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Army plan adds and enhances SBCTs.

Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has authorized the Army to acquisition and field Stryker Brigade Combat Teams (SBCTs) 5 and 6 and retrofit brigades 1 through 4 with newer technology as it becomes available.

Under the approved plan, the Army will enhance the aviation, fire support, computer networks, and sensor capabilities of new and already fielded SBCTs at a cost of about $1.4 billion. The enhancements will begin to appear as SBCTs 5 and 6 are fielded. SBCTs 1 through 4 then will be retrofitted with the improvements based on lessons learned from SBCTs 5 and 6.

The fifth SBCT--the 2d Brigade, 25th Infantry Division (Light), at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii--is scheduled for fielding in 2006. The sixth--the 56th Brigade (Mechanized), 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized), of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard--is scheduled to begin fielding in 2008.

The first Stryker brigade--the 3d Brigade, 2d Infantry Division, from Fort Lewis, Washington--is deployed to Iraq. The second Stryker brigade the 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, also from Fort Lewis--is training on its Stryker vehicles.

SBCT 3--the 172d Infantry Brigade at Fort Wainwright, Alaska--and SBCT 4--the 2d Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Polk, Louisiana--will be fielded over the next few years.

The first SBCT enhancement will improve satellite communications by offering high-speed compatibility and interoperability with the joint forces. Future Stryker brigades also will have increased command and control, communications, logistics, target acquisition, and intelligence.

Soldiers in future SBCTs will have lighter howitzers, organic aviation elements, and better sensor capabilities. Initially, Stryker brigades 1 through 4 will have 12 M198 155-millimeter howitzers each. SBCTs 5 and 6 will be enhanced with 18 new, lightweight 155-millimeter howitzers each.

The current Stryker brigades have direct aviation support. Beginning with SBCT 5, aviation elements will be organic. SBCT 5 will be equipped with RAH-66 Comanche helicopters, and the Army will use the aviation lessons learned from that experience to equip SBCT 6 and to retrofit SBCTs 1 through 4. Until then, SBCTs 2 through 4 will have aviation packages similar to that of the first Stryker brigade, which includes OH-58 Kiowa and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters that provide direct support.

Sensor capability enhancements will include adding 10-meter masts to Stryker vehicles so soldiers can use the sensor system from concealed positions up to 10 kilometers away.
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Title Annotation:ALOG News
Publication:Army Logistician
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:381
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