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Between November 2003 and October 2004, after four years of planning and preparation, the Army's first Stryker-equipped force received its baptism by combat on the plains of Iraq. The deployment of the 2d Infantry Division's 3d Brigade challenged more than just the Army's ability to field a new type of combat unit or a new piece of equipment. It sought to showcase and validate new information-age technologies, doctrines, and organizations that could serve as models for the future transformation of the service's fighting forces. Testing the Army's very ability to make key cultural changes in the way that it trained, led, fought, and supplied its forces in the field, the new brigade would have to prove more agile, more flexible, and more deadly than its predecessors.
This study explores the origin, development, and initial combat experience of this unique unit, the first installment of an "Interim Force" that would pave the way toward the Army of the future. From the training grounds of Fort Lewis, Washington, to the battlegrounds of Mosul and Tall Afar, Iraq, the odyssey of the "3-2" tested the very premise of the Army's initial Transformation strategy. This preliminary account provides a firsthand field assessment of that ambitious effort and should encourage further thought about our continuing efforts to prepare the Army for its role in an increasingly turbulent world.
Contents * A Need for Change * Establishing a Process * Step One: Reorganize, Train, and Equip * Step Two: Fielding Stryker * Step Three: Operational Readiness * Step Four: Taking the Field * The Test of Combat: November 2003-November 2004 * Task Force Olympia * Initial Operations * Task Force Arrow: An Najaf * Operation Road Warrior: Baghdad * Tall Afar, Iraq * Mosul, Iraq * Relief in Place * Analysis * Bibliographical Note