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The Army's Powerful New Service Rifle Isn't Dead Just Yet
The Army's Program Executive Officer Soldier reiterated this week that the new, more powerful Interim Combat Service Rifle was still on the table, despite reports that the Army scrapped plans to fund it.
The Army has been looking for a round-and-rifle pairing of an intermediate caliber to replace the M4/M16 platform, and the ICSR was proposed as a short-term replacement.
Army Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings — who, as PEO Soldier, manages the programs that provide most of a soldier's gear and weapons — said that the Army was still weighing a short-term stand-in for the M4/M16 rifle platform while a new one is developed.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley "wanted an interim combat rifle, or he was only going to fulfill a requirement to have a squad-designated marksman in each squad, called a squad-designated marksman rifle," Cummings said in an Army release. "So, there are two efforts going on to get a 7.62 inside the squad."
The Army has said there is already a weapon — the M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System — identified and being tested for the role of SDMR, which would be carried by one soldier in each squad.
The service reportedly closed a program to provide the ICSR at the end of September, about a month after officially announcing its search for such a weapon. The desire for a new rifle and round was prompted by shortcomings of the 5.56 mm round fired by the Army's M4/M16 platform.
The cancellation of the search for ICSR was originally reported by The Firearm Blog. Army Times also confirmed the report, and a source told that Milley elected to cancel the search but had not made an official announcement.
Army soldiers from 554th Military Police Company perform weapons drills with M4 rifles in the Panzer MOUT site in Boeblingen Germany on March 14, 2012Photo via DoD
Cummings told not dead" and a decision on it had not been made. His comments this month suggest the Army is still weighing the ICSR while a permanent replacement is at least five years away.last month that the ICSR program was "
"Right now, many are focused on the ICSR or SDMR," Cummings said. "But that's not the long-term way ahead. The long-term way ahead is a brand new rifle for all of the Department of Defense called the Next Generation Squad Weapon."
The NGSW would be "one end-all solution," he added, with a carbine model replacing the M4 and a rifle version replacing the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon. Both would likely fire a round larger than the current 5.56 mm.
"The next-generation is going to be kind of like what we did with the pistol, with the modular handgun system," Cummings said. "It'll be one complete system, with weapon, magazine, ammo and fire control on it and we will cut down on the load and integration issues associated with it."
Sgt. 1st Class Brian Eisch gives a thumbs up to range safety NCOs indicating that he's ready to engage targets during a July 15, Fort Eustis, Va., M-4 rifle qualification exercise that was part of the 2008 U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command NCO and Soldier of the Year Competition.Photo via DoD
Cummings said the UK military was interested in and the Marines were "on board" with the NGSW. (The Marines' plan to buy 50,000 more M27 rifles, which fire 5.56 mm rounds, may have put a damper on the ICSR effort.)
He added that the Army would likely see the NGSW by 2022. Equipping some soldiers with the ICSR, or one in each squad with an SDMR, remain as alternatives for the intervening period, Cummings said, but "the final decision has not been made."
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On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the six-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.
A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).
But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's withholding of $391 million in military aid to Ukraine was linked to his request that the Ukrainians look into a claim — debunked as a conspiracy theory — about the 2016 U.S. election, a senior presidential aide said on Thursday, the first time the White House acknowledged such a connection.
Trump and administration officials had denied for weeks that they had demanded a "quid pro quo" - a Latin phrase meaning a favor for a favor - for delivering the U.S. aid, a key part of a controversy that has triggered an impeachment inquiry in the House of Representatives against the Republican president.
But Mick Mulvaney, acting White House chief of staff, acknowledged in a briefing with reporters that the U.S. aid — already approved by Congress — was held up partly over Trump's concerns about a Democratic National Committee (DNC) computer server alleged to be in Ukraine.
"I have news for everybody: Get over it. There is going to be political influence in foreign policy," Mulvaney said.