This is something I meant to post on several weeks back when I first heard of it, but I didn’t get to it. Now Stars & Stripes has a story:
More than six years after sending the first Stryker armored vehicles into desert combat, the Army has decided that it’s probably a good idea to start painting them tan so they will blend in with the environments in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“Safeguarding soldiers is the primary purpose for this color change,” said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Peter Butts, commander of the 1st Battalion, 401st Army Field Support Brigade, who announced the change in a news release from Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, earlier this month. “Strykers will blend into surroundings better. They’re less likely to stand out like silhouettes.”
Since 2003, Stryker units deploying to Iraq have done so with their vehicles painted in deep green, while most other units deployed with tan vehicles.
I’ve often wondered about this, but even now no meaningful reason for the delay is to be found. Given the red tape this probably had to go through, I guess we should consider it lucky that the vehicle itself wasn’t cleared to be painted tan but the slat armor had to stay green.
Something that just seems to make this worse is that now, even though the official decision to go desert tan has been made, it can only be done when the Strykers are in “authorized facilities” in Qatar. No immediate changes for deployed units unless their vehicles are sent back for repair.
Here are some photos of the new colors from earlier this month: