U.S. Army: Fort Carson infantry brigade converts to Stryker brigade
Throughout history, the U.S. Army has proven, through multiple spectrums of operations and locations, that it is the most lethal and capable ground combat force. According to the brigade leadership, the unit plans to finalize its conversion in late 2021. Staff Sgt Neysa Canfield reports.
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Col. Scott Knight, commander of the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, speaks about the brigade’s conversion process, June 15, 2020, during 2nd SBCT’s re-designation ceremony on Fort Carson, Colo. The 2nd Brigade Combat Team, formally known as an infantry brigade, announced its conversion from infantry to Stryker in September of 2018. (Picture source: U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Neysa Canfield)
To continue to shape the U.S. Army to remain lethal and ready for any type of mission, in September of 2018 the Army announced the conversion of two brigade combat teams: 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division out of Fort Bliss, Texas, and the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division out of Fort Carson, Colorado.
Nearly two years after the announcement, leaders and Soldiers gathered, both physically and virtually, in order to abide by social distancing guidelines, for the brigade’s re-designation ceremony, June 15, on Fort Carson, Colorado. “Today the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team officially becomes the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team,” said Col. Scott Knight, commander of the 2nd SBCT during his speech. “This is a day that will be added to a long and rich history for our unit. A history that we will honor and carry forward.”
During the ceremony, Knight and Maj. Gen. Matthew W. McFarland, commanding general for the 4th Inf. Div., talked about the brigade’s history and future from an infantry brigade to Stryker brigade. “When this re-designation was first announced, then-Secretary of the Army Esper said this shift was part of a broader strategy to ensure that our Army remains the most lethal ground combat force able to deploy, fight and win against any adversary, anytime, anywhere,” said McFarland. “And while we don’t know where or when the next fight will take place, Stryker’s will certainly be a key part of that fight against any potential threat.”
Knight added that the brigade began their conversion process in the fall of last year. Since the beginning of the brigade’s conversion the unit has turned in more than 11,000 pieces of equipment no longer need for a Stryker brigade and has received more than 30% of Stryker vehicles, as well as adjusting personnel manning. Since the beginning of the process, organizationally, the brigade has closed three infantry companies across the units maneuver battalions and gained one new troop, Echo Troop, to the brigade’s squadron.
The brigade’s efforts throughout the conversion have not been unnoticed by senior leaders. “Today's conversion of 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division to a Stryker Brigade represents the culmination of a major Army transformation effort which began in 2013 with the addition of a third maneuver battalion for each BCT (brigade combat team),” said Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, director of operations and strategic plans for the Department of the Army. “Soldiers of 2nd Brigade should take pride in their hard work as they complete this conversion and prepare for their certification exercise at Fort Irwin. Soldiers of 2nd Brigade, 4th Infantry, can be very proud of what they've already accomplished as they look forward to future challenges."
According to the brigade leadership, the unit plans to finalize their conversion in late 2021.
“You’ve spent countless hours working through property books and paperwork and you’ve initiated your OPNET (operator new equipment training) and your FLMNET, (field level maintenance new equipment training) and all of it is essential to making the conversion such a success,” said McFarland. “I am proud of the work you’ve done to date and I look forward to watching you as you continue to embrace this vehicle.”