As a showcase for the fourth biennial Gainey Cup International Best Scout Squad Competition, the US Army Armor School hosted a Scouts in Action demonstration with various nations participating. The Gainey Cup determines the best six-soldier scout squad by testing squads on their scout and cavalry skills, their physical stamina, and their cohesion as a team. The demonstration event held on April 29 saw units from the US, Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands and Germany participating.
The event was an opportunity for the US Armor School to tell the history of the US Cavalry and to show the public what scout squads do for their units, said Capt. Tim Sweeney, Cavalry Leaders Course instructor. “Part of what we do in the cavalry is really in the shadows and really hidden from the world to see, because that’s the nature of our business,” said Sweeney. “[Scouts in Action] was a demonstration of the different weapons platforms that we have and how they can be used to execute missions on the battlefield.”
During the historical portion of Scouts in Action, spectators saw scouts as they would have appeared in period uniforms using transport from those eras. They rode horses as army scouts would have during the Civil War, drove jeeps as they would have during World War Two and then drove the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle, the Bradley fighting vehicle and the Stryker armored vehicle, all from the latter part of the 20th century.
As part of the demonstration, a scout squad performed aerial reconnaissance using a drone and also fired rounds from a HMMWV, a Bradley fighting vehicle and an Abrams tank. When the demonstration concluded, spectators got the opportunity to talk with Soldiers and explore some of the vehicles they had seen in action. The scout squads have taken part in knowledge tests, vehicle identification, a call for fire, a gunnery skills test and a land navigation course.