FORT HOOD, Texas - Two vintage tanks were placed on display in front of III Corps Headquarters here, Aug. 13, framing the armored corps with living history.
“We took these in, had them sanded down, repainted and then repositioned here,” Ken Sinker, operations officer for 407th Area Field Support Brigade, said.
The tanks were previously on display outside the 1st Cavalry Division Museum. As the museum begins preparations for its move to the National Mounted Warrior Museum, located just outside the Bernie Beck Main Gate, the equipment on display will find new homes throughout the installation.
The tank positioned to the east of the III Corps flagpole is an M18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer. Sinker said the tank destroyer was a World War III-era tank that could be traced back in III Corps’ history. A tank destroyer is an armored fighting vehicle that can be armed with either a direct-fire artillery gun or a missile launcher.
The tank to the west of the flagpole is an M60, which was manufactured from 1959-1983. The tank was retired from front-line combat following Operation Desert Storm. The M60 in front of III Corps is equipped with reactive armor.
“That was the first generation with reactive armor, so if an incoming round hits that, it explodes it away from the tank,” Sinker explained.
The migration of the tanks from the 1st Cavalry Division Museum to III Corps was completed with a partnership between 407th AFSB, 13th Expeditionary Sustainment Command and 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 1st Cav. Div. Sustainment Brigade. The migration was approved by Lt. Gen. Pat White, III Corps and Fort Hood commanding general, who approved the transition in the spring.
Sinker said the repainting process, which is called a “reset” takes several weeks, but after sanding and repainting, the equipment looks brand new. The tanks are currently covered, but will be unveiled during a ceremony.
Other tanks and pieces of history from the 1st Cavalry Division Museum and the 3rd Cavalry Division Museum will begin a move to the National Mounted Warrior Museum this fall. Phase 1 of the new museum will be open to the public in spring 2022.