Pvt. Jesse Smith, infantryman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, fires an M110 Semi Automatic Sniper System at a distant target during a sniper familiarization range, Sept. 10, 2014.
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.
U.S. Air Force Col. Jeannie Leavitt, the outgoing commander of the 4th Fighter Wing, pilots an F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft over North Carolina May 29, 2014. (U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman John Nieves Camacho)
WASHINGTON — Former Air Force and Navy fighter pilots are calling on the military to begin cancer screenings for aviators as young as 30 because of an increase in deaths from the disease that they suspect may be tied to radiation emitted in the cockpit.
"We are dropping like flies in our 50s from aggressive cancers," said retired Air Force Col. Eric Nelson, a former F-15E Strike Eagle weapons officer. He cited prostate and esophageal cancers, lymphoma, and glioblastomas that have struck fellow pilots he knew, commanded or flew with.
Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.
In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.
KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.
In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.