CAMP AS SAYLIYAH, Qatar (April 22, 2010) -- Col. Lawrence Fuller was in Qatar, April 14, touring the only Stryker battle damage repair facility in the Middle East.

Fuller completed a two-day tour of Army Materiel Command warehouses at Camp As Sayliyah, a week ahead of taking command of 402nd Army Field Support Brigade at Joint Base Balad, Iraq.

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 401st AFSB -- a 402nd AFSB subordinate unit -- manage AMC facilities in Qatar. In early March, the 1st Battalion/401st AFSB started receiving Stryker equipment from a forward repair area in Iraq, amid a drawdown of U.S. forces.

General Dynamics Land Systems contractors met with Fuller to explain expanding Stryker repair and retrofit capabilities in Qatar. A shift in theater equipment is introducing several more repair options: wheels and tires; full-up power packs; remote weapons stations; and vehicle electronics. A second warehouse has been claimed for additional storage space.

U.S. Central Command Warfighters depend on Strykers to tear through terrain with more than 20 tons of armor, mechanical parts, weaponry systems and life-saving equipment. The light-armored, wheeled vehicles are capable of traversing paved streets and soft off-road regions, while providing protection from enemy fire and roadside explosions.

Strykers with extensive battle damage are repaired at Camp As Sayliyah. GDLS welders and mechanics mend and patch warped and penetrated hulls. Retrofit kits are applied to bring vehicles to current configurations. A series of inspections and road tests ensure vehicles appear and function like those fresh out of production.

More than 200 battle-damaged Strykers have been repaired in Qatar since 2005.

(Editor's note: Dustin Senger is with the Area Support Group Qatar Public Affairs Office.)