The 5th Battalion, 4th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, part of the 10th Army Air & Missile Defense Command, is the first unit in the Army fields the first Hellfire and Stinger Missile-armed Stryker vehicle in Europe.
The new combat vehicle was designed to bring a new era of air and missile defense to fast-moving attack units by killing enemy drones, helicopters and incoming missiles.
According to a recent service news release, the 5th Battalion completed the first live-fire of the maneuver short-range air defense weapon system at the tactical unit level and the first-ever live-fire of the system in Europe on Oct. 7, 2021.
The week-long training took place at the Putlos Bundeswehr range on the Baltic Sea coast of Germany.
The purpose of the week’s training was to demonstrate the capabilities of the M-SHORAD Stryker. Members of 3rd Platoon, Alpha Battery engaged ground targets with the 7.62mm machine gun and aerial drone targets with three Stinger missiles.
1st Lt. Kelsey Krauss, from Randolph, New Jersey, is the Army’s first M-SHORAD Stryker platoon leader.
“The demonstration went perfect I am so proud of my Soldiers,” said Krauss. “They were confident, knowledgeable, they asked questions when they needed to; they really knew their job and they came out here and they killed it.”
The Alpha Battery commander, Capt. Connor Knapp, agreed with his lieutenant’s assessment.
“I think today went fantastic, we learned a lot and we showed the capability of the M-SHORAD system. With SHORAD in general, our job is to protect the maneuver force, and being on the Stryker platform gives us that key capability to move with them wherever they go and protect from enemy rotary and fixed-wing attack.”
Some of the Soldiers from 3rd Platoon participated in the initial testing of M-SHORAD at White Sands, New Mexico, but this was the first time live firing M-SHORAD for many Alpha Battery Soldiers.
M-SHORAD gunner Spc. Lilly Allen commented, “this week has been exciting, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. The Stinger was amazing! I think the Stryker platform overall is one of the best things we could have added to ADA. The maneuverability, the capabilities, everything about it definitely gives our branch an upper hand.”
The next big exercise for the M-SHORAD will be Saber Strike 22 this winter. Exercise Saber Strike is an annual combined-joint exercise conducted at various locations throughout Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The combined training prepares allies and partners to respond more to regional crises and meet their own security needs by improving the security of borders and countering threats.