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PV2 Francisco Barajas, left, and PV2 Robert Fallis of A Company, 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry, watch from the back hatches of their Stryker medium weight armored vehicle while on excercises at the Yakima Training Center in Washington on Thursday June 27, 2002. Alpha Company is the first to receive the $2.5 million Stryker which is the Army's first new armored vehicle in 14 years. It is meant to fill the gap between light infantry that uses only Humvees for transport and heavy armor like the M1 Abrahams tank. ..Able to withstand heavy machine gun rounds but not anti-tank rounds or rocket propelled grenades the Stryker's key assets are rapid transport of its nine man squad overland or by the main in-theater cargo plane, the C-130. The Stryker is also using the FBCB2 computer system allowing each vehicle to know friendly and enemy positions, real-time battlefield intelligence, email, gps mapping, and feeds from remote surveilance aircraft. It is also equiped with a .50 caliber machine gun or grenade launcher with video and thermal imaging operated remotely from within the vehicle...According to Army personel, if the battalion had been ready it would have been one of the first units into Afghanistan. As it is, it will represent the Army's new medium weight brigades in the Millenium Challenge excercises at Ft. Irwin, California, in late July. The live and computer simulated excercise will test the U.S. Military's concept for working together.
- © Copyright 2002 Tim Matsui, All Rights Reserved
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