A Group Of Marines Show Us Around The Inside Of A M1A1 Battle Tank

M1 Abrams Battle Tank

Photo: Robert Johnson — Business Insider

More than 1,100 Marines were aboard the USS Wasp’s three day voyage from Norfolk, Va. to New York City this week.One of the Wasp’s main roles is to take the Marines to far flung destinations and ferry them ashore using a huge hovercraft called a Landing Craft Air Cushion an LCAC, so their presence was nothing unusual.

Life can get pretty tedious for the Marines on these trips abroad as one sailor told me, they have no official ship duties aside from staying in shape, training, and maintaining their gear.

While this trip was largely ceremonial and designed to offer the Marines a much deserved break in Manhattan, they were still required to perform basic maintenance on their equipment.

This group of Marines assigned to this M1A Abrams battle tank were good enough take a break from their tasks, haul their gear from inside and show me what life was like as a Marine tanker.

Lance corporals Anthony Monaco and Severen Coppola were good enough to open up their tank and haul out their gear so I could take a look inside

Getting in through the hatch is a tight fit without any obvious places to step onto

The ammunition for the tank's big gun is stored there to the right of the seat next to where the driver sits behind that curtain

The large rounds are fed into this grooved metal box and fired from the Abrams main gun

The tankers told me they use three types of rounds — an anti-personnel canister that shoots ball bearings up to 2,000 feet — a shape charge used against other tanks — and a new type of round that can be programmed to detonate at specific distances and locations

There are computer aided sights and a manual sight for backup both by this seat from where the gun is fired

Space is tight in the drivers seat and it gets hot — this is where lance corporal Wheatley will sit for hours at a time

But he does have the option of opening up this hatch and getting a bit of air

And that was it — after thanking them for the tour they loaded their gear back inside and I wandered off to see what else I could find

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