By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Since 2001, the United States Military has learned a lot of things about combat military vehicles that we did not know before and unfortunately most of those lessons in military science and engineering were learned at the cost of American soldiers lives in both the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.
The Stryker combat vehicle has seen an enormous amount of combat in both of these wars. One of the lessons learned is that a double V hulled (DVH) Stryker is more survivable for the men being transported in the armored combat vehicle than the original flat bottomed Stryker Combat Vehicles were. Many of the original flat bottomed Strykers were converted to the new and improved DVH Strykers at the Anniston Army Depot; but many American combat forces are still using the older Stryker variants.
On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R) from Alabama announced that the U.S. Army’s TACOM Life Cycle Management Command will convert 66 additional flat bottom Stryker infantry combat vehicles to the newer, more survivable Double V Hull (DVH) models. This work will save 80 existing jobs of the workers who support the DVH exchange program at the Anniston Army Depot.
Last year there were questions as to whether or not the Army was going to continue to modernize the Stryker fleet. In December Sen. Shelby sent a letter to Army Chief of Staff, General Raymond T. Odierno requesting that he personally engage on this matter to ensure that the bureaucracy did not unnecessarily limit the rapid production and fielding of the safer DVH Strykers.
Sen. Shelby said, “This announcement is welcome news for our troops who depend on the DVH Stryker and the workers in Alabama who build them. I am pleased that the Army responded to my request to address this matter.”
The first DVH Strykers were rapidly fielded in response to the needs to our commanders in Operation Enduring Freedom and have drastically improved troop safety.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.