SENATE BILL REPORT
This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.
As Passed Senate, March 2, 2015
Brief Description: Calling for a National Guard Stryker Brigade stationed on the west coast.
Sponsors: Senators Hobbs, Roach, Conway, Miloscia, Hatfield, King, Bailey, Keiser, Billig, Padden, Mullet, Ericksen, Frockt, Fraser and McAuliffe.
Committee Activity: Government Operations & Security: 2/12/15 [DP].
Passed Senate: 3/02/15, 47-0.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS & SECURITY
Majority Report: Do pass.
Signed by Senators Roach, Chair; Benton, Vice Chair; Pearson, Vice Chair; Liias, Ranking Minority Member; McCoy.
Staff: Samuel Brown (786-7470)
Background: A Stryker Brigade Combat Team is an infantry force structured around the Stryker eight-wheeled armored vehicle, designed to provide a level of combat support and strength between mobile light infantry and heavier armored infantry. A full Stryker brigade can be transported into a theater of operations within 96 hours. The Army's 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team is currently stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Pierce County.
The 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team is a unit of the Washington National Guard stationed at Camp Murray in Pierce County. Its federal mission is to mobilize and deploy to a theater of operations to conduct combat operations, redeploy, and demobilize. Its state mission is to be prepared for employment in the protection of life and property, and the preservation of peace, order, and public safety, or disaster relief operations as required. The 81st Armored Brigade completed a federal rotation for service in Iraq in 2004.
Summary of Bill: A memorial is transmitted to the President, Chief of the National Guard Bureau, President of the United States Senate, Speaker of the House, and each congressional member from Washington. The memorial requests their support to convert the 81st Armored Brigade Combat Team of the Washington National Guard into a Stryker Brigade Combat Team with brigade units stationed in Washington, Oregon, and California.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Staff Summary of Public Testimony: PRO: We need to get our congressional delegation focused on this issue. The active Army is trying to decide whether to give a Stryker brigade to the National Guard, which would allow us to trade out our older, heavier, armored vehicles. Joint Base Lewis-McChord has the Stryker Center of Excellence, which will provide better training, coordination with active duty members, and protection from future cuts. Strykers can be used as part of a domestic response when dealing with disasters; there's no use for tanks in a flood. This is the top strategic priority for the National Guard in our state. It will enhance readiness and provide relevance for the future force structure.
Persons Testifying: PRO: Senator Hobbs, prime sponsor; Brig. Gen. Wallace Turner, WA National Guard.