Finally: Desert Tan Strykers

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:

Army to phase in tan-colored Stryker vehicles

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:

Dar Barker, a General Dynamics Land Systems retrofit chief from Puyallup, Wa., directs an armored combat vehicle outside the Stryker battle damage repair facility at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Oct. 5. The Stryker infantry carrier vehicle had been restored after deterioration during enemy engagement in Iraq. It's the first vehicle to adopt a new desert tan color in Southwest Asia, in preparation for a planned phase out of the Stryker's current deep green color. Photo by Dustin Senger

Dar Barker, a General Dynamics Land Systems retrofit chief from Puyallup, Wa., directs an armored combat vehicle outside the Stryker battle damage repair facility at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Oct. 5. The Stryker infantry carrier vehicle had been restored after deterioration during enemy engagement in Iraq. It's the first vehicle to adopt a new desert tan color in Southwest Asia, in preparation for a planned phase out of the Stryker's current deep green color. Photo by Dustin Senger

A Stryker armored combat vehicle circles around the Stryker battle damage repair facility at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Oct. 5. The Stryker infantry carrier vehicle had been restored after deterioration during enemy engagement in Iraq. It's the first vehicle to adopt a new desert tan color in Southwest Asia, in preparation for a planned phase out of the Stryker's current deep green color. Photo by Dustin Senger

A Stryker armored combat vehicle circles around the Stryker battle damage repair facility at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Oct. 5. The Stryker infantry carrier vehicle had been restored after deterioration during enemy engagement in Iraq. It's the first vehicle to adopt a new desert tan color in Southwest Asia, in preparation for a planned phase out of the Stryker's current deep green color. Photo by Dustin Senger

Jagadish Hajam, an auto body repairman and painter from Nepal, applies a coat of Tan 686A, a paint meant for desert camouflage, on the wheels of a Stryker armored combat vehicle inside a booth at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Oct. 3. It's the first vehicle to adopt the new desert tan color in Southwest Asia, in preparation for a planned phase out of the Stryker's current deep green color. Photo by Dustin Senger

Jagadish Hajam, an auto body repairman and painter from Nepal, applies a coat of Tan 686A, a paint meant for desert camouflage, on the wheels of a Stryker armored combat vehicle inside a booth at Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar, Oct. 3. It's the first vehicle to adopt the new desert tan color in Southwest Asia, in preparation for a planned phase out of the Stryker's current deep green color. Photo by Dustin Senger

More photos at DVIDS.

Comments

  1. Are you telling me the unit Motor T guys didn’t paint their vehicles in country? I find that hard to believe. Everyone did thier own paint job in ’90.

  2. The reason they left them dark green in Iraq was due to its excellent use during night operations. The dark green paint was designed to be very anti-reflective to any light source, coupled with the Strykers super quite engine made it ideal during the night. We used to roll through Iraqi Army checkpoints without the Soldiers knowing we were there until we were right on top of them. Theoretically the SBCTs were primarily to be used in urban environments too, (i.e. Baghdad, Mosul, Baquba, etc.) where blending in with the desert sand during the daytime isn’t really a critical thing. Besides, after a few missions they got so covered in dust they might as well have been tan.

  3. It only took the (Br)asshats SIX YEARS to start painting Strykers the same color as their operating environment.

    Pundits have said all along that vehicles operating in a Brown environment need to be painted brown, but those bean-counting “geniuses” didn’t listen…

    …and by the end of 2009, the all-Woodland Green SBCTs had caused 10% of all US military deaths in Iraq (400+ out of 4000+).

  4. Clark,

    Earth-tone colors blend with ALL environments because ALL terrain is predominantly brown — a fact that Yon skirts over.

    It’s also worth comparing a satellite color photo of Iraq;
    http://www.theodora.com/maps/new8/iraq_satellite_nasa.jpg

    …to a satellite color photo of Germany…;
    http://rst.gsfc.nasa.gov/Sect6/po00036_c.jpg

    The fact is, Iraq is more than 90% Brown. Not only that, but a Dark Brown camo scheme would blend-in amongst foliage as well (look at what the greenery is growing out of).

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