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The Army Is Eyeing A New Submachine Gun For Personal Security — Again
The Army is once again angling for a new 9mm submachine gun for soldiers deployed in personal security details downrange, after vacillating on the new sidearm over the last several months.
The service’s Product Manager for Individual Weapons on July 26 released a new call for Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) prototypes chambered in 9mm, with the goal of snagging 15 functional weapons along with various magazines (both 20-round and 30-round) and suppressors for use by PSDs assigned to “senior commanders and key personnel,” according to the special notice.
While the Army has a handful of MP5 submachine guns in its inventory already, PSD military personnel “require weapons with greater lethality than pistols that are more concealable than rifles,” the special notice states. “The ultimate objective of this program is to acquire a highly concealable Sub Compact Weapon (SCW) system capable of engaging threat personnel with a high volume of lethal force while accurately firing at close range with minimal collateral damage.”
Here are the requirements for the new SCW, per the Army special notice:
The Army initially put out a call for SCWs back in May before abandoning its plans in July to “reassess its needs,” as The War Zone notes. In the interim, Army Contracting Command doled out just over $428,000 for 10 concealable SCWs “capable of engaging threat personnel with a high volume of lethal and accurate fires at close range with minimal collateral damage.” (Those contracts were all canceled in July.)
It’s unclear what’s changed in the few weeks the Army took to “reassess its needs” for a new submachine gun, although The War Zone offers a fairly compelling theory: Less than a week after scrapping the initial SCW program, a July 7 insider attack in southern Afghanistan took the life of Cpl. Joseph Maciel while he was providing security for personnel from the 1st Security Forces Assistance Brigade. With additional SFABs gearing up to head downrange, the Army likely wants to invest additional resources in safeguarding a crucial piece of its Afghan strategy.
So what will the next Army SCW look like? Well, those 10 submachine guns initially contracted back in June included Beretta’s PMX subcompact weapon, the Sig Sauer MPX, Colt’s CM9MM-9H-M5A modular subcompact weapon, and the Trident Rifles B&T; MP9 machine gun, among others. But as The War Zone notes, new requirements for collapsible stocks (instead of side-folding ones like the Sig Sauer MPX Rattler currently on U.S. Special Operations Command’s radar) cut the competition down to a handful of firearms, based on the H&K; MP5 that some lucky soldiers already tout downrange.
Whichever way the Army goes, soldiers will see the results soon enough: The service’s current roadmap for testing a next submachine gun has new SCWs in soldiers’ hands as soon as April 2019.
The Navy has fired five senior leaders so far in August – and the month isn't even over.
While the sea service is famous for instilling in officers that they are responsible for any wrongdoing by their sailors – whether they are aware of the infractions or not – the recent rash of firings is a lot, even for the Navy.
A Navy spokesman said there is no connection between any of the five officers relieved of command, adding that each relief is looked at separately.
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After months of focusing on modernization priorities, Army leadership plans to tackle persisting personnel issues in the coming years.
Acting Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said Tuesday at an event with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies that what people can to hear service leadership "talk a lot about ... our people. Investing in our people, so that they can reach their potential. ... We are a people organization."
Two U.S. military service members were killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, the Resolute Support mission announced in a press release.
Their identities are being withheld pending notification of next of kin, the command added.
A total of 16 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan so far in 2019. Fourteen of those service members have died in combat including two service members killed in an apparent insider attack on July 29.
Two U.S. troops in Afghanistan have been killed in non-combat incidents and a sailor from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln was declared dead after falling overboard while the ship was supporting operations in Afghanistan.
At least two defense contractors have also been killed in Afghanistan. One was a Navy veteran and the other had served in the Army.
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The statement from the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), the umbrella grouping of Iraq's mostly Shi'ite Muslim paramilitary groups, many of which are backed by Iran, said the United States had allowed four Israeli drones to enter the region accompanying U.S. forces and carry out missions on Iraqi territory.