Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Army’s Brand New Handgun Already Has Some Major Problems
Just over a year after the Army selected Sig Sauer’s P320 9mm pistol for its new XM17/18 Modular Handgun System program to replace the Beretta M9, the branch’s new sidearm is showing some serious problems, according to a new Department of Defense report released this month.
The Pentagon’s overview on its gear and tech programs in 2017, conducted by the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation and released earlier in January 2018, indicated that both the XM17 and XM18 pistols demonstrated a series of persistent problems, including accidental discharge, ejecting live ammunition, and relatively frequent stoppages when firing ammunition encased in a full metal jacket. Even worse, the report recommends the Army engineer some fixes “upon identification of the root cause” of the ejection issue — a statement that indicates the branch hasn’t yet identified the source of the issue.
This could be a big problem for the Army, which started fielding the new pistol on Nov. 28 with the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell. As part of its 10-month rollout, the Modular Handgun System will head downrange with soldiers assigned to the critical 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade when the experimental new battalion deploys to Afghanistan in the spring. And though the report notes that the ammo stoppages “had minimal operational impact on the operators’ ability to fire and continue the mission,” the presence of errors may make some soldiers deploying with the new sidearm nervous.
It’s likely, however, that one of Sig Sauer’s competitors will end up more steamed than the Army itself. Shortly after the branch awarded its $580 million Modular Handgun System contract, program contender Glock filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office claiming that U.S. Army Materiel Command “improperly failed to complete reliability testing” on Sig Sauer’s compact XM17 entry. The complaint was thrown out, but the GAO’s judgment in June 2017 suggests that the branch ended up selecting Sig Sauer’s entry due to its relatively lower price point for a two-gun proposal that offered “overall the best value to the government.”
It now appears that the Army is getting what it paid for. Safety defects like those reported by the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation have cropped up in the months between the GAO’s decision in June and the pistol’s initial fielding in November. Several videos posted online show the commercial Sig Sauer P320 firing when dropped, a defect that first became evident in January 2017 when an experienced officer with the Connecticut Police Department’s Special Response Team was shot in the left leg after his pistol discharged upon hitting the ground.
How the government report will affect the fielding of XM17 and XM18 to soldiers remains to be seen, but the impact of the report won’t stop with the Army: In May, Pentagon officials stated that the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps were interested in adopting more than 220,000 M17 pistols between the three of them. Hopefully, the Pentagon will figure out what’s wrong with its vaunted new handgun before fielding the sidearm to military personnel beyond the Army.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.