By Capt. Clare Saxton and 1st Lt. Getoar LuzhaNovember 20, 2017
With an impressive fleet of Strykers and a high operating tempo, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment faces the challenge of remaining ready for any mission. To quickly and efficiently conduct maintenance on their heavily relied upon Strykers, 2nd Cavalry Regiment maintenance Soldiers need opportunities to broaden their skill sets.
The Stryker Common Chassis Course, a TACOM program, was created in June 2015 to increase the operational readiness of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment's Stryker fleet. The 80-hour course trains wheeled vehicle mechanics and other military occupational specialty 91-series mechanics on common chassis maintenance skills for the nine variants of the Stryker vehicle. The course focuses on schematic familiarization and gives Soldiers who are not Stryker maintainers a better grasp on vehicle diagnostics.
Training and readiness are two major priorities of U.S. Army Europe, and the Stryker Common Chassis Course greatly improves both. This course also helps the regiment financially. With the knowledge obtained at the course, Soldiers are more likely to properly identify faults on Stryker variants and order the correct repair parts the first time. This not only saves the regiment money but also shortens the amount of time that equipment is not mission capable.
Before the Stryker Common Chassis course began and after contracting support assets left the unit, the regiment's operational readiness percentage averaged 60 percent. The regiment now boasts a 91 percent operational readiness rate that fosters effectiveness both in garrison and during missions with NATO partners.
This increased operational readiness has made the 2nd Cavalry Regiment successful in countless missions including Saber Strike 16, the regiment's tactical road march from Germany to Estonia in June 2016. The regiment also has seen the benefits of the course during its deployment to Poland to support NATO's Enhanced Forward Presence mission. In Poland, the regiment used its newest Strykers and had self-sufficient mechanics who could use their advanced skills. This allowed the regiment to focus on its mission and alliance with Poland.
As the 2nd Cavalry Regiment reaps the benefits of the Stryker Common Chassis Course, it continues to be a strong fighting force in the European theater by enhancing its relationships with other NATO countries and fulfilling U.S. Army Europe's priorities.
Capt. Clare Saxton is the public affairs representative for the Regimental Support Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment, in Vilseck, Germany. She holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood education with a concentration in social studies from Elmira College. She is a graduate of the Basic Officer Leader Course.
First Lt. Getoar Luzha is the senior maintenance officer for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. He holds a bachelor's degree in homeland and corporate security from St. Johns University. He is also Lean Six Sigma certified. He is a graduate of the Basic Officer Leader Course.