There’s good news for Marines who are fans of the iconic M2 .50-caliber machine gun, aka “Ma Deuce.” The Corps is getting an upgraded version of the beast, called the M2A1. Finally! It’s only been six years since the Army started getting the M2A1 back in 2011 — a fact that will surprise no one in the Marine Corps.
Headspace is the distance between a chambered cartridge’s base and the machine-gun bolt, and timing is — well, pretty much what it sounds like in a belt-fed burp-gun. Previous incarnations of the M2 required the operator to manually adjust headspace and timing to avoid jams.
But now, “Marines will have better mobility because of the fixed headspace and timing—it’s much quicker to move the gun from position to position and put it back into action,” Maj. Harry Thompson of Marine Corps Systems Command said in the DoD news release. “Because they’re less exposed, Marines will have better survivability too.”
Fixed headspace and timing make a quick change of barrels possible, too, which is great, because loosening an ungodly hellstorm of .50 BMG upon your enemies tends to melt barrels with a quickness.
The third major change, the flash hider, will help conceal a Marine’s position — and it means he no longer has to worry about blinding himself or his NVG-wearing buddies every time he opens up with the “Ma Deuce” at night.
Marine infantry units have already been equipped with the M2A1 in the service’s first phase, which concluded last month. The second phase, which distributes the new machine guns to other units, is underway now. In total, 3,600 M2A1s will make their way into Marines’ hands by the end of fiscal year 2018... which is probably around when the Army will get its even better set of new .50-cal upgrades.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
As a Medal of Honor recipient, former Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia will also be eligible for retroactive monthly pension payments stretching back to 2004.
All Medal of Honor recipients receive a pension starting on the date they formally receive the Medal of Honor, which is currently $1,329.58 per month, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.
But Medal of Honor recipients are also eligible for a retroactive payment for monthly stipends that technically took effect on the "date of heroism," said Gina Jackson, a spokeswoman for the Department of Veterans Affairs.
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A unit of UK infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty plc falsified housing maintenance records at a major U.S. military base to help it maximize fees earned from the Department of Defense, a Reuters investigation found.
At Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, the company's U.S.-based unit used a second set of books and altered records to make it appear responsive to maintenance requests, Reuters found in a review of company and Air Force emails, internal memos and other documents, as well as interviews with former workers.