Army On Track To Field ‘More Realistic’ Training Rounds

Gear
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Joaquin Spikes loads a 40mm training grenade into a M320 grenade launcher module at the 2017 Army Materiel Command's Best Warrior Competition July 18, 2017, at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.
Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class Teddy Wade

The Army is developing new 40mm training rounds for both individual grenade launchers and crew-served weapons that will allow for “more realistic” training than those currently in use, Military Times reports.


According to officials, the training rounds being used now are too volatile for firing into areas where dismounted troops are about the pass through. In combat, soldiers will often initiate an assault by shooting 40mm rounds at their objective, which means the current training rounds limit a unit’s ability to train how it fights.     

“Typically, soldiers can’t conduct fire and maneuver training due to the safety risk,” Christopher Seacord, product director for medium caliber ammunition, told Military Times. “What we would like to do is remove the energetic from the cartridge so that even if it did not function downrange, and someone stepped on it or picked it up, it would not hurt them.”

The Army is redesigning two types of 40mm training rounds: low velocity, or LV, and high velocity, or HV. LV rounds are used with individual weapons, like the M320 and M203 grenade launchers, while HV rounds are used with crew-served weapons, such as the Mk19 Grenade Machine Gun, all of which have seen extensive action on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.     

The new training rounds have already entered initial production but require more testing. As Military Times reports, the LV round will be produced by General Dynamics and the HV round will be produced by American Ordnance. The capsules are filled with a more stable material than the energetics that fill the rounds currently being used, and will not contain fuses.    

With only 10 components, the new HV design is far less complicated than its predecessor, comprised of 39 parts. It’s also cheaper, expected to save the Army $4 per round or, as Military Times reports, approximately $8 million for the service’s total ammunition stock. The goal is to have both rounds fielded by August 2019.

(Air Force photo / Tech Sgt. Oneika Banks)

Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.

Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.

"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.

Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."

Read More
(National Archives / Marine Corps Photo / WO Obie Newcomb, Jr., November 1943)

The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.

The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.

Read More
(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff. Sgt. Daniel Snider)

Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.

U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.

During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.

Read More

MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.

Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.

State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.

North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.

Read More
Screenshot of a propaganda video featuring former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.

Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.

The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."

Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.

Read More