Stryker Goes to Sea
Here’s is some good news in contrast to the last article I wrote. The Army is planning on using its new Spearhead catamaran to ferry its Stryker Brigades to the world hotspots. Spearhead is a fast, 40 knot + vessels which have been used extensively in the War on Terror, with great success. What’s neat about this vessels its ability to move into shallow coastal waters, which is inaccessible to larger warships like carriers and destroyers. From the article:
Hawaii will become the testing ground next year for two of the Army’s latest high-technology weapons: the Stryker combat mobile vehicle and a 318-foot high-speed cargo catamaran.
Maj. A.J. Hedeen, Army watercraft combat development spokesman, said yesterday the 700-ton Theater Support Vessel 1X will operate in island waters next year. It is capable of carrying 23 Strykers and their complements of soldiers.
Hedeen acknowledged that the future of the so-called USAV Spearhead is tied to the success of the Strykers..
The Army said that to move the 25th Division’s Stryker Brigade 400 miles by a high-speed vessel, like the Spearhead, would take 14 trips, each voyage taking 10 hours. Soldiers assigned to the Stryker unit could accompany each vessel.
That would be compared with 26 trips using the landing ships now used by the Army, but each vessel would take 40 hours of transit time and the soldiers would have to be moved separately.
Using the Air Force’s C-17 transport cargo jets would be faster (one hour) but would mean 254 sorties. Hickam Air Force Base will establish a new squadron of C-17s in January to support the Strykers at Schofield Barracks.
Looks like the Army is once again leading the way while the Navy is dragging behind.