The mysterious Russian tank that appeared at a truck stop in Louisiana was disarmed and on its way to a US Army training center, the Pentagon told The War Zone on Tuesday.
Sue Gough, a Pentagon spokesperson, told the military publication that the Russian T-90A tank was being taken to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Harford County, Maryland, when the truck that was transporting it broke down on the Interstate 10 highway.
Gough said that the mechanical issue with the truck has been fixed and that the tank “is secure.”
“The tank’s explosive reactive armor was inert, it was not armed or carrying any dangerous material, and at no point posed a risk to the public,” she added.
The truck transporting the tank broke down near a Peto’s Travel Center and Casino in rural Roanoke, Louisiana last week, prompting confusion among staff working there, The War Zone first reported last week.
Roanoke is around 1,300 miles from Harford County.
“I’ve been here seven years,” Valerie Mott, the assistant manager of the casino and travel center, told The War Zone. “I’ve never seen [a tank] here before.”
The tank most likely belonged to Russia’s 27th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade and was abandoned in Kharkiv Oblast in September last year, open-source intelligence groups, who track military equipment used in Ukraine, told The War Zone.
Gough did not confirm that the tank was captured in Ukraine last year. It is also unclear how it got to the US in the first place, and what the Pentagon aims to do with the Russian tank once it has been brought to the training center.
However, Gough told The War Zone that it was “part of our ongoing commitment to provide Ukraine the capabilities it needs to counter Russian aggression.”
Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Harford County did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
Its website says that the training center is “responsible for numerous technical achievements in military intelligence, medical research, engineering, and computer technology.”