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Pennsylvania National Guard Gets Stryker Light Armored Vehicles

The Pennsylvania National Guard's 56th Combat Stryker Brigade became the first National Guard unit to welcome the Stryker to its fleet during a cermeony at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., June 10. Photo courtesy of Master Sgt. Dick Breach.
by Pfc. Elizabeth Jones
Fort Indiantown Gap PA (AFNS) Jun 14, 2006
The Pennsylvania National Guard's 56th Combat Stryker Brigade became the first National Guard unit to welcome the Stryker light armored vehicle to its fleet during a rollout ceremony at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., June 10.

The ceremony marked the unit's transformation from a heavy combat brigade to a Stryker brigade, one of seven elite rapid-mobilization brigades in the Army and the only National Guard unit selected for the program.

The experience of this brigade from concept development to material fielding is not only serving as a catalyst to lead change across the Army National Guard here in Pennsylvania, but across the entire force," said Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard A. Cody.

"We in the Army's senior leadership are committed to producing units that are fully ready in terms of training in modernized equipment ... in whatever capacity they may be called on to serve this nation as citizen Soldiers."

"We appreciate the confidence that the Department of Army has placed in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard," said Maj. Gen. Jessica L. Wright, Pa. NG adjutant general. "And I assure you that our Stryker brigade combat team will be the best in the inventory."

The brigade began training in 2003, adding 20 extra days to their yearly training calendar so Soldiers would have extensive instruction on new electronic surveillance systems, visual communications equipment and driver training for the Stryker.

"I feel like I'm ready to go whenever they need me," said Spc. Scott Jones, Calvary scout for Alpha Co., 2nd 104th Calvary.

"They are enthusiastic about change; they embrace technology and they are warriors," Wright added. "The combination of Soldier and machine will prove formidable forth anywhere in the world, as well as a tremendous asset here at home."

Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll and U.S. Reps. Tim Holden and John Murtha also attended the ceremony.

(Editor's note: Pfc. Elizabeth Jones writes for the 109th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.)

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