The Army has recorded its first combat deaths in new “double V” hull Strykers that were designed to provide better protection against improvised explosives, according to an update on the vehicle in Stars and Stripes.
Three soldiers from the Alaska-based 1st Brigade, 25th Infantry Division were killed in two attacks while riding in a double V Stryker last month. News of their deaths reverberates at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the home of three Stryker brigades that could be called up to deploy to Afghanistan.
Commanders in the Alaska brigade told Stars and Stripes that the new Strykers are saving lives, but they declined to compare the new model of the eight-wheeled infantry vehicle to others.
“At this point, we are not going to compromise the success that we have had with these vehicles and point out the weaknesses or the strengths of either vehicle,” Maj. David Mattox told the newspaper. “The Strykers are saving lives and we want to make sure they continue to [do so].”
Lewis-McChord’s 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division became the first Stryker brigade to deploy to Afghanistan. It lost 37 soldiers in its 2009-10 deployment. It’s now flagged as the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, and it recently spent a month training for a possible combat mission to Afghanistan.
Lewis-McChord’s 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division is hitting the ground in Afghanistan this month. That brigade fought with Strykers three times in Iraq, but it’s using MRAPs and M-ATVs on this deployment.