George Telenko

George (Tank) & Dana Telenko    
Wrestling – 3 Years, Scrum Lock 1st West Point Rugby Team – In first Advisor Group to Vietnam 1964; Aide to CG 1st Armored Division; Regt S2/1st Sqdn; XO 11th ACR Vietnam 1969; Activated Lima Tank Plant and built first year production of M1 Abrams Tanks; Bn Cmdr 5/68 Armor, 8th Divison.

George Telenko graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1962. He retired as a U.S. Army Colonel.

This will still be Tank’s Abrams!

Aside from the matte gray paint job, the AbramsX looks a lot like, well, an Abrams tank. It’s big, and with a 120-millimeter main gun, it’s bad. 

Developed by General Dynamics, the AbramsX is still just a prototype. Underneath the hull, though, it’s a whole new tank. 

For the potential AbramsX tankers, it’s a whole new setup. In the current Abrams, the crew consists of a commander, gunner, loader, and driver. For the AbramsX, the crew is reduced to three people, seated shoulder to shoulder in the front of the tank, with the turret unmanned and using an autoloader for the main gun. 

“For all U.S. tanks, the armor around the crew protected the gun,” said Tim Reese, General Dynamics’ director of U.S. business development at the 2022 Association of the Army conference in Washington, D.C. this week, where the AbramsX was making its public debut. “When the crew isn’t with the gun anymore, how much armor do you want to put around the gun?”

Everything new under the hull of the AbramsX main battle tank prototype

 The AbramsX at AUSA in Washington, D.C. (General Dynamics Land Systems)

That’s not to say that the turret is lacking protection — this is still a heavily armored war machine after all — but it does help reduce the weight. The latest versions of the Abrams weigh more than 70 tons, which could cause problems with transporting them to the battlefield and recovering them if they’re damaged. With the AbramsX still in development, the eventual weight of the tank would be dependent on how the Army loads the tank, but the goal is around 60 tons, Reese said.

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With the crew out of the turret, the main gun functions through an autoloading system. It’s a function of many modern tank designs, and some older ones, such as the Russian T-72 and T-80. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has shown a major flaw in the feature on those Soviet-era tanks, specifically that when it’s hit, the ammunition cooks off and blows off the turret. Even with the autoloader, though, the AbramsX maintains the ammunition storage setup and blowout panels on the back of the turret. So that shouldn’t happen.

Everything new under the hull of the AbramsX main battle tank prototype

 The AbramsX technology demonstrator. (General Dynamics Land Systems)

The tank also features an artificial intelligence system that could identify targets on the battlefield. Two independent scanners, linked to the commander and gunner, each searching for targets. 

“It can scan and look for anomalies,” said Reese. “With a good enough image, it can get down to the model of tank, and prioritize targets based on what is most dangerous.”

The engine has also been upgraded, shifted from turbines to a diesel-electric system. It allows the tank to operate its internal systems without running an extremely loud turbine engine. Reese also envisioned a scenario where the tank could conduct some limited movements, say 500 meters or so, on battery power. 

So, from a new engine to a reduced crew size, the future of armored warfare. It may look kind of like the old Abrams, but under all that armor it’s an entirely new tank. Now, whether it can survive a crew of junior soldiers is another matter.


Army Distinguished Service Medal

DURING Peace Time Awards
Service: Army
Rank: Colonel

United States Military Academy Register of Graduates


(Citation Needed) – SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Armor) George Joseph Telenko, Jr., United States Army, was awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States from 1985 to 1987.

Legion of Merit

DURING Peace Time Awards
Service: Army
Rank: Colonel

United States Military Academy Register of Graduates


(Citation Needed) – SYNOPSIS: Colonel (Armor) George Joseph Telenko, Jr., United States Army, was awarded the Legion of Merit for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States in 1987.


ZF Group NAO, Detroit, MI 

Project Manager – July 2002 � Present

Project manager of a new $26m expansion project for the ZF group NAO Technical 

Center that he built in 2000. I have total responsibility for management of design, construction and budgeting. The final structure will be over 250,000 sq ft when completed and will accommodate over 500 personnel including major components research and test and the New North American Corporate Headquarters. The project is scheduled to be completed on time and within budget

ZF Group NAO, Detroit, MI 

Facility Development Manager – November 2000 – July 2002 

�  Completed the turnover of a new $23M tier 1 supplier assembly plant built in a Chicago Industrial Park that will provide axle modules to Ford for their new 2005 Ford 500 and Freestyle vehicles.

�  Personally directed the site selection and all plant design, construction and facility start up activities

�  Plant is 134,400 sq ft in size and will deliver 270,000 axle sets yearly on a line sequenced �JIT� basis� 

�   Personally lead the coordination of� the operational and support requirements of all the suppliers in the industrial park for the Ford Millennium Program Management Team

ZF Group NAO, Detroit, MI

Facility Development Manager, ZF Group NAO Engineering Technical Center – January1999 – October 2000����� 

�  Personally planned, budgeted and managed a construction and equipping contract valued at over $13M for a 95,000 sq ft automotive engineering technical center 

�  Coordinated the needs of all automotive engineering, sales and purchasing activities housed in the center that supports the corporation in North America

�  Relocated over 100 engineering and technical personnel, their offices, shop equipment and computer network into the center without the loss of customer support

�  Coordinated the installation of a new expanded telephone and data support system for all technical and business activities

ZF Industries Inc, Chicago, Ill

Plant Manager, Tuscaloosa Axle Systems Plant – June 1994 – January 1999

�  Managed a $35m greenfield start up of ZFI�s first Axle module systems plant in the USA

�  Organized the plant using Team Empowerment, TQM, Lean Manufacturing and JIT

�  Personally hired and trained over 225 personnel to produce 340 axle sets per day in two shifts

�  Attained a ppm rate of less than 100 in first year of full production

�  Exceeded all annual P&L goals during first three production years

�  Produced highest profit of all ZFI Inc. plants in North America in 1998 

ZF Industries Inc, Chicago, Ill

Director of Defense Products of North America – January 1989 – June 1994

�  Marketed German driveline components to US Defense Contractors 

�  Managed the office that performed all proposal preparation, application engineering coordination and ���field testing support for government testing

�  Personally designed and developed plant configurations and assembly lines needed to implement production of driveline components if successful in being awarded US Government contracts

�  Managed company competition efforts in the US Army 2 1/2 and 5 ton FMTV Truck Testing Program���� 

�  Sold, delivered and supported testing of over 3000 special transmissions worth $2,000 each for the Canadian Government utility truck program

Defense Logistics Agency, Washington DC

General Manager, Defense Contract Administration Region – August 1984 – August 1987

�  Directed the management of over 37,000 contracts of over 600 DOD contractors valued at $17 billion� 

�  Managed the administration of contracts in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Canada

�  Successfully directed the efforts of an 1800 man staff with an annual operating budget of over $57m 

�   Personally approved daily invoice payments of over $50m to assigned to contractors 


Department of the Army, Washington DC

Plant Manager, M1 Main Battle Tank Assembly Plant – June 1978 – September 1981 

�  Directed the Chrysler Corp start up of the US Army M1 Tank Assembly Plant in Ohio

�  Validated contractor requests for production equipment and approved new buys

�  Selected plant equipment from government strategic layaway stocks to save funds

�  Personally staffed a government office with 100 admin, contracting, engineering and quality experts

�  Managed the expenditure of over $420m to renovate a 1million sq ft plant and build a � mile test track

�  Successfully took delivery of the first production year of 85 M1 tanks on schedule and under cost

�  While in charge, successfully met all budget goals and on time vehicle deliveries� 


University Of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee

Advanced Management Training � Productivity / SPC

Army War College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania

Joint Services Staff Training

Chrysler Corporation, Highland Park, Michigan

Management Training with Industry Program

University of Detroit, Detroit, Michigan

MBA � Engineering Management

Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia

Advanced Staff Training

Michigan State University, Lansing, Michigan

MS � Mechanical Engineering

US Military Academy, West Point, New York

BS � General Engineering


Vietnamese:  Previously fluent

German: Conversation level with some technical knowledge

Spanish: Previously conversation level


Windows 95/98/2000 / XP Prof

Microsoft Office 2000

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