Members of the 1st Battalion, 161st Infantry, based in and around Spokane, will go through training exercises including live fire in an Abrams tank and a Bradley armored vehicle. Live fire exercises are limited by sequestration.
Washington National Guardsmen line up Abrams tanks on a ridge overlooking the dusty valleys of the Yakima Training Center, an expanse of sagebrush country extending from Yakima, east to the Columbia River, and south from I-90 to Union Gap, Washington.
Guardsmen who use larger, belt-fed weapons carefully remove the tracers, which are every fifth round in the belt, then replace them in their carriers before live-fire training begins. Tracers, which illuminate in the dark, are a fire hazard in the dusty desert environs of the Yakima training center.
Chaz Grady, of Spokane, signals the rest of his unit to move forward during combat training, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at the Yakima Training Center. The 1st Battalion of the 161st of the Washington National Guard is training in desert-like conditions near Yakima.
A Washington National Guard tank crew on an Abrams tank prepares for live fire practice with both .50 caliber machine gun and the main gun on a hilltop, Wednesday, June 12, 2013, at the Yakima Training Center.