WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army teamed up with the U.S. Air Force in deploying Stryker vehicles north of the Arctic Circle for the first time.
The deployment was part of a multi-agency exercise known as Operation Arctic Pegasus, which tested the deployment capability of the Army's 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team. During the exercise, the Air Force's C-17 GLobemaster III aircraft delivered four Stryker vehicles and almost 40 soldiers to the location near Deadhorse, Alaska.
The region, a regular training location for U.S. Army Alaska, includes the southern areas of the Asia-Pacific region and parts of the Arctic Circle. Average winter temperatures range from 23 degrees to 11 degrees below zero.
The Stryker is a highly mobile, eight-wheeled, infantry combat vehicle used by the Army. The vehicle is lighter and more transportable than tanks and other armored vehicles, and was designed for rapid movement anywhere in the world.
Stryker vehicles can reach speeds of approximately 60 miles per hour, can carry nine soldiers, and have robust armor protection. Weapons such as the M2 .50 caliber machine gun and the 40 mm grenade launcher can be installed on the vehicle, which has a range of 300 miles using 53 gallons of fuel.
The vehicles were named to honor Medal of Honor recipients Pfc. Stuart S. Stryker and Spc. Robert F. Stryker, who served in World War II and in Vietnam, respectively.