By Jennifer L. KingJuly 6, 2007
VILSECK, GERMANY - A combined team under the leadership of 2nd Battalion of the 405th Army Field Support Brigade is conducting Stryker vehicle retrofits on 314 vehicles for the 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment.
"This project has true team effort," said Lt. Col. Jordan Chroman, commander of 2nd Battalion. "We've been able to harness a wide range of Army Materiel Command assets, have completely integrated the unit's desires into the production schedule, and have turned out a quality product. The retrofit is critical because it directly supports the upgrade of the 2nd SCR to the newest Army Battle Command System, Version 6.4."
General Dynamics Land Systems and their subcontractor M & E Group Ltd. are sponsored by Program Manager Stryker and are responsible for a wide variety of upgrades on the Stryker hull, including network hardware upgrade, internal electronic component hardware upgrades and software upgrades.
"When this retrofit is completed, the 2nd SCR will have a fleet that will be ABCS 6.4 compliant," said Todd Richards, GDLS. "Upgrading the fleet from analog to digital really improves the unit's ability to shoot, move and communicate."
One of the most significant improvements is the upgrade of the Remote Weapon Station on top of the vehicle to the RWS Block II. The RWS is a remotely controlled weapon station that can employee a suite of weapons, including the M2 .50 caliber machine gun and the MK-19 40 mm automatic grenade launcher. The RWS is mounted on top of the vehicle and can be fired while the vehicle is stationary or while it is moving at a high rate of speed. The RWS Block II provides improved weapon stability and optics while firing, especially when the vehicle is moving.
"The RWS Block II really gives the unit the edge," said Harold Coster, the government quality control supervisor on the ground. "With it, their ability to shoot on the move while 'buttoned up' is greatly improved."
Coster also expressed his appreciation for a job well done, calling the retrofit work "...excellent, truly top notch."
Field service representatives sponsored by other program managers concurrently conducted upgrades to various integrated systems, including the Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below systems, the ASIPS radios and the AN/PSC-5 Spitfire terminals.
The mission's success is even more impressive given that it required international support. Stryker parts were shipped from Alabama, RWS components were shipped from Norway, and cables and components were resourced from other supply and manufacturing bases around the world.
The retrofit work executed under 2nd Battalion will greatly improve the 2nd SCR's ability to conduct operations both in the European theater and prepares them for another tour of duty in Southwest Asia if that is required.