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May 05, 2005



Thanks for the citing the source. I can’t blame you for using the CALL report as a source; however, as noted in my earlier message the range is 312 miles (probably just a typo since shorter distances in the Army are always quoted in terms of kilometers), although depending on the source that you look at, it is placed between 300 miles and 340 miles (www.globalsecurity.org is usually a pretty solid website to corroborate information). Also, I didn’t see where it states that the fuel cans are used to “cheat” to meet the advertised range of the Stryker. In fact, the CALL report clearly states that the additional fuel cans are used “to extend the . . . range of the internal Stryker fuel tank” and that the internal tank does meet its advertised range (although that is quoted incorrectly).

I have provided some answers to the additional questions that you raised.

“Is there an issue with the placement of the fuel tanks?” “Should the Stryker's range using fuel from its internal tank be farther?”

As far as the fuel tanks on the Stryker, there are two on the exterior of the vehicle to eliminate the potential of an inboard fire that could be catastrophic for inhabitants. I don’t see a need to increase the size of these as the current range is adequate and you can use 5 gallon fuel cans as necessary to supplement the internal tank capacity when your operation requires with minimal risk. As far as additional fuel cans and their placement, I know that Aberdeen Proving Grounds tested all the standard Stryker load plans to ensure that that load plans didn’t cause undue risk to the vehicle and its crew. Using a less scientific method, from looking at the pictures of the stowage racks and 5 gallon can storage brackets and their location on the vehicle, the tops of the cans are below the top of the Stryker, making it very difficult to have fuel blown onto soldiers due to the angles involved. Also, I would like to point out again that the military uses JP8, a low volatility fuel, and that you don’t find the types of dramatic explosions from JP8 like you would see with standard gasoline that is found in cars. Bullets will spring a leak, but shouldn’t cause a hazard. Finally, if you were to have a fire at the rear of the vehicle for whatever reason, there are a minimum of two additional hatches (and up to four, depending on the variant) forward of the rear hatches.

“For example, should only two tanks be used?”

You can carry up to 20 x 5 gallon cans in the stowage racks and 5 gallon storage brackets on the main Stryker variants if you want to (this number is 16 when the slat armor is installed due to the placement of some of the crossbars that support the slats). This could give you up to an additional 1.9 fuel tanks worth of gasoline. The fuel cans (and water cans) are readily available in the supply system and can be ordered by your unit supply if you want more. Since each mission will vary as well as the availability of refueling during the mission, this is a decision best left to each commander who can analyze his fuel needs over the course of the assigned mission and determine whether it is necessary to even carry any fuel cans. There is no one size fits all solution except to provide commanders with the flexibility to carry additional fuel if the mission requires it, and this option is available to Stryker commanders.

Nick at POGO


Thanks for the thoughtful comments. We cite the Army's CALL report for the number of external five gallon fuel tanks (the CALL report says there are four) as well as for the range of the Stryker's internal fuel tank (the CALL report says "approximate 300 km range"). While we understand that external fuel tanks may provide needed operational flexibility, there may be some criticisms worth making. For example, should only two tanks be used? Is there an issue with the placement of the fuel tanks? Should the Stryker's range using fuel from its internal tank be farther?

From a February 8, 2005 Army Center for Lessons Learned Report:

Topic H: External Fuel Cans

Observation: External five gallon fuel cans carried on the rear of the Stryker vehicle pose a great danger to personnel serving as sky guards in the vehicle' s rear hatches.

Discussion: Operational requirements regularly exceed the fuel capacity and mileage capability of the Stryker vehicle. The 20 extra gallons of fuel carried externally were necessary to extend the approximate 300 km range of the internal Stryker fuel tank. Enemy small arms fire, IED and/or other incendiary devices have the ability to ignite the fuel inside of the four-5 gallon fuel cans. The ignited fuel is less than 24 inches from the sky guard hatches and has the potential to cause serious injury to personnel in those hatches especially during emergency evacuation which occurred in the picture below.


-The extra fuel must be carried due to operational requirements.

-TTP dictate that the other Stryker crews will respond to vehicle fires with their organic fire extinguishers.

- Serious injury from fire is a concern of Soldiers in the rear hatches (fire = vehicle evacuation unfortunately, through the flames.)


I am curious where you are getting your information on the Stryker’s range. First, the maximum range of the Stryker is 312 miles, not 300 kilometers. Next, to my knowledge, it was always the plan to have brackets that allowed you to carry 5 gallon cans that have been part of the Army supply system since at least World War II. Also, units are issued two 5 gallon water cans and two 5 gallon fuel cans when they are issued their Strykers, not the four 5 gallon fuel cans that you claim. Finally, having executed numerous administrative movements (Yakima Training Center to Fort Lewis, Fort Irwin to Southern California Logistics Airport, Fort Polk to Beaumont) and operational movements (Camp Udari, Kuwait, to FOB Pacesetter, Iraq; FOB Pacesetter to Mosul), the fuel mileage during these movements was consistent with the advertised range of the Stryker.

The 5 gallon can brackets and 5 gallon cans provide flexibility to the commander to carry additional fuel and/or water (as well as the ability to carry the 5 gallon cans in the external stowage racks) as the mission dictates. While carrying additional fuel does add some risk in the event that the cans are hit, the commander must weigh the risk and benefits of this as he does in everything you do and plan on a mission (e.g. you carry extra ammunition that is potentially explosive so you have easy access to resupply should you be heavily engaged). A recon element in a long-term hide site will want to have additional fuel so they don’t have to move and potentially expose their location. Long movements over cross-country terrain will use fuel faster. Additional weight such as slat armor or explosive reactive armor will use fuel faster. Operations during cold and/or wet weather may require running the vehicle more frequently while it is stationary to warm up cold soldiers or dry out wet soldiers. Refueling the vehicles is a combat mission that requires the unit to stop what it is doing, which may be undesirable, depending on the current operational picture. All of these are potential and valid reasons for carrying additional fuel.

If the mission dictates that fuel cans are necessary, then you take steps to mitigate the potential risk. You store the fuel cans outside the vehicle so the effects of any potential burning fuel are kept out of the crew compartment. As the fuel tanks empty, you empty the fuel cans into the tanks. You use a low volatility fuel (which is why the Army uses JP-8 instead of standard automobile fuels). Additionally, unlike your claim that the fuel cans are an easy target, if you actually look at a fuel can, you’ll realize that the surface area is the size of a small man’s torso and represents a fraction of the surface area of a Stryker vehicle.


The press report a common concern for the public: US 'wasted billions on faulty terror equipment'

>the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives homeland security committee, said that after the terrorist attacks, the government showed its commitment by spending more money as rapidly as possible. He said: "That brought us what we might expect, which is some expensive mistakes."<

Echoes of the POGO blog recently: "You mean we're supposed to keep track of this stuff?" (http://pogoblog.typepad.com/pogo/2005/04/you_mean_were_s.html)

An attempt was made many years ago to control public spending in the UK. Legislation was introduced to get value for money for taxpayers from public expenditure; but it hasn't been allowed to work. See 'After Andersens, who's next?' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Arthur_Andersen)

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