Stryking Back

Here are a bunch of Stryker-related links and some of Murdoc’s home-brewed commentary:

Bomb kills four Stryker soldiers
Mosul continues to be a hotbed of insurgent activity. It really picked up about the time Fallujah was cleared and hasn’t let up. Two 1-5 INF and two 2-3 CAV soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb on April 28th.

The attack in Tal Afar was the second devastating hit on a Stryker in five days. On April 23, a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives up to one of the 20-ton Army vehicles in Mosul, killing one soldier and seriously injuring six others.

The attack Thursday was the most lethal on a Stryker since the vehicles arrived in Iraq in December 2003. Insurgents have employed ever larger improvised bombs against the wheeled armored troop carriers, which in most cases have proven capable of withstanding the explosions to protect soldiers riding inside, Army officials have said.

27 soldiers from the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (the second Stryker Brigade) have been killed in Iraq.

Stryker brigade off to last training before deployment
The third Stryker Brigade, the 172nd Infantry Regiment, is at Fort Polk, LA, for a month of intense training. The unit will deploy to Iraq this fall. Unlike the second Stryker Brigade, this one will be taking its own vehicles.

The 172nd has spent the last 16 months converting from a separate infantry brigade to a modular Stryker brigade combat team, the third of six such planned teams.

After certification, the team will return to Fort Wainwright for more training. Then nearly all the soldiers will take leave until deployment.

Accompanying the Stryker team to Fort Polk is the 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron that is assigned to Eielson Air Force Base but stationed out of Fort Wainwright.

On May 5 in a ceremony at Fort Polk, the squadron will receive five specially equipped Stryker vehicles that have enhanced communications systems to allow the soldiers to coordinate ground and air forces activities.

More on this Air Force squadron in the next link.

Air Force to get first Stryker
I don’t think I knew about this plan. The 3rd Air Support Operations Squadron will provide close-air support and weather forecasts for the Stryker Brigade, and they’ll do it from the comfort of their spiffy new 8-wheeled Strykers.

“Having Stryker attached to the 3rd ASOS will improve overall capability and survivability,” said the 3rd ASOS commander Lt. Col. Russell J. Smith.

“Next to survivability, though, I would rate connectivity as the most important asset of the tactical air control party Stryker,” Smith said.

That’s quite something.

Stryker project ready to roll
The plans to expand things in Hawaii in anticipation of the fifth Stryker Brigade have finally been approved and construction work is imminent.

The project, one of the Army’s biggest in Hawai’i since World War II, will include the creation of 71 miles of private trails on O’ahu and the Big Island, six new firing ranges, two airfield upgrades, and the purchase of 1,400 acres adjacent to Schofield Barracks.

The pace of the $1.5 billion project picked up almost immediately once the Army prevailed last week in a legal battle against three Native Hawaiian groups that filed suit in federal court to halt the brigade’s arrival.

The 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division will begin conversion to the Stryker in 2006. Next up is the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment.

More to come…And here it is.

General Dynamics receives another order for Stryker Brigade Vehicles
The Military-Industrial Complex hums on. The vehicles for the Hawaii brigade have been ordered. That means they won’t be hopping along clapping coconuts together.

Stryker: Hype Versus Reality
Project On Government Oversight has another post up on the Stryker.

POGO has not called for the cancellation of the Stryker. We don’t doubt that the Stryker rides smoother than a Bradley, that its technologies provide a better view of the battlefield, or that it might have saved some soldiers’ lives. We’d certainly rather have all the troops in Strykers than in Humvees. That said, it doesn’t mean the Stryker is performing as promised, or that it can’t be better — and most importantly, safer. We have simply drawn attention to what we believe is a very independent and important study of the Stryker’s performance in Iraq by the Army’s own Kansas-based Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL).

The post’s title (“Hype Versus Reality”) is indeed accurate. But I think the hype goes in both directions. POGO seems to want the Stryker to be better and safer. That’s very admirable and a desire that is shared by Murdoc Online. But what POGO seems to be missing while it repeatedly points out the Stryker’s shortcomings is that the very report it uses as evidence of trouble is in fact part of the Army’s program to make the Stryker better and safer.

As a clueless outsider, I have my own criticisms of the Stryker. Some of them have been confirmed by this Army report. But the report is simply part of the picture, and in any event is a part that is being used to improve the exact issues that POGO takes great exception to.

The comments sections of the Stryker posts on POGO are filled with the typical pro-Stryker/anti-M113 and pro-M113/pro-Stryker garbage that fills every Stryker discussion. Too bad.

Michael Yon: Online Magazine
Michael Yon is currently embedded with the Stryker Brigade in Iraq. Don’t miss his Battle for Mosul post, which includes these pictures from April 23rd:



Stryker Brigade News
SBN gets the hat tip for the heads up on Michael Yon’s site, and you should always keep an eye on them for all the latest Stryker items. For instance, they point out this image at

(See at the link above for a much larger version.)

What sort of armor plate is that on the weapons station? (And note what appears to be the Boondock Saints written on it: And Shepards we shall be, for thee my lord for thee. Power hath descended forth from thy hand. That our feet may swiftly carry out thy command. So we shall flow a river forth to thee, And teeming with souls shall it ever be.)


  1. Murdoc, That is a RV. You can tell that it is a FSV or RV by the cupola ring as well as the fact that it has a chicken plate (gunshield). If you look to the right of the shield you can see the mount of the LRAS3, which makes it a RV. Another thing that I just noticed is that the headlights are mounted on a bracket that place them above the slat armor – this is a modification since last summer. When the slat was originally installed, the lights sat behind the slat armor and while they still provided plenty of light on the road ahead, there was also a splash of light that was reflected off the slat that made it hard for the driver to see through his periscope vision blocks. For those that are wondering, we started to drive with our lights on in populated areas to prevent Iraqis (usually drunk) from running into us after a handful of car accidents (the Stryker always won in a collision) – hearts and minds. I don’t know if that has changed since the enemy threat has changed with VBIEDs and SVBIEDs – between ambient light for those in the hatch and the Drivers Vision Enhancer (DVE), you don’t need the lights to get around. Shek