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Pioneering Army Unit to Debut in Iraq
AP | 8/02/03 | ROBERT BURNS

Posted on 08/02/2003 1:42:16 PM PDT by kattracks

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (AP) - A whisper of cool, mountain air slips through an open window in Col. Michael Rounds' office at this quiet Army post in the shadow of the Cascades. The setting could hardly be more unlike what Rounds' soldiers will face shortly in hot and chaotic Iraq.

Rounds commands a newly formed Stryker brigade combat team - the first of its kind, intended as a model for the Army of the future, and scheduled to make its combat debut in Iraq within two months.

``The brigade is ready to go,'' Rounds said in an interview.

Rounds' unit, formed from the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, has trained intensively this year in anticipation of being certified combat ready by October. It was not until July 23, however, that the soldiers learned they will be going to Iraq as part of a troop rotation plan.

Although President Bush declared on May 1 that major combat was over, military commanders in Iraq have said repeatedly that they still are in a war zone, one in which the tool they prize most - timely information about the enemy - is the very one that Rounds' soldiers are equipped to provide.

``One of the greatest advantages we have is that we can share information very quickly, and by sharing information very quickly we feel we are less vulnerable'' to surprise attack, Rounds said Friday.

The Iraq mission is a milestone for the Stryker Brigade, which itself represents a first step in the Army's effort to become a force more relevant to 21st-century missions.

It may one day be recognized as the most telling legacy of Gen. Eric Shinseki, who retired this summer after four years as the Army's chief of staff, the top uniformed officer. In October 1999, Shinseki outlined a plan for remaking the Army by 2010 into a more versatile force that can move quickly onto distant battlefields, armed with unparalleled ability to dictate the pace of fighting.

Coincidentally, it was the Army's experience in the Persian Gulf in 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait and seemed poised to grab the oil fields of eastern Saudi Arabia, that led to the Stryker model.

Shinseki often recalls that the Army's only answer to Iraq's threat to those Saudi oil fields was to send the 82nd Airborne Division. It is quick to respond but was too lightly armed to sustain an effective defense had the Iraqi army crossed the Saudi border and raced for the oil fields.

It was that gap between light and heavy forces that Shinseki and others realized must be closed.

Lt. Gen. Edward Soriano, commanding general of Fort Lewis and the Army's 1st Corps, said in a separate interview Friday that he has no doubt that Rounds has prepared his soldiers for the challenges of Iraq.

``It's going to be difficult,'' he said. ``But I have all the confidence in the world that these soldiers will do just fine. They are pumped up. They are psyched up.''

The Stryker is the Army's first new combat vehicle in two decades, although it actually is intended as a stepping stone to the ultimate goal: a high-tech family of fighting systems known as the Future Combat System, which still is on the drawing board and is expected to include unmanned ground and aerial vehicles.

One Stryker can be flown aboard an Air Force C-130 cargo plane, which is designed to land on short, substandard airfields in remote areas. Thus the Stryker Brigade is capable of reaching areas, including the deserts of western Iraq, that units built around tanks could not reach by air.

Gen. John Keane, the acting Army chief of staff, announced on July 23 a plan to maintain the current troop strength in Iraq while allowing those who have been there longest to go home. To do that, the Army is calling on the National Guard as well as active duty units such as the Stryker Brigade.

Asked what gave him confidence that the first Stryker Brigade is ready for real-world combat, Keane pointed to the Fort Irwin, Calif., and Fort Polk, La., training sessions the Strykers conducted last spring.

``We put it through its paces against the toughest opponent our forces have ever faced'' - the training center competition, he said. ``They are ready to go.''

The Stryker is a 19-ton, eight-wheeled armored vehicle built in the United States and Canada. It comes in two variants: an infantry carrier and a mobile gun system. The infantry carrier, in turn, has eight configurations, including a reconnaissance vehicle, a mortar carrier and a vehicle for the brigade commander.

It is named for two Medal of Honor winners: Pfc. Stuart S. Stryker, killed in action in Germany on March 24, 1945; and Spec. 4 Robert F. Stryker, killed in Vietnam on Nov. 7, 1967. They were not related.

On the Net:

Stryker Brigade Combat Team: http://www.lewis.army.mil/transformation/



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 2ndid; fortlewis; iraq; rebuildingiraq; stryker; strykerbrigade; strykerbtrigade; wheeledarmor
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1 posted on 08/02/2003 1:42:17 PM PDT by kattracks
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To: kattracks
unmanned ground and aerial vehicles.


2 posted on 08/02/2003 2:06:05 PM PDT by Reeses
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To: Reeses
SkyNet strikes again!
3 posted on 08/02/2003 2:11:09 PM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear missiles: The ultimate Phallic symbol.)
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To: kattracks
Going to be a disaster. From what I have heard, when armed with a 105, the turret cannot traverse, otherwise it tips over. I have also heard that 12.7 can make mincemeat of the armor.
4 posted on 08/02/2003 2:14:36 PM PDT by StAthanasiustheGreat (Vocatus Atque Non Vocatus Deus Aderit)
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To: kattracks
Am I the only one who looks at a Stryker and identifies BTR-60?

I am all for mobility, and I wish those fine troops the best, but can somebody tell me what a Stryker can do that some variant of the LAV could not?

Back in the 1970's the Soviet Airborne had motorized rifle regiments mounted in air droppable BMD Infantry Fighting Vehicles, with fire support provided by ASU-85 self-propelled assault guns. That was 30 years ago and our Airborne is going to war in GAC's.

I think it is a good thing that we have to go to the other side of the world to get to the bad guys, but how we get there affects how fast we go and what we can take with us. I'm a Stryker skeptic. I wonder if it is just too big and heavy and hard to maintain. Wouldn't we be better off to give the light infantry and airmobile and airborne armored HUMMV's and ATV's and Chenoweth's and an air-droppable Sheridan replacement, and give the Marines more M1A2's and the amphibs to haul them?

Seems to me what we need instead of Strykers is an amphibious armored cavalry regiment.

5 posted on 08/02/2003 2:22:39 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: kattracks
>Shinseki often recalls that the Army's only answer to Iraq's threat to those Saudi oil fields was to send the 82nd Airborne Division

If this new unit
was designed to counter big
incursions, then what

will they be doing
in present-day Iraq, where
troops are mopping up?

If they're not sent in
to kick big butt big time, will
they be told to look

friendly, and do jobs
like neighborhood policing? Am
I missing something?

6 posted on 08/02/2003 2:24:37 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
For people like me
who've never seen it, here is
the thing, and info...
7 posted on 08/02/2003 2:29:01 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: kattracks
19 tons? There's a lot of bridges this baby is going to have to go around - not over.



8 posted on 08/02/2003 2:34:21 PM PDT by Tunehead54 (Support Our Troops!)
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To: theFIRMbss
Mine's bigger! - Thanks for the link - still specs for this monster are apparently classified. How fast, how far, etc.


;-)
9 posted on 08/02/2003 2:41:19 PM PDT by Tunehead54 (Support Our Troops!)
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To: kattracks
SGT Stryker?

"My name is Stryker, Sgt. John M. Stryker. You're goin' a be my squad, a rifle squad. Three of us have seen action, Cpl. Dunn, Charlie Bass and myself. You're goin' a learn from us. In boot camp ya learned out of a book. Out here you've got a remember the book and learn a thousand things that have never been printed--probably never will be. You got a learn right and ya got a learn fast. And any man that doesn't want a cooperate, I'll make him wish he hadn't been born. Before I'm through with ya, you're goin' a move like one man and think like one man. If you don't you'll be dead. You guys have had a nice easy day. I hope ya enjoyed it because it's the last one you're goin' a get for a long time. You joined the Marines because you wanted to fight. Well, you're goin' a get your chance and I'm here to see that you know how. If I can't teach ya one way, I'll teach ya another. But I'll get the job done. The skipper of this outfit is Capt. Joyce. Platoon leader is Lt. Baker. Platoon Sergeant, Sgt. Ryke. Any questions?--That's all!"

10 posted on 08/02/2003 2:48:52 PM PDT by Gamecock (Calvinism, not just a good idea, but Scripturally correct!)
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To: Gamecock
This is going to be bad.
11 posted on 08/02/2003 3:51:18 PM PDT by MonroeDNA (No longshoremen were injured to produce this tagline.)
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To: MonroeDNA
Sorry, I just couldn't resist.
12 posted on 08/02/2003 3:55:49 PM PDT by Gamecock (Calvinism, not just a good idea, but Scripturally correct!)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
tell me what a Stryker can do that some variant of the LAV could not?

It is a variant of the LAV--has some upgrades, but is not that different.

13 posted on 08/02/2003 4:39:19 PM PDT by mark502inf
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To: mark502inf
I was using LAV to refer to the Marine Corps LAV-25 such as many of us saw who stayed up late last March to see Fox News embed Rick Leventhal. From what I have gathered the Marines are pretty satisfied with this vehicle's performance in Iraq

This site has some info on it:

http://www.paratrooper.net/aotw/commo/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3903&whichpage

I am not at home or I would have HTML'd that link for you

Stryker is not a Marine LAV-25. Here are the Advantages of the LAV-25 over the Stryker ITC (Infantry Troop Carrier):

1) LAV-25 is amphibious, Stryker is not.

2) LAV-25 is more nimble and cross country maneuverable due to 10,000+ lbs less weight. LAV-25 is around 14 tons and the Stryker is around 19 tons.

3) LAV-25 can be sling loaded by CH-53, Stryker cannot.

4) LAV-25 has 25mm bushmaster and turret. Stryker has remote mounted .50 cal OR Mk19.

5) LAV-25 is truely C-130 transportable, Most of the 10 Stryker varients are not.

6) LAV-25 costs 1/3 the price of a Stryker.

14 posted on 08/02/2003 5:34:09 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: kattracks
The Army could have bought LAVS...they seem to work just fine for the Marines, but I guess that would have kept some retired generals/corporate VPs from making the big bucks in R&D cost overruns, etc.
15 posted on 08/02/2003 6:22:02 PM PDT by MadJack
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To: Conservative84
What do you think, Dai Uy?
16 posted on 08/02/2003 7:15:28 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Roger all that. The replacement cost of the LAV-25 is $900,000. And it can go 65 mph. The Stryker, relatively, is a pig. Picture of LAV-25 in action below:


17 posted on 08/02/2003 7:33:55 PM PDT by Paul Ross (A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one!-A. Hamilton)
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To: Conservative84
What do you think, Dai Uy?
18 posted on 08/02/2003 7:36:43 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: kattracks
To all, lets also not forget that all of these BDEs vehicles have real time C2 and digital comms, to give all levels of command real time situational information. They also are not going into a unprpepared theater, while Iraq is not a mature theater of operations it is far from an unprepared one, there are LOCs in place to allow this BDE which has exceptionally light/austere logistics capability a fairly robust back up support capability. Also they'll leverage all the add-on armor capability for their vehicles which limits deployment timelines again not a consideration for this operation. FYI they kicked both the NTC and JRTC OPFOR's ass even with the new COE enhancements the OPFOR has been upgraded with based on Enduring and IRAQ Freedom lessons learned. I've seen both the offical and the OPFOR's internal AARs. I think they'll do alright.
19 posted on 08/02/2003 7:50:35 PM PDT by dragon6 (BOWIE 90 Mend the Sword)
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To: dragon6
So what gives these things the edge at the NTCs? You hit, you blink, you die (unless you cheat). Fire and maneuver is the same once you know the terrain.

Unless they were given an artificial edge I'm curious as to why they came out on top.
20 posted on 08/02/2003 8:07:40 PM PDT by VeniVidiVici (There is nothing Democratic about the Democrat party.)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Your LAV question is relevant. LAV III's were used as surrogate training vehicles for the (then) IBCT at Ft. Lewis. Stryker vehicle has no turret (other than the MGS variant which won't be fielded unitl later this decade...)
The whole "vehicle will get killed by tanks" arguement is a canard. It was not designed to go against tanks (that is why we have tanks...), but is designed to get the Infantry to the objective quickly, with some measure of armor protection. The guts of the vehicle are what is supposed to be "new and improved". Whether the digital technology will work remains to be seen. When it does work, it is impressive. Guess we'll find out shortly. And, I suspect we'll get an answer to whether or not it will survive a mine strike or an RPG ambush.
What the BDE has, that no one in the media ever talks about is an additional infantry battalion of over 400 soldiers...that is three infantry battalions and a Cavalry Squadron that the BDE CDR has to play around with (patrolling, kicking in doors, etc...) and each unit has snipers and other toys most regular infantry units don't have. The unit was really built for these types of fights, so this should be a decent test of whether or not the army is on the right track. There are 5 other brigades waiting to be fielded after this one.
regards,

21 posted on 08/02/2003 9:25:53 PM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: Thunder 6
unitl = until
22 posted on 08/02/2003 9:27:46 PM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: Thunder 6
The LAV-III Armored Car

The LAV-III 8x8 armored car is a 20-ton (combat-loaded) metal box suspended on top of 8 rubber tires which press down hard on the earth; 40 PSI to be exact. A vehicle pressing down on just 8 small areas can roll fast on pavement, but it cannot drive at will off-road in mud where it must grip. Except in the firm soil desert areas and roads, the LAV-III will get stuck often, ruining the tactical integrity of units and result in route selection where only clearly defined roads and paths will be selected. What we can anticipate is "GO" terrain for wheeled vehicles is also "GO" locations to set up an ambush and wait for vulnerable wheeled targets appear.

23 posted on 08/02/2003 10:29:36 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: Thunder 6
Billions wasted on new military vehicle? Critics pan Army's 'Stryker' as poor alternative to tracked predecessors
24 posted on 08/02/2003 10:59:21 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: dragon6
I first saw these things at Ft. Lewis last year. I wondered what they were so asked a couple of the troopers working on one.

Me, I'm the kind of guy who would want nothing less than an M1-A2 but these guys seemed pretty enthusiastic about their go buggy. We'll see how they work up. Even the M1-A1 had a difficult workup.

25 posted on 08/02/2003 11:06:02 PM PDT by CWOJackson
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Cannoneer,
Thanks for the info. Should be an interesting deployment to watch.
regards,
26 posted on 08/03/2003 5:35:08 AM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: NWU Army ROTC; kattracks; theFIRMbss; Tunehead54; mark502inf; MadJack; Paul Ross; dragon6; ...
Thanks for posting this, kattracks. You have motivated me to educate myself. I've been googling Strykers and finding all kinds of disquieting stuff. Apparently a number of people with knowledge of the program are voicing their concerns on the Internet.

WHEELED ARMORED CARS: FAILURES NOT THE "FUTURE" OF WARFARE

Tofflerian "RMA" Firepower versus Heinlein/Fehrenbachian/Van Crevaldian "4GW" Maneuver: which is right for 21st century combat?

Air-Mech-Strike

Transformation Lies and Deceits come home to roost

Wheeled Stryker, FCS, bite the dust

Most of these links are also heavily linked, you could spend entire days reading them all.

27 posted on 08/03/2003 10:00:09 AM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: Thunder 6
The whole "vehicle will get killed by tanks" arguement is a canard. It was not designed to go against tanks (that is why we have tanks...), but is designed to get the Infantry to the objective quickly, with some measure of armor protection.

Wrong. Look again at the text of the main article:

Coincidentally, it was the Army's experience in the Persian Gulf in 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait and seemed poised to grab the oil fields of eastern Saudi Arabia, that led to the Stryker model.

Shinseki often recalls that the Army's only answer to Iraq's threat to those Saudi oil fields was to send the 82nd Airborne Division. It is quick to respond but was too lightly armed to sustain an effective defense had the Iraqi army crossed the Saudi border and raced for the oil fields.

It was that gap between light and heavy forces that Shinseki and others realized must be closed.

If one is filling the gap, then one is facing whatever the enemy is throwing at you in that gap. The 82nd was often referred to as a "speed bump" for enemy armored formations. Stryker units will die in droves if faced by anything more modern than T-55s. And, unlike those tracked enemy armored vehicles, the Strykers will be canalized onto terrain where they won't get stuck, allowing the enemy tanks to outmaneuver them. And an enemy on the defensive will know exactly which routes the Strykers will have to use. You can bet those routes will be mined, booby trapped with off-route ambush systems, targeted for artillery (we aren't the only ones with DPICM-type bomblet artillery), and have dug-in tanks just waiting. A little forethought and preparation will go a long ways toward negating our technological superiority.

I'm sure we will win in the end, but Strykers will see to it that the American body count is very high. "Light armor" is a euphemism for "Soldiers are expendable." As a former tanker - and I chose that branch when every branch in the Army was open for me to choose - I would have resigned my commission before going into battle in light armor.

There are better solutions to the gap the Stryker is meant to fill, but that would make this post rather long. :-)

28 posted on 08/03/2003 8:31:20 PM PDT by Conservative84 (Armor: The mounted combat arm of decision)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
The M113A3 has always been something the Army should have purchased in quantity. Instead, they chose the Bradley. The Bradley is a bigger target than an M-1 tank. It also costs a LOT more than the M113A3 would have. I wouldn't have wanted to face hostile fire in a Bradley, an M113A3, a LAV-25, or a Stryker - I'm a heavy armor type. Didn't have to face hostile fire in anything, though. I was so good, enemies of the US were too afraid of me to try anything while I was in. :-)

M113A3 Advantages: True cross country mobility, very flexible armament selection, decent armor protection, air transportable . . .

Disadvantages: Costs a lot less (less Pork to bring home), not a sexy-looking wheeled thingy, doesn't emply enough constituents 'cause it's an upgrade versus a new vehicle.

29 posted on 08/03/2003 8:58:09 PM PDT by Conservative84 (Light Armor: The mounted combat arm of disposable soldiers)
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To: Cannoneer No. 4
Am I the only one who looks at a Stryker and identifies BTR-60?

No, I see BTR-60 too. Or a BTR-80. Or that German thing, I believe it was the Spahpanzer Luchs. And, of course, the LAV-25. Or the old Czech OT-64. Can you say, "Friendly Fire?" I knew you could.

30 posted on 08/03/2003 9:03:16 PM PDT by Conservative84 (Wheels - cheaper than tracks. Less capable too.)
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To: kattracks
bump
31 posted on 08/03/2003 9:28:15 PM PDT by VOA
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To: NWU Army ROTC

Going to be a disaster. From what I have heard, when armed with a 105, the turret cannot traverse, otherwise it tips over. I have also heard that 12.7 can make mincemeat of the armor.

Plus, the 105 lacks the firepower to successfully engage a T-62 or anything better.

As many others on this thread said, the Army was better either modifying the M-113 or buying LAVs (a'la the Marines).

32 posted on 08/03/2003 9:35:11 PM PDT by Sparta (Send the Palestinians to their homeland, Jordan.)
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To: Sparta
Plus, the 105 lacks the firepower to successfully engage a T-62 or anything better.

I had heard that the Israelis were punching holes through T-72s with the 105mm tank gun. But perhaps the 105 on the Stryker isn't quite the same as was mounted on the M60 series, the first versions of the Merkava, the M1, and a bunch of other tanks. (The M1A1 went to the 120mm, but the M1 still had the 105mm 'cause we couldn't get enough 120s at first).

Of course, I heard of one Israeli tank unit falling back to reload. The ammo point didn't have any "real" rounds left, but had some training rounds. In typical Israeli style, they uploaded training HEAT rounds and headed into battle. At the close ranges the battle had closed to, those "inert" chunks of metal took out T-62s nicely. But to head into combat with practice ammo - talk about . . ., uh, intestinal fortitude, yeah that's it, intestinal fortitude. :-)

33 posted on 08/03/2003 9:53:14 PM PDT by Conservative84 (Tracks, turrets, and real armor - NOW we're talking!)
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To: Thunder 6
There are 5 other brigades waiting to be fielded after this one.

By my count, that's 6 brigades. Unless things have changed a lot, that's two full divisions. Will there be two Stryker divisions, or will the brigades be distributed to existing divisions? If the latter, that would sure bite - replacing a tank brigade (2 Battalions of Tanks, 1 of Mech Infantry), a Mech Brigade (2 Battalions of Mech, 1 of Tanks), or, even worse, the division's "balanced" brigade (2 of each, Tank & Mech) with cute little wheelie Stryker things

If it's good for Stryker units, why not equip the normal infantry unit with all the goodies? Stack the deck enough and I can make a "leg" light infantry unit capable of defeating heavy armor!

34 posted on 08/03/2003 10:03:43 PM PDT by Conservative84
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To: Conservative84
6 Brigades: Two currently at Ft. Lewis (one before too much longer), one in Alaska, one in Hawaii, one at Ft. Polk, and one in Pennsylvania. The ones in Alaska and Louisiana are separate BDE's. The other two belong to existing Divisions, one light, one mech.
reagrds,
35 posted on 08/04/2003 12:11:46 PM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: Conservative84
I stand by my original opinion: The Stryker vehicle isn't designed to go against tanks. The crew inside may engage tanks with their Javellin (or bettter yet, artillery) once they have dismounted. The intent is that Stryker vehicles aren't put in a toe to toe fight with a tank. We wouldn't do that with an M113 either.
The army did have a force in the invetory in 1990 that would have probably done a decent job deterring the Iraqis from crossing into Kuwait, and it could have gotten there almost as quickly as the 82nd (who had nothing bigger than a Dragon): the 9th Infantry Division (Motorized) sat out the war at Ft. Lewis, after training for just such a threat in the deserts of Yakima, and the NTC.
Either way, we will see some feedback soon enough.
regards,
36 posted on 08/04/2003 12:20:43 PM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: Conservative84
Am I the only one who looks at a Stryker and identifies BTR-60?

If it ever come to it, these Stryker units may tangle with the large number of Syrian BTR-60s and the Air Force and Navy pilots will have to sort out who's who.

37 posted on 08/04/2003 12:38:06 PM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: Thunder 6
I stand by my original opinion: The Stryker vehicle isn't designed to go against tanks. The crew inside may engage tanks with their Javellin (or bettter yet, artillery) once they have dismounted. The intent is that Stryker vehicles aren't put in a toe to toe fight with a tank.

I agree entirely - the Stryker isn't meant to go up against tanks. But the original article indicated they were intended to get "there" quickly - meaning they're likely to be the only American unit in front of an advancing enemy. Unless the enemy obligingly plays by the "rules," he's likely to have tanks. Regardless of what the Stryker is meant to fight, in such a scenario what we will have is a vehicle that has less maneuverability, far less air transportability (= fewer men and vehicles deployed), less armament options, and a larger profile (bigger target). Not to mention the much greater vulnerability of that large set of wheels (compared to relatively short and mostly steel tracks) to various unpleasantness. And something tells me that, despite the much greater weight, its armor isn't any better than that of the M113A3.

But all of these shortcomings are apparently more than made up for by the fact that the Stryker costs much, much more than the M113A3. Further, since it has very little parts commonality with existing systems (the M113 series remains in the logistical system), there's the added bonus of the additional burden on the Army's entire logistical system.

My assessment of the armament options is based on the flexibility of the GE modular turret system mounted on the M113 and those variants we all know and love: the 4.2" mortar, the Improved TOW Vehicle, and the Vulcan. We must assume the enemy isn't totally moronic and has some degree of combined arms - light and mech infantry, tanks, artillery, AA, perhaps some type of combat engineers. Just a few high rate of fire AA guns and a mix of both shoulder-fired and ground/vehicle mounted missile systems, particularly IR systems and some good, old-fashioned Barrage Ballons (cheap, simple, invisible to radar, deadly to low-flying aircraft) and the only air assets we dare deploy in support of our Strykers are UAVs, F117s, and B-2s (only 21 B-2s in the inventory and something like 50-70 F117s). Some fairly rudimentary jamming systems may well prevent effective use of UAVs. This all adds up to very bad news to those guys in the Strykers.

Now, mind you, I'm not saying the situation is all skittles and beer for a force mounted in M113A3s. But since you can probably deploy 2-3 times as many M113A3s because they're actually C-130 transportable and I believe a C-17 can carry 2, you'll have a lot more forces ready to fight. Add in those neat combat support variants - most of which don't have to be upgraded to 'A3 variant to be effective - and you are much better prepared to do more than die in place. "Quantity has a quality all its own." But we're also talking more maneuverable, more survivable, and much cheaper.

An Israeli general once made the following comment about an entirely different topic, but I think it's most appropriate (wording isn't exact, 'cause it's from memory): "We are watching your experiments with great interest. But, unfortunately, in Israel we have to take war seriously." I'm not saying the Stryker is a pile of excrement. I simply maintain that it is far, far from the best choice. Newer isn't always better! But, like NASA refusing to use Space Shuttle External Tanks as part of the Space Station, the Army is blinded by New and Sexy and Congress by the copious quantities of Pork. I suspect the Stryker will do as well as any other brigade would when deployed to Iraq in the current situation (assuming the other brigade would have all the extra "toys" the Stryker brigade gets). But that ain't comparing apples and apples by saying one bridage is as good, or perhaps better, than another. In a rapid deployment situation, in the same time you managed to deploy a single brigade of Strykers, you could deploy 3 brigades of M113A3s - that's the combat units of an entire division! If you were the enemy, which would you rather face: A brigade of Strykers that don't have a lot of cross-country mobility or a division of M113A3s that can maneuver across virtually any terrain, including crossing water obstacles without any real advanced prep? The answer is obvious unless you've been consuming recreational pharmaceuticals.

38 posted on 08/04/2003 8:01:31 PM PDT by Conservative84 (All change is not good, all motion is not progress)
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To: Conservative84
I appreciate your reply. Clearly, you have thought through some of the key issues surrounding the transformation effort, and make some great points.
Incidently, I saw some information today that the "analog" V (US) Corps has been having some problems working with the "digital" 4th Infantry Division in Iraq. Interesting times ahead for 3/2.
regards,
39 posted on 08/04/2003 8:18:24 PM PDT by Thunder 6
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To: Conservative84; Thunder 6; jriemer; Sparta; NWU Army ROTC; kattracks; theFIRMbss; Tunehead54; ...
Last night I watched this show on TechTV called Future Fighting Machines and some MAJ from 25ID was talking about how the Stryker was such a great vehicle for providing mobility to the light infantry and I'm thinking to myself, "What makes you think you're light infantry if you ride around in that thing? You're basically a kimche panzergrenadier and don't know it."

The Army has forgotten the utility of guys with rucks and rifles. You can put these guys on buses, drive 'em to the airfield, fly them halfway around the world, land them at a Forward Operating Base, load them up on choppers and air assault a Himalayan mountain range. That's strategic and operational mobility, paid for at the expense of tactical mobility. Once they get there they hump and grunt and crunch gravel with their leather personnel carriers, augmented with whatever ATV's, Gators, and indigenous transport they can get. Too low tech for some people, who cannot stand to see other services or branches get more Buck Rogers War Machines than they do.

The Army has allowed the Marines to become America's 911 Force, and these Stryker Brigade Combat Teams are a half-vast attempt to get back into the Rapid Deployment business. The problem is the lift. The same admiral who owns the Amphibious Ready Group also owns the MEU embarked on it. No Army commander owns any C-17s. He must beg the Air Force for a ride, and if they aren't too busy deploying all the support troops needed by an Air Expeditionary Force the Air Force might scrape up some birds. The air lift does not exist to move these Stryker Brigades and move everything else that has to go at the same time.

Too bad the various proponents of mobile warfare in the different services and branches can't cooperate and graduate. We need a real Airborne Corps, with 2 Airborne Divisions, an Airmobile Division, an Air Cavalry Combat Brigade and an Armored Cavalry Regiment (Airborne), mounted in air-droppable armored fighting vehicles like M-113A3's and M-8 Armored Gun Systems. Whoever cancelled the M-8 should have his cod split. What would be so hard about recreating 21st-century versions of the Bren Gun Carrier and the M-114? We also need Armored Expeditionary Forces afloat in high speed large roll-on/roll-off catamaran sea-going ferries full of Main Battle Tanks and Cavalry Fighting Vehicles and self-propelled artillery. The idea is to get there firstest with the mostest, and sometimes that will be air and sometimes sea and often both.

40 posted on 08/04/2003 10:21:21 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: Tunehead54

BTR-60

41 posted on 08/04/2003 11:03:03 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: Conservative84

BTR-80

42 posted on 08/04/2003 11:06:54 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("A little more grape, Captain Bragg.")
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To: Cannoneer No. 4; Conservative84; Thunder 6; jriemer; Sparta; NWU Army ROTC; kattracks; ...
Actually, you don't lose any tactical mobility when you take light infantry and "air asault a Himalyan mountain range". Mobility is relative to the terrain, the climate, the weather, and the enemy as well as your own equipment. The most tactically mobile formation in your Himalayan example IS infantry. What is more tactically mobile in the jungle or a swamp--an infantry squad or a tank?

Based on a national strategy that in essence says we will take the fight to the enemy versus let the enemy come to America, the U.S. military is expeditionary in nature. Since there are lots of different types of enemy forces in different climates and terrain, we have to have a broad mix of capabilities ourselves.

The trick is to not get so specialized that units become "one-trick ponies"--only capable of fighting in one geographic area against one enemy force.

Our current mix of foot infantry units with the strategic and operational forced entry capability of the 82d Airborne and 101st Air Assault coupled with the "heavy" force Bradley/M-1 tank mix is pretty good. However, we've been missing a "medium" weight force and that is what Shinseki gave us with the Stryker Brigades.

I agree with many that the M113A3 was on the shelf and ready, but with either vehicle, the purpose of the brigade would be the same--get there faster than a heavy force with a lot more firepower than foot infantry.

Further, after deployment, in areas where the ground is reasonably trafficable (most of the world), the Stryker Brigade will provide the advantages of vehicle mobility coupled with much more foot infantry than heavy forces carry--the ratinale is not simply strategic mobility--the Stryker Brigade also fills a tactical need.

As for fighting tanks--Stryker Brigades would have no problem defending (defending an airhead is one of their primary tasks) against heavy armor units. Offensive ops, except against an enemy with a very limited number of tanks, would be very problematic, however.

43 posted on 08/05/2003 4:25:51 AM PDT by mark502inf
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To: mark502inf
Offensive ops...would be very problematic, however.

Meaning offensive ops against a primarily "heavy" force.

44 posted on 08/05/2003 4:29:27 AM PDT by mark502inf
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To: Conservative84
For thread reference:


M-113


M-114

45 posted on 08/05/2003 5:32:19 AM PDT by jriemer (We are a Republic not a Democracy)
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To: Conservative84; Cannoneer No. 4
>"We are watching your experiments with great interest. But, unfortunately, in Israel we have to take war seriously."

Aren't these kinds of
"experiments" yesterday's
news
for a country

like America?
I mean, when we have things like
Spectre Gunships and --

probably -- things like
Brilliant Pebbles, do we need
so many options

for getting ground troops
from place to place? I mean, if
we're not going to

colonize some place,
then don't our high tech weapons
make these ground things moot?

46 posted on 08/05/2003 7:19:54 AM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: theFIRMbss
I mean, if we're not going to colonize some place, then don't our high tech weapons make these ground things moot?

We're not colonizing Iraq, Afghanistan, or the Phillipines and we are approaching 200,000 Army troops in those places. And if we lined up our Air Force wing-tip to wing-tip over any of those countries and vectored in every satellite in outer space while the entire Navy steamed off-shore it would not reduce the need for those soldiers by one man.

The problem with the latest greatest high tech whiz-bang idea is that the enemy never seems to cooperate. That is why the diesel snorkle subs didn't starve out the UK. That is why our fleets of long range heavy bombers with Norden bomb sights didn't destroy Germany's industry. That is why we can do shock and awe by launching missiles and planes from the other side of the world and guided by satellites and lasers to hit targets with pin-point accuracy--and have no effect except destroying a bunch of empty buildings & probably killing a few conscripts left behind to guard them.

The most flexible and effective weapon in our arsenal is a well-trained soldier on the ground--operates in any terrain, weather, or climate against any enemy. Can kill or capture, can separate bad guys from civilians, can use one shot to kill the sniper in the mosque, and unlike a high tech gizmo--a soldier can adapt to completely new or unforeseen circumstances.

47 posted on 08/05/2003 10:32:27 AM PDT by mark502inf
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To: mark502inf
>The most flexible and effective weapon in our arsenal is a well-trained soldier on the ground--operates in any terrain, weather, or climate against any enemy. Can kill or capture, can separate bad guys from civilians, can use one shot to kill the sniper in the mosque, and unlike a high tech gizmo--a soldier can adapt to completely new or unforeseen circumstances.

I don't disagree
with that one bit! I'm saying,
however, we have

many proven means
of getting troops here to there.
To my eyes it seems

smarter to budget
money to build deep reserves
of vehicles that

have proven themselves
rather than invest in new
programs. (In regards

to well defined things
like troop-moving and such.) That's
all I was saying.

48 posted on 08/05/2003 2:23:11 PM PDT by theFIRMbss
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To: Thunder 6; jriemer; Sparta; NWU Army ROTC; kattracks; Conservative84; Cannoneer No. 4; ...
This is a good web page for M114 pictures.

http://www.jed.simonides.org/fulltrack/mike-number-us/m114_series/m114-series.html

Do not discount them. They were very good for their day with the exception of the hydra-matic transmission. It lacked a torque converter, using only a fluid coupling with straight vanes. If they would have been converted to about the same standard as the M113 with a diesel and a better power train they might have had a much better reputation. I would have used the same engine the Gamma Goat had, a 3/53 (half of the 6V53 used in the M113s) coupled it to a good Chrysler automatic and you might have had something.

Oh well, "if an elephant had wings" - you know the rest.
49 posted on 08/05/2003 2:58:27 PM PDT by SLB
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To: jriemer

Bren Gun Carrier (US Ford T16 version)

50 posted on 08/05/2003 4:33:47 PM PDT by Cannoneer No. 4 ("Fahr na HO!")
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