Dozens of Marines gathered to pay homage with their families and say goodbye to 4th Tanks Battalion as they officially completed their sundown after 77 years of supporting operations around the world, in a deactivation ceremony at Lafayette, La., on Aug. 2, 2020.
4th Tanks has served in every war the Marine Corps has fought in since its inception in 1943.
4th Tank Battalion was an armored battalion of the United States Marine Corps Reserve. Their primary weapon system was the M1A1 Abrams main battle tank.
The Marine Corps is divesting its tank battalions following the commandant’s guidance in Force Design 2030.
The 15-page document outlines a plan to modernize the Marine Corps in accordance with the National Defense Strategy, and doing so within the financial means available. It is also being conducted with respect for the history of the Corps.
The Marine Corps is moving from a “second land army” back to its maritime roots of defending ships at sea, island-hopping and battling for contested coastlines, in preparation for potential conflict with near-peer adversaries such as China.
Last week, some 200 West Coast-based Abrams tanks, M88 Recovery Vehicles and other equipment began moving through the Corps’ logistics base in Barstow, Calif., en route to Army depots in California and Alabama.