The Army Has Decided Which Troops Get Dibs On The New Sig Sauer Handgun

Gear
Sig Sauer image

After 32 years without a pistol upgrade, the U.S. Army has decided that to first begin distributing its new Sig Sauer P320 handguns to troops with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.


Fort Campbell will be the first installation fully outfitted with the P320, adopted as the M17, Lt. Col. Steven Power with Program Executive Office Soldier told attendees at the National Defense Industrial Association's armament symposium on May 3.

“The latest budget was our first real knowledge of procurement dollars, which will adjust fielding schedules,” Power said. “However, we will definitely field Fort Campbell this year.”

The Army plans to eventually outfit all sidearm-carrying soldiers with the P320, but the timeline of the rollout will depend on availability of funding.

On January 19, the Army first announced it would purchase Sig Sauer's version of the Modular Handgun System to replace the M9 Beretta, which has been the military’s primary handgun since 1985. Sig Sauer outshined Beretta, Glock, and Smith & Wesson for the contract during field testing..

So why the P320? In an earlier report for Task & Purpose, Matthew Moss laid out the details of the Army’s new go-to sidearm:

The Army was adamant that the new sidearm must be more accurate, reliable, lighter and, most importantly, more modular than the current Beretta M9. The P320’s rivals all approached this differently, with most offering the option of adjustable grip backstraps.

Sig Sauer, however, offered a more innovative system. The P320 has a fiberglass-reinforced polymer grip-frame module which acts as the weapon’s lower frame. Within this module there is a removable internal stainless steel frame holding the fire control unit. This fire control unit combines the trigger assembly, striker and spring groups into a small unit. Users can place their fire control unit into any grip module of varying sizes to fit different hand sizes.

The handgun also features an ambidextrous frame, boasts a Picatinny rail, and can be adapted to fit a suppressor. And with a standard 17-round magazine or an extended magazine of 21-rounds, the P320 is an improvement on the M9’s 15-round capacity.

The Army is the first branch to adopt a new pistol in decades. The Air Force, Marine Corps, and the Navy will continue to use the M9 for the foreseeable future.

The video opens innocently enough. A bell sounds as we gaze onto a U.S. Navy frigate, safely docked at port at Naval Base San Diego. A cadre of sailors, dressed in "crackerjack" style enlisted dress uniforms and hauling duffel bags over their shoulders, stride up a gangplank aboard the vessel. The officer on deck greets them with a blast of a boatswain's call. It could be the opening scene of a recruitment video for the greatest naval force on the planet.

Then the rhythmic clapping begins.

This is no recruitment video. It's 'In The Navy,' the legendary 1979 hit from disco queens The Village People, shot aboard the very real Knox-class USS Reasoner (FF-1063) frigate. And one of those five Navy sailors who strode up that gangplank during filming was Ronald Beck, at the time a legal yeoman and witness to one of the strangest collisions between the U.S. military and pop culture of the 20th century.

"They picked the ship and they picked us, I don't know why," Beck, who left the Navy in 1982, told Task & Purpose in a phone interview from his Texas home in October. "I was just lucky to be one of 'em picked."

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Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Tuesday casually brushed aside the disturbing news that, holy shit, MORE THAN 100 ISIS FIGHTERS HAVE ESCAPED FROM JAIL.

In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Esper essentially turned this fact into a positive, no doubt impressing public relations and political talking heads everywhere with some truly masterful spin.

"Of the 11,000 or so detainees that were imprisoned in northeast Syria, we've only had reports that a little more than a hundred have escaped," Esper said, adding that the Syrian Democratic Forces were continuing to guard prisons, and the Pentagon had not "seen this big prison break that we all expected."



Well, I feel better. How about you?

On Wednesday, the top U.S. envoy in charge of the global coalition to defeat ISIS said much the same, while adding another cherry on top: The United States has no idea where those 100+ fighters went.

"We do not know where they are," James Jeffrey told members of Congress of the 100+ escaped detainees. ISIS has about 18,000 "members" left in Iraq and Syria, according to recent Pentagon estimates.

A senior administration official told reporters on Wednesday the White House's understanding is that the SDF continues to keep the "vast majority" of ISIS fighters under "lock and key."

"It's obviously a fluid situation on the ground that we're monitoring closely," the official said, adding that released fighters will be "hunted down and recaptured." The official said it was Turkey's responsibility to do so.

President Trump expressed optimism on Wednesday about what was happening on the ground in northeast Syria, when he announced that a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurds was expected to be made permanent.

"Turkey, Syria, and all forms of the Kurds have been fighting for centuries," Trump said. "We have done them a great service and we've done a great job for all of them — and now we're getting out."

The president boasted that the U.S.-brokered ceasefire had saved the lives of tens of thousands of Kurds "without spilling one drop of American blood."

Trump said that "small number of U.S. troops" would remain in Syria to protect oilfields.


Kade Kurita (U.S. Army photo(

Kade Kurita, the 20-year-old West Point cadet who had been missing since Friday evening, was found dead on Tuesday night, the U.S. Military Academy announced early Wednesday morning.

"We are grieving this loss and our thoughts and prayers go out to Cadet Kurita's family and friends," Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, superintendent of West Point, said in the release.

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Editor's Note: This article by Matthew Cox originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

The U.S. Army's Next Generation Squad Weapon effort looked a lot more possible this week as the three competing weapons firms displayed their prototype 6.8mm rifles and automatic rifles at the 2019 Association of the United States Army's annual meeting.

Just two months ago, the Army selected General Dynamics Ordnance and Tactical Systems inc., Textron Systems and Sig Sauer Inc. for the final phase of the NGSW effort — one of the service's top modernization priorities to replace the 5.56mm M4A1 carbine and the M249 squad automatic weapon in infantry and other close-combat units.

Army officials, as well as the companies in competition, have been guarded about specific details, but the end result will equip combat squads with weapons that fire a specially designed 6.8mm projectile, capable of penetrating enemy body armor at ranges well beyond the current M855A1 5.56mm round.

There have previously been glimpses of weapons from two firms, but this year's AUSA was the first time all three competitors displayed their prototype weapons, which are distinctly different from one another.

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The Minot Air Force Base main gate (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Air Force is investigating reports that an airman consumed marijuana while assigned to one of the highly-sensitive missile alert facility (MAF) responsible for overseeing Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.

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