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NEWS | June 21, 2024

56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team Getting Upgraded Strykers

By Brad Rhen, Joint Force Headquarters - Pennsylvania National Guard

FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, Pa. – The 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team is getting more than 300 upgraded Stryker vehicles.

The brigade, headquartered at Biddle Air National Guard Base in Horsham and with units across the state, is turning in 322 old Strykers and receiving 316 upgraded vehicles.

The swap is part of the Stryker modernization initiative to replace the 56th SBCT’s legacy flat-bottom Strykers with newer “double-V” hull models transferred from active-duty Army, said Col. Jeremy Coleman, Pennsylvania Army National Guard deputy chief of staff for logistics, or G4.

He said the newer Strykers have “an improved hull design to protect Soldiers from improvised explosive devices and roadside mines.” 

Col. Christopher Costello, 56th SBCT commander, said the Stryker modernization is important.

“Even though it isn’t the most advanced Stryker platform, it is one that offers more protection to the crew due to the V-shaped hull design,” he said.

Coleman said the legacy Strykers are to be turned in in August, with the new Strykers to arrive in mid-2025.

Most of the old vehicles will be turned in from Fort Indiantown Gap. The newly refurbished vehicles are coming from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

Costello said it may be somewhat challenging to conduct the vehicle swap because of the brigade’s operations tempo. More than 600 56th SBCT Soldiers are deployed to the Horn of Africa, and over 600 more will deploy to replace them later this year.

Additionally, the 56th SBCT headquarters will deploy to the Joint Multinational Training Center in Germany this year.

“This puts a heavy load on the non-deployed Soldiers who will have to divest the current fleet and receive the new fleet,” Costello said.

The vehicle swap shouldn’t affect the brigade’s training and operations any more than the deployments and redeployments are already affecting them, Costello said.

Coleman said he does not anticipate any other significant challenges in turning in the old Strykers and receiving the new ones.

“But this transition will require new equipment training and field-level maintenance training to occur next year so we can train our Soldiers on the new model of Strykers,” he said.

Strykers are eight-wheeled, armored vehicles around which Army Stryker brigades are centered. They come in nine variants, including Infantry Carrier Vehicle, Reconnaissance Vehicle, Mortar Carrier Vehicle, Commander’s Vehicle and Medical Evacuation Vehicle.

Depending on the variant, Strykers can carry up to 11 occupants and reach speeds up to 60 mph.

The Army has nine Stryker brigade combat teams — seven in the active component and two in the National Guard. The 56th SBCT was the first Stryker brigade in the reserve component when it was transitioned in 2004.

 

 

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