The 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, has been declared operational after completing the transition to the Stryker. The brigade is stationed at Fort Lewis, WA, which is also the home of the 3rd Bde, 2nd ID currently deployed to Iraq.
There’s no official news of deployment plans, though given the current state of our Army and the extension of some deployments due to unrest in Iraq I’ve got to think that these guys are going to be heading to the Sandbox in the near future.
Rumors abound here and in Washington, D.C., that the 1st Brigade might join its Stryker sister, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, in Iraq, but the brigade as yet has no orders for deployment, Army officials said yesterday.
Instead, the 1st Brigade “continues to train at Fort Lewis to sustain the unit’s high level of readiness,” Capt. Tim Beninato, spokesman for Fort Lewis’ Stryker brigades, said yesterday.
“First Brigade has undergone intensive training over the last year and is prepared to perform any mission it may be directed to conduct in the future,” he said.
The 2nd ID Strykers and the men who operate from them have had a great deal of success since entering Iraq in December. Additionally, the Iraqi security forces in the north, primarily Kurds, seem to be performing fairly well, especially when compared with those around Baghdad, Fallujah, and farther south.
The next unit to convert to the Stryker will be the 172nd Brigade, stationed in Alaska. After them will be the 2nd Armored Cav Regiment, though it seems to me that converting the 2nd ACR first might make more sense as it would free up the armored Humvees that they currently use. Forces in Iraq are short of armored Humvees, and the regular Humvees that have had armor added are suffering greatly due to the increased weight.
The 2nd ACR was scheduled to return stateside this month, but they have had their deployment extended. Some elements of the regiment had already arrived back in the US before the change in plans, but those units won’t be going back.