Stryker Brigade Concept Proves Itself in NinewaBy Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service BAGHDAD, Iraq, Jan. 15, 2005 - The Stryker Brigade is well-designed for the decentralized war against insurgents the coalition is waging in Iraq, said Brig. Gen. Carter Ham, commander of Task Force Olympia, during an American Forces Press Service interview today.
With 14 months of combat experience under its belt now, the Stryker Brigade concept has proven itself. The brigade in Mosul now - the 1st Brigade of the 25th Infantry Division -- is using its flexible capabilities to hunt down insurgents and terrorists intimidating Iraqis who want a free and democratic country.
The brigade has substantially more infantry than a typical brigade, and uses technology to leverage the infantry when they dismount. The brigade also has more intelligence capabilities - including an unmanned aerial vehicle capability - and more internal options for firepower.
The Stryker vehicle itself has received glowing reports. The mission-capable rate dipped below 90 percent only once in the last year, and that was during the equipment hand-off from one brigade to another.
The wheeled vehicle also can move faster and farther than the typical infantry brigade. The smooth-riding vehicle also allows troops to arrive at a fight rested. "It doesn't shake the crew like a typical Bradley (fighting vehicle) does," Ham said.
The brigade demonstrated that capability many times in 2004. Strykers moved from Mosul to Kut and Najaf in April. They arrived ready for the fight. "We often launch strikes that go over 100 kilometers into the desert," Ham said. "That's tough to do in a Bradley.
"But it's important to remember that it's not an 'either-or' proposition," he continued. "There is a definite place for Bradleys and main battle tanks. We have tanks in Mosul right now, and I'm here to tell you that the insurgents don't like them."
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