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The Army Is Considering A Temporary Upgrade In Rifle Calibers
The Army plans to field a 6.5mm intermediate caliber rifle around 2020 — but in the meantime, some riflemen feel the service’s current standard 5.56mm rifle cartridge isn’t giving them enough bang in the field. “The troops feel like they’re in a street fight with a guy with longer arms,” according to Soldier Systems.
One solution the service is reportedly considering is to arm infantry rifle squads and brigade combat teams with the 7.62mm NATO round until Army officials settle on a new 6.5mm rifle. Of course, if you’ve ever played with a Ruger SR-762, you’re probably familiar with 7.62mm NATO — it’s both common and devastating.
Adopting the ubiquitous 7.62 ammo means the service could lean on any of several “government off-the-shelf” firearms chambered for the big NATO round. And upgrading to those arms could be a quick process, meaning American troops will enjoy an immediate boost in firepower without waiting for committees to pore over various specs. (They’ll also enjoy an immediate boost in gear weight — that 7.62 sure isn’t light, especially when you’re lugging around 210 rounds of it).
According to Soldier Systems, officials have three serious GOTS options in 7.62mm NATO: the Mk-17 SCAR-H (covered by T&P; here), the M110 Semi-Auto Sniper System, and the M110 Compact Semi-Auto Sniper System.
The Army could also decide none of these options meet the soldiers’ needs and solicit bids for new weapons from commercial gunmakers. Of course, Soldier Systems points out, if the service went that route, the resulting 7.62mm weapon could become a soldier favorite once it’s issued, and the planned 6.5mm rifle may end up scrapped.
Either way, American troops facing new deployments abroad could be hitting the ground with a fresher, bigger-caliber rifle very soon.
Correction: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article stated that the AK-47 was a 7.62mm NATO rifle. The AK-47 uses 7.62 x 39mm ammunition.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.