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A Handful Of Marines Are Already Rocking The Corps' First New Sniper Rifle Since Vietnam
It's official: a few lucky Marines can finally count the Mk 13 Mod 7 — the Corps' first new sniper system since the adoption of the M40 during the Vietnam War — among their arsenals, Marine Corps Times reported on Thursday.
- Marine Corps Systems Command spokeswoman Barbara Hamby told Marine Corps Times that a handful of 1st Marine Expeditionary Force units, including "infantry and reconnaissance battalions and scout sniper schoolhouses," received the Mk 13 this week, and there are plans to field the rifle to II MEF and II MEF units through 2019.
- Chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum, the Mk 13 is effective at well over 1,000 yards, far outstripping the range of the Vietnam-era M40 that service members have long complained was lacking for combat troops engaging militants across the sprawling mountain ranges and deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq.
- "The .300 Winchester Magnum round will perform better than the current 7.62 NATO ammo in flight, increasing the Marine Sniper's first-round probability of hit,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Tony Palzkill, Battalion Gunner for Infantry Training Battalion in a press release. “This upgrade is an incredible win and will allow snipers to engage targets at greater distances."
Sgt. Randy Robles, Quantico Scout Sniper School instructor and Marine Corps Systems Command liaison, explains the features of the Mk13 Mod 7 Sniper Rifle during training aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia. MCSC will field the Mk13 in late 2018 and throughout 2019 to increase the lethality and combat effectiveness of scout snipers on the battlefield.U.S. Marine Corps/Kristen Murphy
- Already the sniper system of choice for MARSOC Raiders, the Corps first announced the adoption of the Mk 13 in April amid a major makeover for the Corps’ precision weapon capabilities, including ongoing testing and evaluation of the M38 variant of the beloved M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle for squad designated marksmen.
- The Corps' $40.8 billion proposed fiscal 2019 budget also included plans for the service to procure 116 7.62mm M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems (CSASS) to replace the M110 currently wielded by squad designated marksmen and “improve the sniper’s ability to rapidly engage multiple, moving targets."
- The MK 13 proved a big hit with Marines tasked with testing the system, who called it an "incredible win," Business Insider reported back in May. As one project officer put it: “After the first day on the range, they were sold."
As the US sends 1,000 more troops to Middle East, the Pentagon is a rudderless ship caught in a storm
The Pentagon is sending nearly 1,000 more troops to the Middle East as part of an escalating crisis with Iran that defense officials are struggling to explain.
While the U.S. government has publicly blamed Iran for recent attacks on merchant vessels in the Gulf of Oman, not a single U.S. official has provided a shred of proof linking Iran to the explosive devices found on the merchant ships.
At an off-camera briefing on Monday, Navy officials acknowledged that nothing in imagery released by the Pentagon shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards planting limpet mines on ships in the Gulf of Oman.
Investigation shows Lt. Col. in charge of Corps' 1st Recon was fired for alleged 'misconduct' but has not been charged
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.
A Marine Raider convicted in a North Carolina court of misdemeanor assault for punching his girlfriend won't spend any time in jail unless he violates the terms of his probation, a court official told Task & Purpose.
On Monday, Staff Sgt. Daniel Christopher Evans received a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, said Samantha Dooies, an assistant to the New Hanover County District Attorney.
Evans must complete 18 months of unsupervised probation, pay $8,000 in restitution, complete a domestic violence offenders program, and he cannot have any contact with his former girlfriend, Dooies told Task & Purpose. The special operations Marine is also only allowed to have access to firearms though the military while on base or deployed.