.

In the video below, U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps service members are seen unloading one M1A1 Tank from a C-17 aircraft in Camp Bastion,  Afghanistan on November 26th, 2010. The M1A1 is the first to arrive in Afghanistan and will be assigned to Regional Command Southwest in support of the International Security Assistance Force.

Credit : Regional Command Southwest, November 26th,2010