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Here’s When The Army Will Finally Field Its New Modular Handgun System
After a seeming eternity of waiting, the Army will officially field Sig Sauer’s P320 to soldiers downrange in November, the branch announced on July 21, a proclamation that signals the end of the turbulent six-year-long Modular Handgun System program.
As previously announced in May, soldiers with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, will receive the branch’s first 2,000 Sig Sauer P320 sidearms as the XM17, replacing the fraught Beretta M9 pistol adopted in the 1980s. It will take 10 months for the Army to distribute the handgun across all units, from November 2017 until September 2018.
According to Soldier Weapons Product Manager Lt. Col. Steven Power, trials of the new Sig resulted in “overwhelmingly positive feedback” regarding the XM17’s suitability as an M9 replacement. "That's an uncommonly positive thing," Power said in an Army release. "Typically even in our own households, when you're buying a new car, there's things that people like about the old car better than the new one.”
Although the Modular Handgun System program ran two year years shorter than the Joint Service Small Arms Program the Department of Defense initiated in 1977 to replace the Smith & Wesson Combat Masterpiece (M15) with the Beretta M9, the search for a new Army sidearm has seen its share of controversy in recent months stemming from Sig Sauer and Glock competition for the branch’s 10-year, $580 million contract.
Shortly after the Army announced its selection of the P320 for the service branch’s sidearm in February, Glock lodged a protest claiming not only that Army Material Command “improperly failed to complete reliability testing on Sig Sauer’s compact handgun” due to a truncated testing timeline, but that the branch’s “evaluations under the price, license rights, manual safety, and penetration factors and subfactors were flawed.”
The Army's new modular handgun, the XM17 and XM18, will be fielded by the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, in November.Photo via DoD/Sig Sauer
In June, the Government Accountability Office finally denied Glock’s protest, determining that while “the agency’s evaluation contained some errors” — namely branch’s $1.6 million ammo license miscalculation — those mistakes “they did not result in prejudice to the protester.”
Glock is obviously not happy about the decision. Shortly after the GAO report dropped, the Georgia-based company released photos of the mm Glock 19 and .40 caliber Glock 23 pistols submitted as part of the MHS competition — a taste of what the branch is missing.
One week later, Glock challenged the Army to complete its Modular Handgun System tests before finally settling on Sig Sauer, claiming that the choice of the P320 was “driven by cost savings, not performance,” as Military.com reported at the time.
“This is not about Glock. This is not about Sig. And it’s not about the U.S. Army,” Glock, Inc. Vice President Josh Dorsey said in a statement. “It’s about those that are on the ground, in harm’s way.” (The Army flatly denied Glock’s request).
With the 101st Airborne set to see its new sidearms in November, it appears Sig Sauer’s struggle with Glock over the distinguished title of favored military sidearm is at an end. And that’s not just good news for the Army. It also means those 195,000 additional M17s reportedly desired by the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps may end up in American holsters sooner than expected.
The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.
President Donald Trump just can't stop telling stories about former Defense Secretary James Mattis. This time, the president claims Mattis said U.S. troops were so perilously low on ammunition that it would be better to hold off launching a military operation.
"You know, when I came here, three years ago almost, Gen. Mattis told me, 'Sir, we're very low on ammunition,'" Trump recalled on Monday at the White House. "I said, 'That's a horrible thing to say.' I'm not blaming him. I'm not blaming anybody. But that's what he told me because we were in a position with a certain country, I won't say which one; we may have had conflict. And he said to me: 'Sir, if you could, delay it because we're very low on ammunition.'
"And I said: You know what, general, I never want to hear that again from another general," Trump continued. "No president should ever, ever hear that statement: 'We're low on ammunition.'"
This 400-pound feral hog is one of more than 1,200 that have invaded a Texas Air Force base since 2016
At least one Air Force base is waging a slow battle against feral hogs — and way, way more than 30-50 of them.
A Texas trapper announced on Monday that his company had removed roughly 1,200 feral hogs from Joint Base San Antonio property at the behest of the service since 2016.
In a move that could see President Donald Trump set foot on North Korean soil again, Kim Jong Un has invited the U.S. leader to Pyongyang, a South Korean newspaper reported Monday, as the North's Foreign Ministry said it expected stalled nuclear talks to resume "in a few weeks."
A letter from Kim, the second Trump received from the North Korean leader last month, was passed to the U.S. president during the third week of August and came ahead of the North's launch of short-range projectiles on Sept. 10, the South's Joongang Ilbo newspaper reported, citing multiple people familiar with the matter.
In the letter, Kim expressed his willingness to meet the U.S. leader for another summit — a stance that echoed Trump's own remarks just days earlier.
Constant deployments broke the Air Force's B-1 fleet. Now the service is facing a major bomber shortfall
On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.
In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.
A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.
The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.