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11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 2:51 pm
Post subject: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79


Members of the 11th Armored Cavalry deploy around an M551 Sheridan light tank while guarding the border between East and West Germany. An observation tower is in the background. (Released to Public)
Large Version: www.dodmedia.osd.mil/A...06118.JPEG

Members of the 11th Armored Cavalry deploy from an M113A1 armored personnel carrier during an exercise at the border between East and West Germany. On the right is an M551 Sheridan light tank and in the background is an observation post. (Released to Public)
Large Version: www.dodmedia.osd.mil/A...06119.JPEG

Members of the 11th Armored Cavalry deploy around an M551 Sheridan light tank while guarding the border between East and West Germany. (Released to Public)
Large Version: www.dodmedia.osd.mil/A...06120.JPEG

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Jens_O_Mehner
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 3:16 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

OK,

now that we've seen the hams, bring on the lima beans... Mr. Green

Gawd, that's the most unnatural posing I've seen in a looooong time, the vehicles actually look more animated and natural. Laughing

Thanks for sharing those, I only had them in low-res before.

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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 4:33 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

A closer look reveals this is G Troop so maybe not OP Alpha? The 'infantry' climbing out of the carrier are climbing out of a mortar track. I'm afraid of the guy with the .45 Wink

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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:51 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

Looking at the picture where the guy with the 45 is leaving the track I was reminded of 'Green Army Men (GAM)' It almost looks like someone positioned the GAM they pulled out of the package around the vehicles. The only one we're missing is the one crawling on the ground Laughing

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:27 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

- bsmart
Looking at the picture where the guy with the 45 is leaving the track I was reminded of 'Green Army Men (GAM)' It almost looks like someone positioned the GAM they pulled out of the package around the vehicles. The only one we're missing is the one crawling on the ground Laughing


Don't forget the 'Hand Grenade throwing' GAM as well.

Don
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bsmart
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 11:18 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

forgot about him. Always had trouble getting him to stand up.

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Buq-Buq
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:54 am
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

Mark:

These are a very interesting series of photos of Blackhorse troopers & equipment. I've seen the first picture before; R. P. Hunnicutt used it in Sheridan (page 252) and also indicates a photo date of May 1979. For the longest time I thought that I knew one of the guys in the picture from my time in the Blackhorse, but the higher quality of the shot in your link disabused me of that notion.

I'm going to go out on a bit of a limb, and put forth that these pictures were most likely not taken in May of 1979. When I got to the 2/11 ACR, the squadron had already been without Sheridans for a number of months (I remember someone telling me that the Sheridans went with the Cav berets — or was it the other way 'round?). The Sheridans in all the cavalry troops of 11 ACR were replaced by M60A1 RISE/PASSIVE models sometime in mid- to late-1978.

Other interesting features in these photos:

The Sheridan TC sports the old-style CVC helmet — I think someone posted shots from an American Tankers' Helmet museum here a while back, but I can't find it just now, so I'm not sure of the exact nomenclature. By the time I arrived in Bad Kissingen, every CVC I saw was the later type, with the cut-out for the separate ear phones & pads.

The camo scheme is the gaudy 7th Army pattern, pre-MERDC. Lots of Sand used in this scheme; in fact it looks like the entire base coat was Sand, with the other colors painted over that. Notice that the camo scheme is continued on the inside of the troop door on the ramp of the M106A1, as well as onto the roadwheels of the M551. We called this latter feature "clown-wheels", since they looked pretty silly when the vehicle was in motion. I think that there were still some M113A1s in the 7th Army-style scheme when I got to the squadron, but the M60A1s, being new vehicles, were all in MERDC-esque patterns.

The bumper numbers on the M106A1 are still painted in white, and are in the 7th Army format: "7A 11CAV" "G 39". At some point prior to February of 1979, Regiment had changed the bumper numbers to black, and the left-hand set (as viewed) had been changed to "V-2/11CAV" to indicate the troops were corps-level assets of V Corps. It is interesting that the M551 uses the black star; I rarely saw them when I was there.

Finally, I was surprised to see that the Sheridan appears to be a straight M551, not the later M551A1 with the laser rangefinder mounted on the commander's cupola. Although I never saw and 11th ACR Sheridans first-hand, I would have thought that all post-Vietnam Sheridans were equipped with the laser rangefinder. Unfortunately, the great 2nd ACR Sheridan pictures by Russell Vaughn in the Hunnicutt book (pages 253-254) don't show enough of the forward part of the cupola to tell if the LRF is there.

Great pictures — great border pictures. You can see the East German border fences, as well as the minefield. And in the background of the first picture is the concert observation tower ("Beobachtungs-turm aus Beton"). Thanks for sharing these.


Mark Neukom
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Roy_A_Lingle
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:09 am
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

Hi Mark (the Buq-Buq)! Hi Folks!

- Buq-Buq

Finally, I was surprised to see that the Sheridan appears to be a straight M551, not the later M551A1 with the laser rangefinder mounted on the commander's cupola. Although I never saw and 11th ACR Sheridans first-hand, I would have thought that all post-Vietnam Sheridans were equipped with the laser rangefinder.


While the laser rangefinder is post-Vietnam, it was some time after that they became available.
When I was at Schweinfurt (1974-1978), I don't remember seeing them on 3/7th Cav's vehicles. I even did a border camp tour with one of the troops during 1977 (I think) and I am sure them didn't have them then.

I maybe wrong, but it seams like the laser started being mounted on the Sheridan about the same time the fielding of the M60A3 started.

The first time I saw lasers on a Sheridan was when I arrived at Ft. Bliss in mid 1978.

Sgt, Scouts Out!

P.S. Update/correction.
OK, looks like I am just not remember them. But one thing I am sure of is the first time I remember seeing LRFs on Sheridans was when I got to Ft. Bliss. Maybe it is a case of not noticing them prior to that. Sad

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Last edited by Roy_A_Lingle on Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:14 am
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

Good point. By 1976 they would have all had lasers in the 11th Cav. And, as you say, that camo scheme was long gone.

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Geoff_walden
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:46 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

That does look like OP Alpha, especially the first pic. That looks like down by the area where there was later a memorial to civilians killed in that area (a rough wooden cross - it's still there).

But I agree - this certainly looks earlier than 1979. Wasn't the OP Alpha tower more elaborate than that in 1979? And when I did a border tour with 3/11ACR at OPs India and Romeo in the 1979-80 timeframe, it was a HUGE no-no to point weapons toward the border and/or the DDR border troops. This would have meant a highly-undesireable border incident. We used to park a tank at Romeo-Fwd, right at the end of the old Autobahn where the bridge had been blown in 1945, but we had to park it with the gun tube over the back deck in travel lock.

But I was only there for a couple months and we weren't Cav - just pulling their duty when they went to Graf one time. Maybe this prohibition wasn't universal along the border?

Geoff Walden
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 1:57 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

Geoff, I was at OP Alpha for the same reason. We relieved an 11th Cav unit while they were at gunnery in Graf. I'll never forget that one day I went up into the tower and everyone was laughing. I looked across at the East German tower and everyone in their tower had binoculars and was looking right at us. I asked what was going on and someone said to look at the front of our tower. Someone had hung up a Playboy foldout!

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Dontos
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:10 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

In 1988 or 89, My Battalion (4/32 Ar, 3rd AD) Assumed the duty of border ops to allow 11th ACR to conduct their Graf rotation.

A Co was manning OP Alpha. One of the Plt Sgt's (An E-7 who shall remain nameless..) was heading the shift change, assuming the NCOIC of the tower 'crew'.

As the change over was inprogress, the E.Germans began massive unannounced activities adjacient to the OP Alpha tower. This caused the US personnel to scramble to immediate alert status. Tensions rose to an unusual heightened state. Both sides maintained a ready status, until word came down that the East Zone Alert had been caused when the TOW launcher in OP Alpha was observed being loaded by the tower crew.

The Tower personnel immediately denied such an activity.

The Plt Sgt/ NCOIC (on secure communications) firmly stated that this was an impossibility since the missile tube couldn't have been mounted.

His reasoning was since he had personally placed his large green coffee thermos in the TOW launcher Shocked , he knew the missle could never have been loaded.

Mr. Green

I belive this is the same time frame that the 11th ACR had the 'friendly fire' incident at Range 301. This is when a tank while on long delay, mistakenly engaged two Bradley's ( firing 3 main gun rounds in 15 seconds) hitting one Bradley once, and the second twice.

Quite an ugly time at Graf during that rotation.

Don
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tanker2010
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:55 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

- Roy_A_Lingle


While the laser rangefinder is post-Vietnam, it was some time after that they became available.
When I was at Schweinfurt (1974-1978), I don't remember seeing them on 3/7th Cav's vehicles. I even did a border camp tour with one of the troops during 1977 (I think) and I am sure them didn't have them then.

I maybe wrong, but it seams like the laser started being mounted on the Sheridan about the same time the fielding of the M60A3 started.



Roy,
I was in HHB 2/39FA and we shared our Motor Hole with 3/7CAV. They were A1's with the laser. I spent a lot of time climbing on them, checking them out. I read an article on some 11ACR web page, that I can't find now, that they started fielding the A1 around `74. As a side note, the summer of `78 3/7CAV converted to M60A1's. We were in our Line shack one day when a 105MM gun barrel came crashing thru the wall. We ran out side to find a couple black beanies looking a little ashamed. Their excuse, "Whoa, dude, forgot it had a longer tube.". Our reply,"Smoke another bowl, Cav boys.".
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MarkHolloway
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 8:22 pm
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

In 3/12th Cav I think we got our M551A1's in 1976. By then all the border Cav already had them because they were a higher priority. Seems like we had some of the LRF's installed at a maintenance facility in Hanau (Fliegerhorst?).

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crustytanker
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 2:11 am
Post subject: Re: 11th ACR (OP Alpha?) 01MAY79

Buq-Buq wrote:
Unfortunately, the 2nd ACR Sheridan pictures by Russell Vaughn in the Hunnicutt book (pages 253-254) don't show enough of the forward part of the cupola to tell if the LRF is there.


Mark - I am flattered that you found my old pics. I served in the Second Squadron, Second ACR in Bamberg, FRG from 1974 to 1977. Our Sheridans did not receive LRFs until 1976 or early 1977. They were installed by contact teams right in our motor pool.
Regards, Russ Vaughan
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