If all goes well, deployment of Stryker brigades expected by fall


George Hill
June 22, 2003, 10:35 PM

I'll not quote it... let me just say that this POS vehicle is rolling forward in the face of repeated failures and shortcomings.

Please turn your attention to a report from one of our own:

You’ve heard mention of the Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCT). You hear Ogre carp about them. Well…I was going through Air Assault School when my squad went to NTC. Our company went as OPFOR, but the Headquarters Element (MGS’ers- 19K’s attached to Infantry companies to use the projected “Mobile Gun System” Stryker variant, FO’s, and mortars) all got to simulate an indigenous force working with a group of Special Forces. My company is in 1st Brigade, so we were there as OPFOR for 3rd Brigade- again, all except for Headquarters, who got to be on the SBCT’s side.

Here’s how it went down. In the first major battle, the Special Forces group- comprising about 45 people, half of them 18 series types- destroyed more enemy vehicles than the entire Stryker Brigade. Ouch. The next battle, the leaders tried to skew the results by stacking all the SBCT vehicles on the obstacle the Special Forces Team had occupied. Brilliant- you can’t succeed on your own merit, so you’ll try to copy something someone else has already done? Please.

Incidentally, the Headquarters element and Special Forces “advisors” took on our own company. We took out 85 dismounts, decimating our company…and pissed off the CO so badly he didn’t want to talk to the mortars for weeks. Screw you, sir. Love, the bastard children of the infantry, mortar men.

In the past month of so, most of the Stryker vehicles on base have been festooned with simulated reactive armor. Okay, reactive armor is good, right? Hm. The Stryker IAV has minimal clearance to enter the C-130 as it is. With the armor, it will not fit. The armor is also heavy. The Stryker has a system that allows the tires pressure to be adjusted from inside the vehicle. In sand, one chooses a mode that releases some of the pressure, but you can’t use that mode with the armor, because it weighs so much, the tires have to be kept fully inflated.

This seems something like the process that happened to the F-16 fighter. The F-16 was designed to be a lightweight, super maneuverable fighter, primarily armed with two heat seeking Sidewinder missiles. It’s demonstrated to many countries, and everyone loves it. Then they load it down with tons of ordnance, totally destroying the performance that was the driver for the purchase. Jeez.

I hate marching more than virtually anything else in the universe. Possibly more than Bill Clinton. Well, okay, almost as much as Bill Clinton. “Death before Dismount” has become my credo, too. I will hitch a ride on a truck stacked with sweating nitroglycerin, if it means I don’t have to march, BUT I have yet to meet ANYONE in the Army troops around me who likes the Stryker. I think the basic concept has some validity, but so does the V-22 Osprey: it’s just unworkable. We’ll see what happens with the IAV.

Yet they are still pushing it forward... Typical. If something doesn't work - just keep throwing money on it until we can't afford to let it go.
This must be the reason we still have Senator Robert Byrd in office.

:rolleyes: :fire:

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Bruce H
June 22, 2003, 11:23 PM
Like the movie The Pentagon Wars over the bradley.

June 23, 2003, 03:28 PM
Rummy will jamb the Stryker into the Army with out regard to its effectiveness.

There are reasons Army brass disllikes Rummy.

Only problem is SecDef doesn't die in battle. Grunts die.

Lemme see here:

MacNamara---M-16 F-111B---Vietnam

The more things change the more they remain the same. At this point the biggest difference between the two is Rummy is on a lucky streak. MacNamara wasn't that lucky.

June 23, 2003, 04:02 PM
Impressive article; it takes real skill to put so much totally false information in that little bit of writing, i'm surprised Jason Blair's byline isn't at the bottom.

Like the movie The Pentagon Wars over the bradley. No not at all like Jim Burton's experience.
I think the basic concept has some validity, but so does the V-22 Osprey: it’s just unworkable.
Funny, five V-22s seem to be chugging along, with about 600 very successful flight-test hours since return to flight last May. Care to expound on "unworkable"? :scrutiny:

TFL Survivor

June 23, 2003, 05:21 PM
These Strykers are a good thing for the rebels armed with light antitank weaponry. One shot from a good ole RPG-16 and that thing has scrap value. Or maybe a solid hit with a 81mm mortar, what about this. Or maybe a salvo from a heavy machine gun?

As soon as these things get blown up with troops inside, you'll try to sell them to some third world nation where they only have to shoot up their own mob, not some well-organized rebel movement like the one that will probably develop in Iraq if the US doesn't haul ??? fast.

June 23, 2003, 05:44 PM
Stupid questions...

Are they better armored than the old APCs?

Are they faster or more maneuverable?

We can't put EVERYONE in a tank...

George Hill
June 23, 2003, 06:00 PM
Leatherneck - I don't even know where to begin with your comment. The V-22 is a big chunk of really expensive crap. And if you don't believe me - read this:

June 23, 2003, 06:09 PM
Too complicated. When stuff hits the fan, technology turns into rainman...

June 23, 2003, 06:48 PM
bogie has a good point. Since the beginning of armored warfare, there have always been lightly armored or medium armored vehicles that only offer protection against light arms and shrapnel, and maybe low velocity munitions.

Look at all the half-tracks, armored cars, scout cars, armored personnel carriers (like the M113 and M114), amtracks, self-propelled artillery and light tanks (like the 155) that have evolved over the years. We fielded many thousands of these knowing they had limitations on surviving the battlefield. These weapons systems also had a mission or multiple missions that could not be, or need not be, handled by heavy, main battle tanks.

June 23, 2003, 07:12 PM
Hey Lancer, giveng up alot info aint ya? Besides, no military equipment comes to us squared away right off the bat. Look how long it took to get the M-16 squared away. Over 30 yrs? Give it a chance. Its a good concept. 0.02...

June 23, 2003, 07:52 PM
The marines seem to be very happy with their LAV . What's the difference between the vehicles other than the LAV floats ?

Sean Smith
June 23, 2003, 08:12 PM
Funny, five V-22s seem to be chugging along, with about 600 very successful flight-test hours since return to flight last May. Care to expound on "unworkable"?

Sounds more like "a comically low definition of success" to me. Hasn't the Osprey killed more Marines than the Iraqi army?

June 24, 2003, 08:37 AM
The Harrier also killed lots of pilots when fixed-wing-only pilots (instead of the initial pilots, which were qualified for both rotary and fixed wing) were first assigned to it, but now the Marines swear by it; give the Osprey some time to get the bugs worked out. On a side-note, I hear the Ospreys whenever they takeoff and land, they fly right over my head and also hover near our building on occasion. The Marines love the capabilities it could give them, once its operational. The only thing that I dont like about it is that I havent heard of it being equipped with door gunners yet...

I'm also with Mete, whats wrong with the LAV25 and why cant the Army use that?


Silent Bob
June 24, 2003, 09:31 AM
The Marines know better than to put the LAV-25 up against T-72s, unlike what the Army has in store for the Stryker.

June 24, 2003, 11:13 AM
During the past Iraq war, the Bradley fighting vehicle more than held its own against T72s. In one engagement in Bagdad, two Bradley's knocked out five T72s. Perhaps superior training had something to do with it too.

Is the Bradley superior or comparable to the LAV or Stryker regarding armor, armament and mobility?

Silent Bob
June 24, 2003, 11:47 AM
Moa, several Bradleys were also lost to enemy tank fire also in the first Gulf War, whereas no M1s were lost (to enemy tank fire). Agreed, superior training and tactics will account for a lot, but will not make up for the folly of sending lightly armored vehicles to spar with heavy tanks. They would be at a disadvantage if pitted against even forty and thirty-yeard old designs like the T-55 and T-62, which the Third World are loaded with.

June 24, 2003, 11:47 AM
Traditionally armies trade armor for speed. Historically is was acceptable to front a lightly armed but highly mobile Sherman against a highly armored but lead footed Tiger in WWII.

Where the Stryker bugs me is fast and lightly armed which is destined to be used in urban environments. A lightly armed vehicle standing still is merely a metal pill box.

I just question whether the capabilities match the mission.

<Slaps forehead, shrugs shoulders> Why worry? Rummy will make it all better.

June 24, 2003, 12:41 PM
Waitone, you said:

"Traditionally armies trade armor for speed. Historically is was acceptable to front a lightly armed but highly mobile Sherman against a highly armored but lead footed Tiger in WWII."

Concerning the Sherman tank, its off-road mobility in the muddy fields of Europe were worse than the German Tigers and Panthers (probably the best tank of WWII). The Sherman's tracks allowed too many pounds per square inch on the ground. The Sherman did have far superior on-road mobility and speed because of the design and long life of its tracks.

Around January 1944 the new M26 Pershing tank was demonstrated in England to the top Army brass including General Patton. The M26 was a much better tank than the Sherman and more comparable to the Tiger and Panther. The Army brass concluded that production and deployment of the Sherman continue as planned and no way was the M26 going to be fielded in any significant numbers.

One reason for this decision is that it is suspected that Army intelligence did not grasp the superiority of the German tanks. This was a major intelligence failure if it happened, along with the lack of understanding of the easily defended hedge row terrain of Normandy.

I good book I recently read goes into this in great detail. It is called "Death Traps" by Belton Cooper and was fairly recently published. Cooper was a maintenance battlion officer. His job was to closely follow the armored forces in battle, and try to salvage as many vehicles as possible and return them to action. This is one area the Amercian Army was by far superior to any other combatant of WWII. "Death Traps" refers to the Sherman tank.

Blackhawk 6
June 24, 2003, 01:45 PM
Allow me to preface my post by saying that I am no fan of the Stryker. I, and several of my peers, have asked numerous questions regarding the concept for the SBCT and its employment and have yet to receive satisfactory answers. However, if we are going to criticize a piece of equipment or a concept, our criticism needs to be based in fact. Allow me to give you some of the facts .

The Stryker is the Army's answer to bridging the gap between what it refers to as the "Legacy Force," the conventional force we built to fight the Soviets and what is called the "Objective Force," which has yet to be developed.

In looking at the modern battlfield, it was determined that the majority of our engagements would not be major theatre wars (MTW's) but rather Small Scale Contingencie Operations (SSC's). The current force structure does a satisfactory job of operating in a SSC environment but is not optimized for it. Our light infantry, airborne and air assault units lack the mobility and lethality of our heavier units. Our heavy units cannot deploy rapidly and are tied to intense logistical requirements. The Interim Brigade Combat Team (which has since become the Stryker Brigade Combat Team) concept seeks to create a force that can deploy as rapidly/more rapidly than our light units and can bring some of the lethality of a heavy unit without the massive logistical requirements. It is geared toward the SSC. It also seeks to leverage our technological advantage and a focus on intelligence collection to enhance situational awareness and create a new contact paradigm.

Whether or not the Stryker does this is certainly open to debate. As I stated earlier, I am not sold on the concept. However, the SBCT certainly provides greater protection and lethality than our light units currently have. The intent was never for it to go head to head with tanks (though the SBCT has a significantly greater anti-armor capability than any light force).

On the other hand, there are training, manning and maintenance issues that I do not think have been fully addressed. Questions remain about the suitability of the vehicle for its intended purpose and its ruggedness. Certainly some of the opinions expressed in this thread may be valid as well. But legitimate concerns need to incorporate the context in which the SBCT and the Stryker will be employed.

On a final note, I would like to address the soldier's comments in the first post regarding his unit's performance. With all due respect to the soldier (which is more than he showed his commander), he is out of his depth. His anecdote does nothing to sway the discussion of the viability of the SBCT one way or the other. I failed to see one failure on the part of the vehicle/task organization that caused his unit's poor performance. His comments are indicative of poor training/tactical leadership and, more importantly, are borderline insubordinate and demonstrate a lack of discipline on the part of the author.

Again, my intent is not to defend the vehicle or the concept. But if we are going to level criticism, it needs to be based on facts and not personal bias or conjecture.

George Hill
June 24, 2003, 01:51 PM
Guys, the Stryker isn't supposed to be a Wheeled Bradley.
It's supposed to be a "Light" unit. Air Mobile. Originially it was supposed to have been able to be sling loaded under a helicopter and carried in a C-130.
This isn't what we have. What we have now requires lifting in a C-17. One big problem with that... the Army doesn't have a C-17. The Army CAN'T have C-17's because they have Jet Engines. So the Army can't even move it's own Light Armored Vehicle.
What we have is something that is not much more mobile than an M1 Abrams. If your flying a bunch of C-17s into an area... might as well lift in some Abrams and Bradlies which are much better fighting vehicles.

As for the Pentagon Wars... Yeah, the Bradley had some issues... but they fixed them and now yes, the thing is working. But it had a much easier design requirement... An APC that can KEEP UP with the hot rod Abrams. People forget how FAST those M1s are. When the tankers remove the governors (and I would be EVERY M1 in Iraq had them removed) that limit the tanks speed... those things HAUL ARSE. I was once passed by one while I was crusing on the road at highway speeds and the M1 was off the road... it slid right by me. I look over and there is a freaking TANK there... Commander sitting up out of his hatch rocking with the tank. He looks over at me. Nods. And then pulls forward passing me. They turned off and disapeared into a treeline. I was stunned. I was cruising at 65. It was sureal.
I doubt a Bradley can do that... not enough power.
If an LAVIII tried doing that they would have hit a bump, flipped and rolled.

Remember the News about the one Bradley (It was on Fox News) the M2 was on fire but kept pushing forward firing until all ammo was depleted... Main gun and Machine guns. It was unstoppable. It punched a whole through the enemy lines and allowed the rest of the column to roll through unchallenged. After they did that, they abandoned the Bradley and let it burn out. It was then recovered and repaired and put back into service. That Bradley is a hell of a fighting machine...
Had the Bradley had tires - it would have been stopped. Tires burn. Not only that, all the burning tires heating the hull - would have fried the crew inside. As over weight as the Stryker is... it doesn't have as much armor as a stock Bradley.

The Stykers are going to be the new Death Traps. All to fatten some REMF's Wallet.

June 24, 2003, 02:20 PM
The Stryker cannot be transported by a C141? Is the Air Force still flying the C141?

Sean Smith
June 24, 2003, 02:23 PM
The Bradley had alot of fundamental stupidity in its design that got weaned out over time. The Army's original protocol for testing its survivability against enemy fire was an outright fraud cooked up so the vehicle could pass the test, and was comically unrealistic. Fortunately, by the time it was actually used it was a creditable product.

There is a book called Boyd: the Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War that really sheds some light on Pentagon procurement programs... scary stuff. Most of the book is about other stuff Boyd did, but his time at the Pentagon will curl your toes.

June 24, 2003, 02:31 PM
Seems to me that the general rules of engagement will mean heavy use of speed - as demonstrated recnetly in Iraq. The forces essentially bypasses heavy areas of resistance to take strategic objectives. Then the areas of resistance get leveled by the big boys.

They're gonna put that thing in airplanes? It's got too many wheels.

Idea: Take the Abrams and Bradley platforms, remove most of the armor, and give 'em more guns...

Blackhawk 6
June 24, 2003, 05:32 PM
Mr. Hill,

While I agree with your assessment of the Stryker's tires being unsuitable for a combat environment and I am certainly not a proponent of the vehicle, I believe some of your information is erroneous.

The Stryker's armor is rated to 14.5mm Machine gun. That is a substantial level of protection. Of course their are weapon systems one might encounter on the battlefield that will destroy a Stryker, notably the RPG-7. But the Bradley is vulnerable to the RPG-7 as well.

Several of my students, who served in the SBCT at Ft. Lewis, inform me that the Stryker will fit on a C-130 with room for a single ammunition pallet(Though there is some configuring that needs to be done in order to get it to fit). This allows the use of intra-theatre air assets to move a SBCT as opposed to the M2 and M1 which require inter-theatre air/sealift for deployment. I am unaware that there was ever a requirement for it to be sling-loaded and based on the lack of lift assets in the SBCT I find it hard to believe.

I was happy to see you are a proponent of the Bradley, and I believe that it is a fine vehicle. I was wondering what your opinion was on the Bradley's inability to transport an organic squad or provide its dismounts with any tangible situational awareness? (The Stryker addresses both of these short-comings)

Again, I'm not a proponent of the vehicle, yet I find myself defending it. I'll agree there are significant short-comings, but what specifically leads you to believe that it is a death trap?

MOA- The C-141 is being phased out by the C-17 as our strategic airlift platform. It has significant advantages over the C-141. I am not sure if the transition is complete.

Bruce H
June 24, 2003, 05:39 PM
Just like the Bradley, the basic idea was sound. It is all the add on's and extra capabilities that make a project worthless. When they reengineer a project they generally lose mission capability and spend more dollars. What you want and what you need are two very different things.

4v50 Gary
June 24, 2003, 05:42 PM
But if it just saves one life. ;)

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