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Crew Positions and what they do

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
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Tango2Bravo has made an excellent post that many can benefit from if they are wondering what Crewmembers of Armour Vehicles do:

Tango2Bravo said:
The driver is up front in the hull, and he is somewhat isolated from the rest of the crew. Bascially, he is responsible for the automotive aspects of the tank. He starts the engine, selects gears, turns off the engine, steers the tank etc etc. The crew commander gives him direction through the vehicle intercom system. He does not control any weapons, but of course he plays a big part in how the tank fights.

The gunner is in the turret, seated in front of and below the crew commander. He has controls that move the turret and fire the gun. He looks at the world through his sights. Most of the time the gunner is the one firing the gun.

The loader is on the left side of the turret and his primary duty is to load the gun. He also looks after radios. He has a hatch so he can sometimes crew command the tank if the crew commander is otherwise engaged or incapacitated.

The crew commander is on the right side of the turret and he has a hatch as well as sights (the type of sights will depend on the type and variant of tank). He is usually an NCO (MCpl/Sgt/WO) or an officer and he is in command of the tank. He can fire the gun, but he usually leaves this to the gunner. If a crew commander is shooting all the time he is probably neglecting some other thing that he should be doing (like looking for the next target or passing information to higher on the radio). The tank has a gunner for a reason. The crew commander navigates the tank in accordance with the mission and tactical situation, giving direction to the driver on where to go (but not usually the exact route) and giving arcs for the gunner to scan. The crew commander can acquire targets and designate them to the gunner with a fire order, or he can give the executive to fire to the gunner if the gunner has found a target on his own.

For a tank to function properly all four members of the crew must perform their duties as a team. Ideally the members of the crew are cross-trained to be able to perform each other's duties.

DRIVER  - No matter what Armour Fighting Vehicle (AFV), the Driver (Dvr) is responsible for driving and the maintenance of the vehicle and the supervision of other crewmembers (including the Crew Commander) when they are assisting in the maintenance of the vehicle.

GUNNER - No matter what AFV, the Gunner (Gnr) is the one who fires the main and secondary weapons.  The Gunner is also responsible for the maintaining of the Gunnery systems and weapons, within their responsibilities, and the supervision of all other crewmembers in the maintenance of the Gunnery systems and weapons.

LOADER/OPERATOR - In the tank, the Loader (or Operator) is responsible for the loading of the main and secondary armament (guns) and often the Antiaircraft Machine Gun.  The Loader/Operator is also responsible for maintaining and operating the Comms systems.  They will assist the Gunner in weapons maint, and the Dvr in vehicle maint.

Crew Commander - The Crew Commander (C/C) is in overall command of the vehicle.  They command, navigate, talk on the radio, choose targets, attend Orders Groups, submit Reports and Returns, etc. for the vehicle.  They will also assist in the maintenance of the vehicle and systems if they have time. 

Surveillance Operator - In the Coyote, the Surveillance Operator (Surv Op) is the "Guy In Back" (GIB) who operates a large suite of electronic surveillance equipment by which the Coyote can gather information.  The Surv Op will operate or supervise the operation and maintenance of the surveillance equipment, as well as assist all other crewmembers in performing their duties.  There is usually one or two other crewmembers qualified to assist the Surv Op in the performance of that duty.  There are occassions when the Surv Op may have to serve as a Rear Sentry or Air Sentry while the vehicle is moving and the Turret is not moving in Full Stabilization (Full Stab).

It must be noted that due to the length of operations, all crewmembers are ideally qualified to perform two or three of the other crewmembers jobs, or at the very least have a good background/familiarity in the operation in all the equipment and weapons systems.  All crewmembers must be able to operate the radio systems and weapons up to C6.  Most will start out as Drivers or Gunners and then become qualified on the other positions.

As Tango2Bravo says, all crews must work as a Team and be able to do each others jobs if necessary.
Only just spotted this - thanks for sharing, T2B and George - the CF likely doesn't have anything this easy to understand available to the public!  ;D
Armourchamp said:
During your training what ones do you do first?

As a Reservist none of these.  If you read all the topics in this Armour Forum you will have a better idea of what to expect.  I might suggest you start here.
Coffee_psych said:
Sweet, do would the Driver have to take a heavy equipment mechanics course?

No, a Driver/ Maint course is all that is required to be a driver.