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The Marine Corps's M27 rifle is officially here to make your day — if you're lucky
A Marine Corps Systems Command spokesman told Marine Corps Times that the last of the service's 14,000 M27s have officially arrived in the Corps's inventory. But while the Corps's procurement contract with gunmaker Heckler & Koch provides for a maximum of 50,184 weapons, MARCORSYSCOM said that the service doesn't plan on purchasing more than its current arsenal.
Indeed, the platform is noticeably absent Corps's 2020 budget request, which details a $17 million need for procurement and fielding of the Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper System (CSASS), M320A1 grenade launchers, the Modular Handgun System (MHS), M4 carbines, and various small-arms suppressor systems.
With a relatively scarce number of M27s in its arsenal, it's 0311s and platoon leaders who will get first crack at the new rifle, followed by drone and counter-drone specialists that Marine Commandant Gen. Robert Neller envisioned as critical additions to the Corps' newly-reformulated rifle squads.
U.S. Marine Pfc. Clayton Hill, an automatic rifleman with 5th Platoon, Charlie Company, Fleet Anti-Terrorism Security Team, Central Command (FASTCENT), fires the M27 infantry automatic rifle during a fire team assault course as a part of live-fire range operations. (U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Aaron S. Patterson)
First wielded by Marines in Afghanistan in 2011, the M27 quickly became a favorite among many infantrymen. With an effective firing range between 600 and 700 meters, the 5.56mm rifle significantly outranges the M4 carbine in precision fires and offers comparable suppressive fire capabilities to the M249 Squad Automatic Rifle with less ammo.
So what's the deal with the limited arsenal? Congress, probably: As Task & Purpose previously reported in April 2018, the Congress's fiscal 2019 defense budget withheld 20% of the $29.4 million that Neller previously requested for M27s until it could square how investing in the 5.56mm rifle fits in with the Army's pursuit of a 6.8mm rifle as its M4 carbine replacement in lieu of the M27.
"The Army and Marine Corps work closely together to achieve common solutions for the majority of small arms capabilities, to include ammunition and fire control," Marine Corps spokesman Richard Long told Task & Purpose at the time.
Lawmakers, however, are missing the fact that Army and Marine Corps "are divergent on their small arms programs because they are divergent on their doctrinal employment of the squad," as retired Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade, former gunner for the 2nd Infantry Division, told Task & Purpose at the time. "That's not a judgment on the U.S. Army. The Marine Corps has a different squad size with a different composition and different weapons."
It's worth noting that these difference matter within the Corps as well. Marine Corps Times notes that Marine Special Operations Command Raiders opted to keep their M4 carbines in lieu of an M27 upgrade, citing the flexibility provided by former's lower receiver and SOCOM-specific upper receiver for special operators who frequently swap out different components for different missions.
Still, Marines are likely amped to get their hands on the new rifle. About half have been fielded already, according to Marine Corps Times; the Corps plans to finally field them to every rifleman at the platoon level in the next two years.
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NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — An enlisted Navy SEAL sniper testified on Wednesday that Chief Eddie Gallagher told his platoon prior to their deployment that if they ever captured a wounded fighter, their medics knew "what to do to nurse them to death."
In early morning testimony, former Special Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille told a packed courtroom that he had heard the phrase during unit training before the men of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon deployed to Mosul, Iraq in 2017.
Navy SEAL under investigation for allegedly manipulating (and hitting on) the widow of the Green Beret he helped kill
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
Soldiers with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment from Fort Hood, Texas, returned from a deployment to Iraq, Syria, and Kuwait, in February 60 combat badges richer.
Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced
Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.
Fired Marine one-star general was ‘abusive, bullying, toxic, abrasive, and aggressive,’ investigation finds
In his seven months as legislative assistant to the commandant of the Marine Corps, Brig. Gen. Norman Cooling proved to be an abusive, bullying boss, who openly disparaged women, ruled through intimidation, and attempted to spread a rumor about a female officer after the Senate complained about him to the defense secretary, according to a Defense Department's Inspector General's Office investigation.
"The adjectives a majority of witnesses used to describe his leadership were abusive, bullying, toxic, abrasive, and aggressive,"a DoD IG report on the investigation into Cooling's conduct found. "Some subordinates considered him an 'equal opportunity offender,' disparaging men and women. BGen Cooling denied making some of the comments attributed to him, but more than one witness told us they heard him make each of the comments described in this section of our report."