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Fort Carson tests new Javelin missile system capabilities

FORT CARSON, Colo. (KRDO) -- Thanks to a new missile system, Fort Carson officials say the 2nd Brigade Stryker Combat Team is now considered the most lethal fighting force out of the entire United States Army.

Officials at the Mountain Post credit this to its brand new CROWS-J system, which is an advanced optic on a stabilized mount which allows soldiers to fire Javelin missiles from a stationary vehicle. Previously, soldiers had to be on the ground and manually fire them.

“With this ability to deploy this system it just provides our commanders and higher level leaders a menu of options how to employ the 2nd Stryker Brigade and its newfound lethality with these weapons,” said Captain Jacob Poag, U.S. Army Officer.

The Javelin missiles possess infrared technology using thermal imaging to lock on to targets. Soldiers inside the Stryker vehicle communicate with aerial support to make positive contact.

Army officials say that while this technology is still being tested out, the Javelins can be launched from the CROWS-J system and potentially hit a target at 2,500 meters.

“Before it was very anxious whenever you push out, not sure how you are going to react whenever you make contact," Specialist Jerett Vermeis said. "But now we’re in the vehicle and we have all the equipment ready to go.”

Soldiers tell us they feel safer with this new system, knowing they won't be directly in the line of fire.

“Prior I was actually dismounted for the Javelin and I would be pushed out with the Javelin and get on the ground - not very safe for us, not very safe for the dismounts," Spc. Vermeis said. "Now, I am a gunner inside and we do not have to worry about anyone in danger.”

Javelin systems were previously reliant on the human eye and built-in interfaces to engage targets. Now, with the help of the CROWS-J system, soldiers can see farther, clearer, and in darker environments.

The new capability will continue to be tested over the next 3 months, but officials say it will help give soldiers the upper hand against heavily armored vehicles and buildings.

The CROWS-J system will be installed on 87 of the 300 current Stryker vehicles within the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Fort Carson.

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Cindy Centofanti

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