Yet another volley goes off. At the range are T-90A’s from the 1st Tank Battalion. No blanks, only live ammo is used against the targets, which are 1.5-2 km away. In order to conduct high-quality training, there was no limit on the consumption of fuel or ammo. Junior sergeant Vladimir Zenin from Korelia has been serving for 8 months. During that time, he managed to get promoted to tank commander, but today he got demoted to mechanic/driver for training purposes. Practice, and then some more practice, all under the guidance of officers. “Constant live firing exercises bring better results and boost confidence,” stated Vladimir Zenin.
During these exercises, the tanks are operated by mixed crews. Sergeants are replaced by senior officers, and platoon commanders are replaced by deputy battalion commanders. This experiment is like killing two birds with one stone: all men gain experience that they usually wouldn’t be able to in normal training. In addition to the regular assessments, tests, and scores, the crews are also taking part in shooting competitions. The shooting results are converted into points, and the crew with the most points wins the prize.
In another area of the range, BMP-3 crews are holding their own shooting competition. They are also participating in the experiment where crews are mixed, except at their disposal is a different kind of weapon: a 100 mm cannon and a 30 mm automatic cannon clamped together. The most important part of the exercises is complying with the safety standards, and the returning tanks, despite having used up all the ammo, point their main guns toward the range. The award went to the best gunner and driver/mechanic, which included a cake. The winning crew was led by junior Sergeant Vladislav Ostapova.