News: Stryker War-Fighter Summit held at JBLM
Story by Sgt. Christopher Prows
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Leaders from various Stryker units gathered at the Stryker Leader Summit at the I Corps Headquarters Nov. 15 to discuss the capabilities and future of the vehicle.
According to Lt. Gen Robert Brown, commanding general, I Corps, the ability to share the ideas on training is extremely important, especially with the changes the Stryker community has coming in the future.
During the one-day summit, troops listened to experts, witnessed the evolution of the Stryker and viewed five different configurable Stryker vehicles.
“The forum provided newer members of the community the opportunity to gain invaluable knowledge on new equipment,” said Maj. Juan A. Vega, executive officer, 404th Army Field Service Battalion.
Developed in 2000, the Stryker family of vehicles allows units to quickly insert troops into any area of operation. Though originally produced with a flat bottom hull, one of the main points of discussion during the summit was the double V retrofitting that began in 2010.
According to David Dopp, project manager, Stryker Brigade Combat Team, double V hulls provide the troops inside the vehicle with increased blast protection from a detonation.
Another point of the summit focused on the future of the older flat-bottom Stryker vehicles. The better protection afforded by the double V Strykers has rendered the flat bottom version obsolete.
However, budgeting constraints are affecting the effectiveness of creating a better vehicle for rapid deployment of troops at the front lines, said Col. Chuck Heimann, Department of the Army, Land and War Net.
Therefore, the Army is saving money by taking the current fleet of flat bottoms and stripping them of useful parts and assembled into a new double V hull structure, said Gordon Stein, vice president, Stryker Brigade Combat Team Programs.
“This creates a 30 percent cost effective swap,” he added.
In addition, the panel discussed the future of the Stryker brigades. The Army of 2020 is going to incorporate a Brigade Engineer Battalion into current BCTs, said Capt. Stephen C. Von Jett, Dark Horse Company commander, 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, Fort Benning, Ga.
“The forum is the center gravity that goes a long way in synchronizing aspects of the community marching forward,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Ng, Canadian army.
“[This] is the foundation of the Stryker program,” added 1st Sgt. Nathan Stone, Dark Horse Company first sergeant, 1-29th Inf. Reg. “The discussions will help push [us] into the future.”