11 October 2010

Stryker Brigade Stryking on With No Strykers

Are they "Stryking out"? Or are they "Struck"?
Work has been fairly relaxed for thousands of infantrymen since they returned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord this summer from yearlong assignments in the Middle East. They've been going to classes, checking their gear and doing physical training in the mornings.

Anything more complicated would require the soldiers to have possession of their Strykers, the 21-ton combat vehicles they left behind in the deserts of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan.

In any event, the worldwide whirlwind of whiplash on what's where and when says:

The route from the Middle East to Lewis-McChord has been different than in past deployments, when Strykers came directly to their home base for major maintenance.

This time, the 3rd Brigade handed its Strykers to a Hawaii-based brigade now in Iraq. The 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division turned over its vehicles to a Germany-based brigade now deployed in Afghanistan. (The 2nd Brigade was flagged as the 5th Brigade during its yearlong deployment to southern Afghanistan.)

The Army took replacement Strykers at Fort Irwin, Calif., for the two Lewis-McChord brigades, which saved the costs of shipping vehicles to and from the battlefield. Afghanistan is a particularly expensive destination because Strykers must be flown into the landlocked country.

Meanwhile, Lewis-McChord's 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division is keeping its old Strykers; the soldiers last saw them as they headed for ships in Kuwait. They're now lined up for overhauls at the Army Depot in Anniston, Ala., where General Dynamics has centralized much of its Stryker production.

By: Brant

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