The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
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Dirty Little Secrets
Strykers Refurbished After Iraq
Discussion Board on this DLS topic
by James Dunnigan
January 20, 2006
The U.S. Army’s new Stryker wheeled
armored vehicle has been in Iraq for over two years now. The first
Stryker brigade left its 299 Stryker vehicles in Iraq, when the troops
finished their one year tour. Now, after two years, those vehicles are
being brought home and refurbished. Seven percent of the vehicles got
banged up pretty bad, mostly by roadside bombs. These had to be rebuilt.
299 Strkyers averaged about 24,000 kilometers a year. Some put in close
to 110,000 kilometers. Military wheeled vehicles operating in that part
of the world are in need of refurbishment after about 50,000
kilometers. The refurbishment for the Strykers involves a new set of
tires, new drive train and transmission. Any other equipment that got
banged up or worn out will be repaired or replaced. Vehicles are
repainted as needed. The electronics in each vehicle will be upgraded.
The Strykers are the first of a new generation of “digital” vehicles.
That means networking, computers and the ability to exchange digital
data with other vehicles and troops equipped with wireless networking
gear. In effect, a battlefield Internet. This stuff survived remarkably
well in Iraq, despite the heat, dust, vibration and heavy use by the
troops. The entire refurbishment process takes about twenty days per
This was the first combat
experience for the Strykers, and they performed quite well. Like most
new military vehicles, they received a lot of criticism for being too
expensive, too fragile, too heavy, too big and unsuited to the task.
But the troops who used the Strykers liked them, and the vehicles
proved to be more effective than any alternatives (more heavily armored
M-2 Bradley’s, or armored hummers.)