FOB Tacoma

NOTICE: FOB Tacoma has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved FOB Tacoma.
Visit the new section.

Can the Stryker work in Afghanistan?

Post by Scott Fontaine on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:06 pm with 2 Comments »
November 12, 2009 12:06 pm

Questions are again swirling about whether the Stryker vehicle is capable of handling the rough terrain of Afghanistan. Foreign Policy puts it even more bluntly: Was it a mistake to send a Stryker brigade to Afghanistan?

Fort Lewis’ 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division deployed with 350 Strykers. Twenty-one have been lost to roadside bombs. Soldiers returning for their two weeks or leave (or back home on deployment) describe vehicles that can’t effectively handle the bombs Afghan militants are planting underneath dirt roads. National Public Radio, also along with 5/2, was along on one of the fatal missions.

Of course, people were asking the same things several years ago when bombs were ripping through Strykers in Iraq. Bomb-related deaths there are way down for two reasons: the introduction of the Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected behicle and a better crackdown on the network that plants the bombs in the first place.

The brigade commander, Col. Harry Tunnell, told Washington Times that his brigade most needs better intelligence, surveillance and reconaissance capabilities to disrupt those networks.

He said he understands the concerns of his soldiers, he told the paper, but “it’s up to the American people to answer whether the lives already lost are worth the cost so we can accomplish the objective of the mission.”

Of course, that’s probably not much comfort for the joes of 5/2 who still worry about a bomb detonating near them. The Strykers have earned a new nickname in Kandahar province.

They call them “Kevlar coffins.”

Leave a comment Comments → 2
  1. ghost_guard says:

    The first few Strykers showed fatal flaws in the way the ARMY protected vs the actual incoming attacks. That was done, there was little that could have been done in the field to change the safety level of the vehicles. But they made more. Then more. Then, General Dynamics became involved, and it seems these “kevlar coffins” are quite profitable-with their replacement parts and PM gear, etc. The price of a stryker isn’t measured in hundreds of thousands, but in the millions, per vehicle, to keep refusing the protection they promised. The soldier, sadly has only one chance to guarantee freedom of becoming caught up with these sad statistics. Resist the war, or be stuck in a bad situation-I say that because once you’re in the desert, it’s gonna be too late to second guess why you joined in the first place. It’s time to cut the stryker free completely, begin a rapid, controlled pullout, and stop dying for absolutely no clear goal. Other than paying off Al Queda to not work with the Taliban, and “all we get in return” is 100% uncontrolled access to these military installations we’re setting up. Unfortunately, this is not my crazy, conspiracy opinion. These are the facts of this war, and while this gets debated about semantical BS, we keep losing our children, nieces, cousins, parents, or anyone else you know. Join me in writing our Senators, to increase public pressure against war in Afghanistan, and in the interim, begin immediate and steady reduction in active stryker patrols.

  2. Resistance4u says:

    ghost_guard: I hope you receive this message, but I would love to join you in your campaign against the stryker brigades being sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. I am meeting with Representative Rick Larsen this coming Saturday and I would love to talk to him about the Brigades and urge him to stop allowing Washington to ship these “Kevlar Coffins” to the middle east. They are the reason for more deaths than anything in the middle east. If you get this email me at and we can discuss more about a campaign. Keep up the good work and hope to hear from you even though you posted this soooo long ago.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0