Oh my God, the Marines have a laser now

Military Tech

A Marine conducts pre-deployment training and evaluation. Additionally, Marines are evaluating the Compact Laser Weapons System, the first ground-based laser approved by the Department of Defense for use by warfighters, as another potential C-UAS defeat capability

(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Dalton S. Swanbeck)

Brace yourselves: Marine grunts now have their hands on a drone-killing laser cannon.

Marines are currently evaluating a Compact Laser Weapons System (CLaWS) as "the first ground-based laser approved by the Department of Defense for use by warfighters on the ground," Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Wednesday.


Unlike the Army's vehicle-mounted directed energy system, the CLaWS is "not intended to be a standalone system," according to MARCORSYSCOM, but the prototype will "serve as a component to an overall system" designed for counter-drone operations downrange.

"This was all in response to a need for counter unmanned aerial systems to take down drones," Ground Based Air Defense (GBAD) program manager Don Kelley said in the MARCORSYSCOM release. "We're providing CLaWS to Marines as a rapid prototype for evaluation ... Depending on the results, CLaWS could become part of a larger capability set."

While it's unclear when, exactly, Marines might see a CLaWS-inspired system in their arsenal, but MARCOSYSCOM says that the GBAD program was a testament to the effectiveness of the Pentagon's Defense Ordnance Technology Consortium in rapid technology development and prototyping.

"The typical acquisition timeline can be lengthy," GBAD product manager Lt. Col. Ho Lee said in a release. "But this project, from start to finish—from when we awarded the DOTC contract, to getting all the integration complete, all the testing complete, getting the Marines trained, and getting the systems ready to deploy—took about one year."

The news of the CLaWs prototype comes as the Army says it plans on fielding combat vehicle-mounted lasers and hypersonic missiles within the next four years to counter potential Russian or Chinese drones downrange.

Since March 2018, artillery soldiers with the 2nd Cavalry Regiment have been training with specially-modified Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicles outfitted with a Mobile Experimental High Energy Laser system at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany.

(Task & Purpose photo illustration by Paul Szoldra)

Jordan Way was living a waking nightmare.

The 23-year-old sailor laid in bed trembling. At times, his body would shake violently as he sobbed. He had recently undergone a routine shoulder surgery on Dec. 12, 2017, and was hoping to recover.

Instead, Jordan couldn't do much of anything other than think about the pain. Simple tasks like showering, dressing himself, or going to the bathroom alone were out of the question, and the excruciating sensation in his shoulder made lying down to sleep feel like torture.

"Imagine being asleep," he called to tell his mother Suzi at one point, "but you can still feel the pain."

To help, military doctors gave Jordan oxycodone, a powerful semi-synthetic opiate they prescribed to dull the sensation in his shoulder. Navy medical records show that he went on to take more than 80 doses of the drug in the days following the surgery, dutifully following doctor's orders to the letter.

Instinctively, Jordan, a Navy corpsman who by day worked at the Twentynine Palms naval hospital where he was now a patient, knew something was wrong. The drugs seemed to have little effect. His parents advised him to seek outside medical advice, but base doctors insisted the drugs just needed more time to work.

"They've got my back," Jordan had told his parents before the surgery, which happened on a Tuesday. By Saturday, he was dead.

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T-38 Talon training aircraft. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Two airmen from Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, were killed on Thursday when two T-38 Talon training aircraft crashed during training mission, according to a message posted on the base's Facebook age.

The two airmen's names are being withheld pending next of kin notification.

A total of four airmen were onboard the aircraft at the time of the incident, base officials had previously announced.

The medical conditions for the other two people involved in the crash was not immediately known.

An investigation will be launched to determine the cause of the crash.

Emergency responders from Vance Air Force Base are at the crash scene to treat casualties and help with recovery efforts.

Read the entire message below:

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. – Two Vance Air Force Base Airmen were killed in an aircraft mishap at approximately 9:10 a.m. today.

At the time of the accident, the aircraft were performing a training mission.

Vance emergency response personnel are on scene to treat casualties and assist in recovery efforts.

Names of the deceased will be withheld pending next of kin notification.

A safety investigation team will investigate the incident.

Additional details will be provided as information becomes available. #VanceUpdates.

This is a breaking news story. It will be updated as more information is released.

The commander of the Marine Corps' Wounded Warrior Regiment has been relieved over a loss of "trust and confidence in his ability to lead" amid an investigation into his conduct, a Corps official told Task & Purpose on Thursday.

Col. Lawrence F. Miller was removed from his post on Thursday morning and replaced with his executive officer, Lt. Col. Larry Coleman, who will serve as interim commander of the Quantico, Virginia based unit.

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President Donald Trump has nixed any effort by the Navy to excommunicate Eddie Gallagher from the SEAL community.

"The Navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher's Trident Pin," the president tweeted on Thursday. "This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!"

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The Medal of Honor (U.S. Navy photo)

A pair of Texas congressmen have introduced legislation to the House to create a monument "to honor the valiant service" of Medal of Honor recipients in Washington, D.C.

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