With Fallujah largely under U.S. control, the epicenter of the fighting in Iraq has shifted to Mosul, in the north. And returning to action there is one of the most controversial cards in the American military's deck -- the Stryker light armored vehicle.When the Strykers were first being introduced to the Army, in 2002, they were damned for a variety of sins -- it's armor wasn't thick enough; it couldn't hit targets on the run; it's wheels went flat too easily; and, boy, could it get hot inside.Now that they've been in use for a while, Stars & Stripes declares that "the naysayers have been converted... The vehicles are almost too good to be true, say those who ride them, fix them or command them."But doubters still remain. USAR Lt. Mike Sparks has long been one of the Stryker's most vocal critics. And he's still convinced that the vehicle's "air-filled rubber tires" are trouble. Previous personnel carriers, like the Gavin 113s, had tracks, which were a whole lot more durable. Wheels, on the other hand, are awfully succeptible to roadside bombs. "Would you go into combat with your family car?" he asks.But Staff Sgt. Lee Hodges, with the Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron of the 14th Cavalry, says not to worry. "Ive seen Strykers be hit by an [improvised explosive device] and drive home on eight flats," he tells Stars & Stripes.The controversy continues. Over the weekend, the Defense Department indentified two soldiers, attached to the Stryker brigade, who were killed by a mortar strike in Mosul.THERE'S MORE: Defense Tech pal CA doesn't see how the Stryker "controversy" and the recent mortar strike in Mosul are lnked.
The individual was killed in his living area, not in a Stryker. Just because he was killed while attached to a Stryker brigade doesn't make their deaths a Stryker controversy.Not that his death should mean any less, but I think it is irrelevant to the subject of the blog item. Had he been killed by a mortar while in a Stryker then it would be overly appropriate.CA's right, of course. My bad.