One of the most important US Army units in Europe — the Stryker-equipped 2nd Cavalry Regiment — is outgunned by its Russian counterparts, Army officials say, and needs a fast-track upgrade.
The Army staff in April approved a request from the unit’s commander, Col. John Meyer, to fit a 30mm cannon on 81 of the infantry carriers, needed for it to engage similar units or light-armored vehicles. The Senate version of the defense authorization bill contains $371 millionfor the Stryker lethality upgrade.
The 2nd Cavalry earlier this year completed a high-profile show-of-force convoy operation that maneuvered 120 vehicles across Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and back to its home base in Vilseck, Germany. The mission, called a Dragoon Ride, was one of a series of multilateral operations and exercises meant to reassure US allies in Europe in the wake of Russian aggression.
Meyer said the unit and its Strykers provide “operational mobility to maneuver across the alliance,” a capability unavailable in infantry or armor brigades.