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Army snipers are putting their next rifle through its paces with new upgrades
The Army may only have scored full approval from Congress to buy thousands of new M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems (CSASS) last year, but a cadre of Army snipers are already flexing on some upgrades.
Eight snipers assigned to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division are currently field testing the upgraded CSASS at Fort Carson, part of the limited user testing laid out by the Army last summer.
While the Army has already fielded the rifle, based on Heckler & Koch's 7.62x51mm G28E-110, in a squad designated marksman role to select units Fort Bliss and Fort Bragg, the Ivy Division snipers are testing new features that include 'increased accuracy, plus other ergonomic features like reduced weight and operations with or without a suppressor,' according to an Army release.
A Sniper Team fires the M110E1 Compact, Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle (CSASS) in Mission Oriented Protective Posture (MOPP) gear during operational testing at Fort Carson, Colo.(U.S. Army/Maj. Michael P. Brabner)
And those tests were just to test the CSASS's 800 meter range. According to U.S. Army Operational Test Command's CSASS test officer Maj. Mindy Brown, the 2nd iBCT snipers fired off some 8,000 rounds in various configurations of their mission gear (think Ghillie suits) before facing off in force-on-force exercises they described as "the best sniper training they'd received since attending Sniper School."
A test Sniper engages targets identified by his spotter while wearing a Ghillie suit during the Compact, Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle (CSASS) operational test at Fort Carson, Colo.(U.S. Army/Maj. Michael P. Brabner)
'We do this by having the Snipers employ the system in the manner and the environment they would in combat," Brown, said in a statement. "In doing this, we achieve a twofold benefit for the Army as we test modernization efforts while simultaneously building unit — or in this case —Sniper readiness."
A Sniper engages targets from behind a barrier during the short-range tactical scenario of the Compact, Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle (CSASS) operational test at Fort Carson, Colo.(U.S. Army/Maj. Michael P. Brabner)
The 2019 National Defense Authorization Act fully funded the Army's proposed $46.2 million acquisition of 5,180 CSASS rifles with the eventual goal of buying as many as 8,711 of the lightweight 7.62mm systems. And based on the testing at Fort Carson, soldiers seem happy with the platform — or, at least, they're enjoying the testing.
"Despite single-digit frigid temperatures, gusting winds, and wet snow, the snipers really impressed me with their levels of motivation and competitive drive to outshoot each other,' Sgt. 1st Class Isidro Pardo said in the Army statement. Translation: Let's play.
WATCH NEXT: A U.S. Army Sniper And His Rifle In Afghanistan
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.
Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.
The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.
Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."
Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.
A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.
The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.