The Army seems confident it will one day have the ability to fire artillery out to a range of 1,000 miles — roughly five times the range it has now.
Whether it can get there remains an open question, though it seems advances from Russia and China in long-range fires has the top brass spooked.
“I think if you looked at the Russian army now and started counting artillery pieces they probable still have a slight advantage in terms of quantities,” Gen. John Murray, the commander of Army Futures Command, told Defense One.
“Quality, I would still argue, we’ve got the edge, but the range thing — they had developed some capabilities that really out-ranged our tactical cannon artillery.”
To correct the problem, the Army has focused on building a Strategic Long-Range Cannon, which will be much bigger than a normal howitzer while apparently still being assisted by rocket-boosted artillery shells the Army currently uses.
“I don’t want to oversimplify, [but] it’s a bigger one of those,” Col. John Rafferty told Breaking Defense. “We’re scaling up things that we’re already doing ... It’s never been done before [because] before, we haven’t been pushed."
The Navy's Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles can effectively hit between 800 and 1,000 miles. But that doesn't help if you're in a country far from shore, where the Army currently has to rely on the Air Force to strike targets at greater distances.
The service is tight-lipped about exactly how its SLRC (pronounced Slorc) will work, though Breaking Defense's Sydney Freedberg speculated that it would be similar to the 155mm rocket-assisted projectile, which gets a boost in range after being fired through a standard artillery barrel.
That still doesn't mean the project is actually feasible, however. As Foxtrot Alpha pointed out in September when Murray first testified to Congress about the cannon, its range seems more in line with "fantasy-land capability."
Whatever it turns out to be, or rather if it happens, the SLRC will likely be enormous, costly, and take many years to get on a battlefield. But on the flip side, a cannon with its capabilities stationed in a place like Poland — which has been pushing for a permanent U.S. troop presence — will certainly keep Moscow on its toes.
The Marine lieutenant colonel removed from command of the 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May was ousted over alleged "misconduct" but has not been charged with a crime, Task & Purpose has learned.
Lt. Col. Francisco Zavala, 42, who was removed from his post by the commanding general of 1st Marine Division on May 7, has since been reassigned to the command element of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, and a decision on whether he will be charged is "still pending," MEF spokeswoman 1st Lt. Virginia Burger told Task & Purpose last week.
"We are not aware of any ongoing or additional investigations of Lt. Col. Zavala at this time," MEF spokesman 2nd Lt. Brian Tuthill told Task & Purpose on Monday. "The command investigation was closed May 14 and the alleged misconduct concerns Articles 128 and 133 of the UCMJ," Tuthill added, mentioning offenses under military law that deal with assault and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.
"There is a period of due process afforded the accused and he is presumed innocent until proven guilty," he said.
When asked for an explanation for the delay, MEF officials directed Task & Purpose to contact 1st Marine Division officials, who did not respond before deadline.
The investigation of Zavala, completed on May 3 and released to Task & Purpose in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, showed that he had allegedly acted inappropriately. The report also confirmed some details of his wife's account of alleged domestic violence that Task & Purpose first reported last month.
U.S. troops rejoice — the midnight curfew for service members in South Korea has been temporarily suspended, as command evaluates if you can be trusted to not act like wild animals in the streets of Pyeongtaek.
Late last month Activision's Infinity Ward dropped a teaser trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — a soft-reboot of one of it's most beloved games — and just two weeks after the May 30 reveal, the game developer unveiled some new details on what's in store for the first-person shooter's multiplayer: Juggernaut and ghillie suits!