UNOH Faculty Bring “Half Pint” Tank to Life

Posted on Sunday, August 05, 2018


UNOH Instructors Mike Hunt and Adam Prusakiewicz test drive Half Pint

It all started with a vision to showcase the world’s best battle tank, the Abrams M1A2 Main Battle Tank, built at Lima, Ohio’s Joint Systems Manufacturing Center.  Volunteers decided to honor all the people who build these battle-tested tanks by constructing a half-size mini tank.  During the building process an employee at JSMC reached out to UNOH’s College of Applied Technologies’ staff to help finish up building the tank and instructors jumped at the chance to help.

That JSMC employee, Charlie Couch, asked if the instructors could bring “Half Pint”, the name given to the mini tank, back to life for the Veterans Freedom Flag Monument.  Initially, the project was to only include some basic wiring and get the tank functional, but once the tank was delivered to campus, the real work began.

“It came in pieces,” said Mike Hunt, College of Applied Technologies instructor, “The turret needed to be mounted, the undercarriage needed to be finished and re-engineered. The complete electrical system needed to be built, hydraulics needed to be plumbed along with building of the fuel and hydraulic tanks, and the fuel lines needed to be ran.”

Initially the project was slated to be completed in the spring, but after seeing all the work that needed to be done, the Veterans Freedom Flag Monument committee understood that the timeline would have to be adjusted.

In all, more than a dozen instructors put in their free time after teaching classes and between meetings to help get Half-Pint up to speed.  Leading up the charge was Mike Hunt and Dan Saum, accompanied by Dave Warren, Dave Christen, Aaron Roth, Nathan Cram, Chuck Elwer, Chris May, Jeremy Garretson, Steve Trammel, Andy Pohlman, Adam Prusakiewicz, and Todd Carr.

Being able to work on a project like this was a once in a lifetime experience for many of the instructors.  It was also a creative outlet that allowed them to use their knowledge and skillset to make the tank function as a parade vehicle, shooting t-shirts from the turret, which was as much fun as it was time consuming.

“The challenge was getting things to work the way you pictured them in your head,” said Hunt. “Sometimes we would put something on and then have to move it or rebuild it to make it function correctly.  One of the challenging aspects was making everything rotate with the turret.  I also had to build my own air compressor to produce enough volume in enough time to shoot t-shirts.  We did drive it around campus, and of course had to test out the turret to make sure we could shoot t-shirts a good distance, and I must say the range and accuracy of the cannon is very impressive.”

The Half Pint was officially unveiled to the public on August 3rd at the Veterans Freedom Flag Monument. Half Pint is slated to make a return to the UNOH campus for Fall Open House and other various events.

For more information about “Operation Half Pint” or the Veterans Freedom Flag monument, visit: 

Category: Applied Technologies, Campus & Community

Keywords: Operation Half Pint, JSMC, College of Applied Technologies, Mini Tank

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Last updated: 08/05/2018