One of the more interesting force development activities undertaken in the United States in the last 10 years was the advent of the Stryker Brigade. Born of a need to add weight to early entry forces in a world ware a variety of expeditionary scenarios could be envisaged the critical targets were rapid deployability and rapidly into action, the staff target was a brigade anywhere in the world within 96 hours a Division within 120 hours.
In order to achieve this they built the Brigades around a new family of wheeled vehicles based on the General Dynamics LAV-3 which in US Service became known as the Stryker. The Brigades were designed to fill the gap between early entry forces and the more heavy weight follow on forces of traditional Armoured, Cavalry and Mechanised units. In order to meet the requirement the units were effectively preconfigured and ready to fight, built around a core Infantry combat component. This has produced an interesting unit structure not dissimilar in concept to German WW2 Divisional Recce units in as much that the dismounted unit, direct and indirect fire assets are all grouped together within the sub unit. This creates some interesting challenges in representing such an organisation in a Rapid Fire type ORBAT.
The Stryker Brigades composition includes:
- 3 Infantry Battalions
- 1 Cavalry Squadron
- 1 Artillery Battalion
- 1 Anti Armour Company
- A variety of support, communication and intelligence sub units
In order to understand the organisation you need to understand a little about the Stryker vehicle family. There are 11 vehicles in the family covering a variety of roles.
- Infantry Carrier Vehicle
- Command Vehicle
- Reconnaissance Vehicle
- Fire Support Vehicle
- Medical Evacuation Vehicle
- Anti Tank Guided Missile Vehicle
- Engineer Squad Vehicle
- 120mm Morter Carrier
- Mobile Gun System
- NBC Recon Vehicle
All the vehicles are based on the same hull, The ICV can carry 10 including commander and driver, The vehicle has a top speed of 62mph and is not amphibious. The armour protects against 14.5mm AP rounds with the appliqué armour packs applied, additional ceramic armour packs will provide protection from RPG rounds and Slat armour was developed to cover the period until the upgrade was delivered in 2006. The slat armour proved extremely effective in Iraq. Overhead protection is resistant to 152mm airburst. all vehicles less the MGS can be transported in a C130.
The key War games characteristics of the different variants are as follows:
M1126 ICV. The vehicle is fully digitised and the ICV can be fitted with either a .50 mg or a 40mm AGL in the Remote Weapon Station which is being stabilized as an upgrade. The vehicle carries 10 men including commander and driver, The RWS Includes TI and LRF, along with 4x4 barrel MBSGD. A tripod is provided with each vehicle in order to allow the armament to be dismounted.
M1127 RV. The vehicle carries a 5 man scout team as well as the vehicle crew. It is armed with a pintle mounted .50 and has a Long Range Advanced Scout Surveillance System pod, this includes FLIR, day TV and LRF, the system is interfaced to the FCBC2 Digitised C2 system.
M1128 MGS. The vehicle is armed with a 105mm M68A1E4 gun as used in the M1, M60A3 and M48. This is mounted in a low profile turret with an 18 round bustle autoloader., the main armament has a M240C co axial MG and the commander has a pintle mount .50. The gun is fully stabilised, and has an integrated fire control system. The vehicle has a crew of three.
M1129 MC. The vehicle is equipped with 120mm Mortar that can be fired from the platform and an 81mm mortar for dismounted operations. It has an RWS with a .50.
M1131 FSV. The vehicle is equipped with a Fire Support Sensor System that provides TI and Daylight TV, laser rangefinder and laser locator and designator the target acquisition system is integrated into the digital C2 System.
M1132 ESV. The vehicle carries an engineer squad of 9 and cxan be equiped with a mine roller or mine plough. It is armed with an RWS.
M1134 ATGMV. The vehicle is armed with a GDLS remote TOW turret capable of firing 2 TOW 2B. It can be fired from under armour but not loaded. It has a pintle mount M240B.
on top of that it's one of the coolest looking wagons on the planet.
The majority of references can be found @
The Brigade: A History, Its Organisation and Employment in the US Army
FM-3-21.31 The Stryker Brigade Combat Team
FM 3-20.96 (Cavalry Squadron – RSTA, dated December 2002)
FM 3-21.9 (SBCT Infantry Rifle Platoon & Squad, dated December 2002)
FM 3-21.11 (SBCT Infantry Rifle Company, dated January 2003)FM 3-21.21 (SBCT Infantry Battalion, dated April 2003)
FM 3-21.31 (Stryker Brigade Combat Team, dated March 2003)
FM 3-21.92 (Tactical Employment of Anti-Armor Platoons & Companies, dated December 2002)
FM 3-34.221 (Engineer Operations – SBCT, dated January 2005)
Stryker Combat Vehicles (New Vanguard) @ Amazon