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The Army Is Making Good On Its Pledge To Bring Back The Carl Gustaf — With A Major Vengeance
The Army is planning on spending major cash to bolster its arsenal of 84mm Carl Gustaf recoilless rifles in the coming years, nearly quadrupling requested funds to acquire hundreds of the upgraded M3E1s to deliver on its pledge to return the iconic bazooka to the front lines.
The service’s fiscal 2019 budget request contains a $23.3 million line item to equip the Army and Army National Guard with 300 M3A1 recoilless rifle systems, fire control mechanisms, and sub caliber adapters and spares. That’s a significant increase over the measly $6.5 million earmarked for the MAAWS in the branch’s fiscal 2018 budget request (and the zilch sought in previous years).
Although 300 launchers may seem paltry, next to the 1,111 M3E1 recoilless rifles that PEO Soldier approved for rapid procurement in September 2017, the new contracts with Swedish Carl Gustaf godfather Saab Dynamics AB would constitute nearly a third of the MAAWS program’s lifetime budget.
More importantly, the Army’s budget request also comes with an explicit approved acquisition objective (AAO) of 2,460 total boomsticks through fiscal 2023. The Army wasn’t kidding when the service first announced in 2016 that it was delighted to invest in some saucy bazooka action.
But why, you may ask? All kinds of reasons, according to the Army’s allowance request: “engaging, neutralizing and destroying lightly armored vehicles, soft-skinned vehicles, personnel in the open or defilade, and field fortifications in both open urban and rural operational environments … marking threat targets with smoke for supporting weapons, obscuring threat weapons and illuminating threat targets."
The branch has increasingly pivoted to two theaters that seem deliciously well suited for the M3E1: Eastern Europe, where service members are increasingly fielding the Gustaf (and low-cost AT-4 anti-tank system the M3E1 is partially designed to replace) to deter Russian aggression; and the Global War on Terror in Afghanistan, where the Carl Gustaf has been trained on militants sporadically since at least 2012.
While the Carl Gustaf’s been a favorite of special operations forces for decades, the M3E1 may prove especially useful to regular soldiers downrange. The system’s new titanium shell reduces the system’s weight by 6 pounds and its length by 2.5 inches, and it offers soldiers the capability to fire off multiple salvos of different specialized ammunitions, a stark departure from the one-and-done AT-4 system.
When and where soldiers will be able to get their hands on the new Carl Gustaf remains to be seen, especially since the Saab contracts wouldn’t technically be awarded until April and December 2018, according to the Army’s budget request. But one thing is certain: The proposed purchase clearly indicates the service plans on making good on its promise of a Carl Gustaf for every infantry platoon.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
A special operations Marine is due in court on March 7 after being arrested last year for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend, Task & Purpose has learned.
Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans was arrested and charged with assault inflicting serious injury on July 29, 2018, according to Jennifer Dandron, a spokeswoman for police in Wilmington, North Carolina. Evans is currently assigned as a Critical Skills Operator with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, according to the Marine Corps Personnel Locator.
Following Trump's inauguration, some supporters of ground combat integration assumed he would quickly move to reinstate a ban on women in jobs like the infantry. When this did not happen, advocates breathed a collective sigh of relief, and hundreds of qualified women charted a course in history by entering the newly opened occupational fields.
So earlier this week when the Wall Street Journal published an editorial against women in ground combat by conservative political commentator Heather Mac Donald, the inclination of many ground combat integration supporters was to dismiss it outright. But given Trump's proclivity to make knee jerk policy decisions in response to falling approval ratings and the court's tradition of deference to the military when it comes to policies affecting good order and discipline, it would be unwise to assume the 2016 lifting of the ban on women in ground combat is a done deal.
R. Lee Ermey was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday.
Best known for his iconic role as the Marine Corps drill instructor Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in the war drama Full Metal Jacket, Ermey died April 15, 2018 at age 74 due to complications from pneumonia, Task & Purpose previously reported.
The U.S. Air Force has two of its most elite aircraft — the B-2 Spirit bomber and the F-22 Raptor — training together in the Pacific, reassuring America's allies and sending a warning to strategic competitors and adversaries about the sheer power the U.S. brings to the table.
These stunning photos show the powerful aircraft tearing across the Pacific, where the U.S. has increasingly found itself facing challenges from a rising China.