There is a reason Russia has intensified its nuclear rhetoric. Moscow knows that the U.S. forces haven’t been exposed to high-intensity tactics like jamming, hybrid warfare, and guerrilla warfare in years. It was apparent when the American 173rd Airborne Brigade went to train the Ukrainian National Guard.
Russian BMP-3 outguns the Stryker
Ironically, the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges said American forces were actually learning from Ukrainian troops what it would take to fight Russia. And now the Stryker-equipped 2nd Cavalry Regiment, a crucial U.S. Army unit in Europe, was outgunned by their Russian counterpart, reports Defense News.
Brent Scowcroft Center resident senior fellow for defense, Jim Hasik said Russia’s BMP-3 tracked transport vehicle and several Russian BTR-80/82 have outgunned the Stryker. The Russian BMP-3 has either a 30mm auto-cannon or a 100mm low-velocity gun. The unit’s commander Col. John Meyer has sought a fast-track upgrade to meed the operational requirements amid rising tensions with Russia.
America’s European allies concerned about Russia
Earlier this year, the 2nd Cavalry conducted a 2,200 km long convoy operation called Dragoon Ride. The unit maneuvered 120 vehicles across Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia to reassure NATO members. The Strykers provide operation mobility to maneuver across the NATO, something an infantry or armored brigade team cannot do.
The U.S. forces in Europe are preparing for another journey called Brave Warrior from Germany to Hungary in an attempt to bolster the U.S.-Hungary alliance. The 30mm cannon requested for the Stryker won’t turn it into a tank or let it take on the Russian armored vehicles. But it can take on Russia’s motorized rifle battalions and harass the T-72 tanks, said Col. John Meyer.
Though the U.S. officials said the journey was not designed to send a message to Russia amid escalating tensions, Mayer said European countries were concerned about Russia’s recent activities. The U.S. National Military Strategy last month cited Russia as the biggest threat to the U.S. national security.