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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.
MONS, Belgium (Reuters) - The United States will send 20,000 troops to Europe next April and May in its biggest military exercises on European soil since the Cold War to underscore Washington's commitment to NATO, a senior allied commander said on Tuesday.
Days after a NATO summit in London at which U.S. President Donald Trump called low-spending European allies "delinquent", U.S. Major General Barre Seguin said the exercises, centered on Germany, will be the largest of their kind in 25 years.
"This really demonstrates transatlantic unity and the U.S. commitment to NATO," Seguin, who oversees allied operations from NATO's military headquarters in Belgium, told Reuters.
Gold Star family members might finally see an end to the so-called "Widows Tax" thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2020.
The top Pentagon watchdog has announced it would be investigating all deaths of recruits during initial military training over the past five years, the agency said in a statement last week.
In a Dec. 4 memo, the DoD Inspector General said it was changing the scope of an investigation it had opened on Nov. 18 that was titled Evaluation of Medical Resources and Guidance to Trainers at Recruit Training Centers in the DoD. Its new title, the IG said, would be Evaluation of Medical Protocols and Deaths of Recruits in the DoD.
While its original objective of looking into the medical resources available to recruits would remain the same, the IG said it would now also review all deaths of recruits at military basic training facilities between Jan. 1, 2015 and Dec. 31, 2019.
The move comes in the wake of several deaths at basic training facilities over the past year. In April, the Navy announced a safety review after two prospective sailors died at its recruit training facility in Great Lakes, Illinois. Seaman Recruit Kelsey Nobles died after a fitness test that month; Seaman Recruit Kierra Evans also died after the run portion of the fitness test.
In September, an 18-year-old soldier died following a "medical emergency" before a training drill at Fort Jackson, S.C.
Meanwhile, the Marine Corps has disciplined more than 20 Marines over misconduct at its San Diego boot camp since 2017, according to The Washington Post. The action came in the wake of a scandal involving the death of a 20-year-old Muslim recruit named Raheel Siddiqui, who fell 40 feet to his death at the Parris Island training facility, where he and other Muslims were targeted for abuse by their drill instructor (the instructor was later sentenced to 10 years in prison at court-martial).
According to the IG, Pentagon investigators will visit all DoD recruit training facilities and interview personnel from each service's education and training commands. They will also speak with personnel at military medical facilities, the Defense Health Agency, and those assigned at the Military Entrance Processing Command, which does the initial intake for civilians going into military service.
The number of substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct against senior Army officials increased this year, according to an Army Inspector General report recently presented to service leaders and obtained by Task & Purpose.
The document, which lays out broad details of IG investigations undertaken in fiscal year 2019, looks at investigations specific to senior Army officials, which includes "promotable colonels, general officers and senior executives," according to Army spokesman Lt. Col. Emanuel Ortiz.
Marine Corps senior leaders have begun to express cautious openness to the idea of making the service's boot camps fully co-ed. But if Congress has its way, the service may be pushed toward full integration sooner than expected.
The final conference version of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision that would require the service to integrate both its East Coast and West Coast entry-level training facilities within the next eight years.