After months of planning and deliberations, the 75th Ranger Regiment has been deployed to Syria to participate in the war against ISIS as the coalition closes in on the so-called caliphate’s capital city of Raqqa. Yesterday, the first images emerged of Stryker armored vehicles on their way to Manbij. This comes weeks after Rangers deployed to theater with their Strykers and elements of the 75th Ranger Regiment had been passing through Kurdistan.
By looking at the call sign tag on the back of the Stryker, it is evident that this is 3rd Ranger Battalion out of Fort Benning, Georgia, which has been confirmed via other sources. 3/75 has often spearheaded incursions into foreign countries for the Regiment, such as a conducting combat jumps into Afghanistan and Iraq during the invasions. The reason for this is because 3/75 is co-located on Fort Benning with the Regimental headquarters, making planning and coordinating easier since the other two Ranger battalions are stationed at Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia and Fort Lewis, Washington.
The callsign “R3” displayed on the Stryker spotted in Syria is a naming convention first started by 2nd Ranger Battalion in Iraq in 2005. They chose R to stand for Mount Rainier which is near their home base in Washington state. After the R, the other eight-wheeled Strykers in the Ranger element are numbered in sequential order. When other Ranger battalions rotated into theater to use the same Strykers, they called them Rico instead of Rainier. In this case, 3/75 is leading the way into Syria for the Regiment.