Europe may be embroiled in its largest conflict since World War II, but you can breathe easy: A U.S. Army M1 Abrams tank crew is on call with their trusty armored chariot named ‘Daddy’s Belt.’
Our new favorite tank name was spotted in photos published to the Defense Visual Information Distribution System last month, which show Army tankers assigned to 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division (3-1 ABCT) conducting a simulated battle drill in Niinisalo, Finland in early November.
The 3-1 ABCT — which deployed to Europe from Fort Hood, Texas, in July — is currently assigned to the 1st Infantry Division to provide “combat-credible forces” to the U.S. military’s forward-deployed V Corps amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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The appearance of ‘Daddy’s Belt’ during a presumably-serious joint military exercise may appear concerning to the uninitiated, but it’s not surprising: As Task & Purpose has rigorously documented in the past, tankers have a propensity for selecting belligerent names for their tanks, from the vaguely offensive (“Dropped As A Baby”) to super real (“Crippling Depression”), and this tank name is no exception.
What is interesting, however, is the 3-1 ABCT’s participation in the Hammer 22 combined forces exercise alongside Finland’s military, which the Army billed as an “ongoing effort” to “train alongside one another and improve operational tactics, techniques and procedures, or TTPs, between the two forces.”
After years of relative neutrality in Europe, the Hammer exercise comes amid Finland’s move to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alongside Sweden in direct response to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Hammer 22 saw more than 4,000 Finnish soldiers and about 200 U.S. soldiers from the 3-1 ABCT training “shoulder to shoulder” operating not just Abrams tanks, but M2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles as well, according to the Army.
“This is the main exercise to make sure our mechanized troops and our operational reserves are ready,” Col. Rainer Kuosmanen, commander of the Finnish Armored Brigade, said in a statement. “Hopefully, during this week and next week you will see that Finland is ready to defend itself.”
With the fear of Russian aggression at a historic high, many NATO members in Europe, present and future, are likely on edge at the moment. But rest assured: the crew of “Daddy’s Belt” is standing by to save the day.
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