1st Battalion - 632nd Armor Regiment
The 632nd Armor Battalion inactivated as a result of the transitioning of the 32nd Infantry Brigade from a mechanized unit to a separate light infantry brigade; a process which began in September 2001. When the changeover to a light infantry designation occurs, the 1st/632nd would be an antitank unit, with HUMVEEs and TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided missiles) weapons.
The 632nd Armor Battalion was a part of the 32nd Infantry Brigade and was composed of units from Wausau, Merrill, Antigo, Marinette and Mosinee, WI. As a part of the 32nd Brigade, the 632nd was the only M1 Abrams tank unit in the state of Wisconsin.
The unit was responsible for being ready for both Federal and State missions. The first was to be prepared to destroy the enemy with shock, mobility and firepower or to repel his assault with fire and maneuver. The battalion also remained prepared to assist the governor of the state of Wisconsin with any state emergency or disaster.
Members of the 1st Battalion, 632nd Armor, with headquarters at Wausau, Wis., wanted to make sure they went out with a bang, if it was indeed their last annual training (AT) as an armor unit at Fort McCoy. The Wisconsin Army National Guard unit is part of the 32nd Separate Infantry Brigade (Mechanized) of Madison, Wis. Army directives have the 32nd being redesignated as a light infantry unit. The unit was an armor unit, which had M-1 Abrams tanks as its main weaponry.
Prior to August 2000, the 632nd had come to Fort McCoy's Multi-Purpose Training Range (MPTR) for training for the past seven years because the installation has the best tank-table qualification facilities nearest to the unit's home station. The unit went through meticulous preparation before firing the M-1 Abrams at Fort McCoy. Unit personnel practiced on mobile simulators at home station. Unit members also came to Fort McCoy for weekend training to familiarize themselves with the MPTR. During AT training at Fort McCoy, the units go through initial training runs on what is called Tank Table VII. Tank Table VII allows the crews to fire the weapons and get used to the targets. Between firing, the crews perform thorough maintenance to ensure the tanks work properly. After the training runs on Tank Table VII, the crews qualify on Tank Table VIII, the qualification phase, in both day and night conditions. The crews had to qualify every other year. During the alternate year personnel go to Gowan Field in Idaho or Fort Knox, Ky., for an Army Readiness and Training Evaluation Program AT. The tanks are stored and maintained by the Maneuver Area Training Equipment Site at McCoy.
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