A second Stryker unit for Alaska?

November 26th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: A second Stryker unit for Alaska?


FAIRBANKS, Alaska — Lawyers engaged in a legal battle between the Army and groups in Hawaii concerned over the training of a Stryker brigade are looking into whether Alaska possibly could host a second Stryker unit.
Three Hawaii and environment groups sued the Army in 2004. They contend that the Army did not comply with federal environmental laws when it decided to transform the Hawaii-based 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division into a Stryker brigade.
The plaintiffs argue the presence of a Stryker brigade in Hawaii, with its 19-ton, eight-wheeled armored vehicles, will destroy endangered species and native ecosystems.
The Stryker unit would have 3,900 soldiers and 328 vehicles.

In October, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Army violated national environmental laws by not considering other locations outside Hawaii for the Stryker unit.
The court responded with a temporary injunction, which halted construction and training projects for the brigade until the Army conducts a new environmental impact statement. The evaluation could take up to two years.
The Army asked U.S. District Judge David Ezra to lift the temporary injunction so the brigade could continue to train in anticipation of the brigade’s deployment to Iraq in fall of 2007. It says that the injunction is impairing the ability of the 2nd Brigade to accomplish its mission “with a minimum of American combat-related casualties, a paramount national interest.”
Ezra on Monday deferred until December a decision about whether to lift the injunction for training purposes.
Plaintiffs’ attorney David Henkin with Earthjustice is using the time to shore up his suggestion that the Army could train the Stryker unit elsewhere. In court documents, Henkin has said Washington state and Alaska are possibilities.
Henkin said this week that he is mainly interested in researching the feasibility of training the Hawaii Stryker brigade at Fort Lewis, Wash. The installation did, at one time, host three full Stryker brigades, he said. One has since been relocated to Germany and one is in the midst of a yearlong deployment to Iraq.
Only the third is at Fort Lewis, training for an expected deployment to Iraq next summer.
Henkin said he also will research if Alaska has the infrastructure to host another Stryker brigade for training.
“We’ll ask about Alaska. But Alaska is home to one Stryker brigade. I don’t know if there would be adequate facilities to do training for a second brigade,” he said.
Maj. Kirk Gohlke, spokesman for U.S. Army Alaska, did not provide a comment about if Alaska has the means to host a second Stryker brigade for training.
November 27th, 2006  
Stinking eco-terrorists. These people think that a plant is more important than natonal defense.

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