Stryker Brigade Combat Teams

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The 2003 United States Army Posture Statement
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BRIDGING THE CAPABILITIES GAP – STRYKER BRIGADE COMBAT TEAMS

Announcing our intent to field an Interim Force in October 1999, The Army responded to a capabilities gap between its lethal, survivable, but slow-to-deploy heavy forces and its rapidly deployable light forces that lack the protection, lethality, and tactical mobility that we seek. Just two-and-a-half years later in 2002, The Army began fielding the first Stryker Brigade Combat Team to bridge that gap. In 2003 – less than four years after the announcement – we are on track to achieve IOC with the first SBCT at Fort Lewis, Washington. Stryker Brigades will provide the Combatant Commander vastly increased operational and tactical flexibility to execute fast-paced, distributed, non-contiguous operations.

Stryker rolls off a C-130, Ft. Lewis, WA
Stryker rolls off a C-130,
Fort Lewis, WA
Stryker Brigade Combat Teams respond to Combatant Commander requirements across the spectrum of military operations. Optimized for combat in complex and urban terrain, the Stryker Brigades will be decisive in other major combat operations, as well. The SBCT Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) Squadron provides both organic human intelligence capabilities and UAVs embedded at the brigade level. Its military intelligence and signal companies – working through a digitally enabled battle command bridge – leverage theater and national assets to create an information-enabled force. SBCTs will use this enhanced joint C4ISR capability to revolutionize combat paradigms from “make contact, develop the situation, maneuver the forces” to “understand the situation, maneuver the forces, make contact at the time and place of your own choosing, and finish decisively.”

Moreover, leveraging platform commonality, enhancing logistics practices and enablers, and reorganizing logistics formations, the SBCT is vastly more deployable and sustainable than our heavy forces, while significantly increasing combat power generating capabilities. Augmented for sustained operations, the SBCT requires 37% fewer CSS personnel than a digitized heavy brigade. While capitalizing on these advantages, developing and available technologies allow us to mass effects – rather than massing formations – and create a robust, reliable capability to conduct operational maneuver over strategic distances.

Finally, SBCTs provide an invaluable means of spearheading Transformation. The SBCT trains junior officers and noncommissioned officers – tomorrow’s commanders and command sergeants major – in the tactics, techniques, and procedures that will inform employment of the Objective Force.

The Army has resourced six Stryker Brigade Combat Teams to contribute to fulfilling the 1-4-2-1 defense construct and national security requirements, however, at this time, the Secretary of Defense has only authorized the procurement of the first four brigades. The Army will provide the Secretary of Defense with a plan for Stryker Brigades 5 and 6.

Fielding of the SBCTs affects the entire Army: Active and Reserve Components; heavy and light forces; CONUS and OCONUS. And current fielding timelines will enhance the Nation's ability to fight and win the GWOT and conduct major combat operations. The transformation of four Active Component brigades to SBCTs provides a rotational base with three of the SBCTs focused on the Pacific theater, one of the two SBCTs fielded at Fort Lewis will be forward-based in Europe not later than 2007. The Stryker Cavalry Regiment will support the XVIII Airborne Corps' critical need for robust, armed reconnaissance. The conversion of a Reserve Component brigade to an SBCT will enhance our strategic reserve and support the GWOT, Smaller Scale Contingencies, and Homeland Defense missions. Additionally, SBCT stationing provides rapid, strategic responsiveness through power projection platforms capable of supporting four critical regions described in the 1-4-2-1 defense construct. The first SBCT will attain Initial Operational Capability in the summer of 2003.
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