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For Once, The Army Is Getting The Marine Corps' Old Crap
It's a common trope that the Marine Corps gets their equipment secondhand from the Army, but at least in the case of a new unit within the 82nd Airborne Division, it's going the other direction.
On Friday the Army reactivated A Company, 4th Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment, which means the 82nd will once again have a light-armored parachute infantry — only this time, they'll be rolling in Marine Corps-made light armored vehicles.
The "Airborne Thunder" unit has the LAV-25A2 in its arsenal, most still emblazoned with a "USMC" stencil on their side, according to the Fayetteville Observer. The Army chose that vehicle over its Stryker combat vehicles since they were smaller and lighter, allowing more of them to be loaded on an Air Force transport.
First brought into service in 1983, the LAV-25 is an eight-wheeled amphibious reconnaissance vehicle that fit in quite nicely with the Marine Corps' push into maneuver warfare. Armed with a 25mm chain gun, a couple of M240 machine guns, and six fully-armed Marines in the back, the LAV (with a top speed of 62mph) emphasized outmaneuvering "enemy forces over firepower to win battles," according to The National Interest.
Although the Army was initially involved in the program, it declined to adopt it — despite some experimentation with the vehicle over the years.
That is, until now.
And the company commander is pretty excited about the prospect:
“As the unit’s first commander I hope to get the unit equipped and train the Paratroopers on the vehicles and equipment we’ve received,” said Capt. Aram M. Hatfield. “The vast majority of them have never been on an armored vehicle before.”
More importantly, Hatfield said he has one Paratrooper who was a former Marine who has some experience with the equipment and vehicle which will be an asset with the training his Paratroopers will receive in the upcoming months.
“I would like these guys to be experts on these vehicles and experts on the doctrine that we are going to develop,” said Hatfield.
Although Marines reading this will no doubt be thinking, haha Army, sweet revenge! It's important to note that the 4th Battalion, 68th Armor Regiment will still most likely get the phased plasma rifle in the 40 watt range many years before you do.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.