US Army School for Advanced Military Studies Fort Leavenworth United States
The Army is in the process of fielding a new vehicle called the Dragoon, armed with a 30mm turret on top of the Stryker to provide additional lethality to the Stryker formation. The fielding of the new Stryker is in response to an Operational Needs Statement submitted by the 2d Cavalry Regiment in Germany as a reaction to Russian aggression in the region. The upgrade of the 30mm is also the initial step for the formations modernization as a part of the Mobile Protected Firepower Concept and Combat Vehicle Modernization Strategy. However, the upgrade of the 30mm potentially may change how the SBCT was intended to be employed in decisive action by changing the platform from a carrying vehicle to a fighting vehicle. The SBCTs role in decisive action is to remain the medium force that can move quickly by means of a light armored vehicle and fight dismounted in complex terrain. To determine the SBCTs role in decisive action, several questions needed to be answered. First, a definition of decisive action needed to be determined. Second, determining why the SBCT was created and how was it to be employed. Third, anticipating future conflict and threats the Army will have to face was considered. Fourth, analyzing the Armys future upgrades to combat vehicle formations and what implications will the 30mm have on the SBCT. Decisive action doctrine requires SBCTs to operate as a dismounted force for two reasons First, it is how the SBCT was originally designed. Second, future conflict requires the dismounted capability the SBCT provides to win against most likely anticipated threats. Past conflicts have illuminated the need for the Army to possess an infantry force that is transported by vehicles and fights dismounted in complex terrain to be successful against a hybrid threat in cities. Replacing ICVs with IFVs may change the way the SBCT fights on the ground.