16:08 GMT +310 December 2018
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    US soldier of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment is seen atop a Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (File)

    With an Eye on the East, New US Army Stryker Ready for Europe Deployment in 2018

    © AP Photo / Octav Ganea, Mediafax
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    Three years ahead of its deployment to Europe, the US Army Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle arrived last month, complete with a new 30mm cannon. The upgraded weapons system comes in response to a request from Vilseck, Germany’s, 2nd Cavalry Regiment for more firepower.

    The "Dragoon" Stryker, named for the 2nd Cavalry, is scheduled to touch down in Germany in May 2018. 

    In October, Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Daniel B. Allyn said the tank was completed in "near-record time from concept to delivery," according to the Army News Service. He added, "This is an example of what is possible when government, military and industry leaders unite as one team."

    The Army claims that the new system can use ammunition from several different sources as well as strike targets with more precision, up to 2,000 meters (a little over a mile) away, according to Stripes.com.

    Earlier concerns by the US Army revealed a fear that Moscow was outpacing the capabilities of Washington’s battle vehicles. Allyn said that the use of an older weapon, a mounted 12.7 mm machine gun the Stryker used previously, proved an "unacceptable risk" for American forces. A decision was made in 2015 to add the 30mm cannon, considered a "high-priority need" by the service.

    The placement of the Dragoons among NATO’s eastern border is part of the US European Command’s move to increase a US military presence in the region. Several hundred of the regiment’s troops are set to deploy to Poland in 2017, along with multinational units stationed in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The 2nd Cavalry is one of two permanent US Army installations in Europe.

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    Tags:
    army deployment, Strykers, US Army, US European Command (EUCOM), Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Europe
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