Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
The Marine Corps Is Finally Getting The Sniper Rifle It Deserves
The Marine Corps plans on adopting the Mk 13 Mod 7 sniper rifle for Marine scout snipers, officials confirmed to Marine Corps Times on April 2, a much-needed and long-overdue replacement for the M40 system that Marines have wielded since the Vietnam War.
Since the start of the Global War on Terror in 2001, the M40’s 1000-yard range has proved limiting for U.S. combat troops engaging militants in sprawling fightings in the mountains and desert of Afghanistan and Iraq. But according to Marine Corps Times, the Mk 13 “pushes beyond 1,000 yards” offered with a .300 Winchester Magnum round.
That range is nowhere near that of the Army’s 1,300-yard M2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle and U.S. Special Operations Command’s 1,600-yard Precision Sniper Rifle. But it’s a major boost to both range and lethality over the M40, improvements that infantry weapons planners have sought for years.
A U.S. Marine Corps sniper with Task Force Southwest (TFSW) sights in with a M107 .50-caliber Special Applications Scoped Rifle during a security post for an advising mission with 1st Brigade, Afghan National Army (ANA) 215th Corps as they conduct Operation Maiwand 12 at Camp Shorserack, Afghanistan, March 13, 2018.Jared Keller
The announcement comes amid a major makeover for the Corps’ precision weapon capabilities. In January, the Corps was testing the M38 variant of the beloved M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle for potential fielding in a squad designated marksman role.
And as Task & Purpose reported in February, the branch’s $40.8 billion proposed fiscal 2019 budget includes just under $1 million for the service to procure 116 7.62mm M110A1 Compact Semi-Automatic Sniper Systems (CSASS) to replace the M110 to “improve the sniper’s ability to rapidly engage multiple, moving targets.”
At the time, the Corps emphasized that the CSASS, favored by the Army for a squad designated marksman role, would not dislodge the M40 as the service’s program of record. And with good reason: With a maximum effective range of just 875 yards, the rifle doesn’t offer the extended range Marines have been kvetching about for years.
“Should leadership decide to conduct a one-for-one replacement or just buy them to replace M110s for sniper billets,” Marine Corps Systems Command told Task & Purpose at the time, “the quantity would be greater than 116.”
Indeed, the Mk 13 appears to be the Corps’ final choice for that one-to-one replacement: While there’s no new explicit funding for the Mk 13 in the services’ fiscal 2019 budget request, the service asked for nearly $4.3 million in 2018 to purchase the new system, a quantity Marine Corps Times suggests is suitable to outfit the branch’s sniper teams with the new rifle. Indeed, the Corps noted that $5.3 million of its $40 million request for weapons and combat vehicles under $5 million “supports the MK 13 Rifle with associated optic … as well as continuing product improvement and modernization of sniper and special purpose weapons.”
How and when the service plans on fielding its new suite of precision weapons, like every other new piece of gear in the U.S. armed forces, remains to be seen. But no matter when it reaches Marine scout snipers, the new rifle represents a major, long-awaited breakthrough for the Corps — and certain doom for their adversaries downrange.
The USS Eagle 56 was only five miles off the coast of Maine when it exploded.
The World War I-era patrol boat split in half, then slipped beneath the surface of the North Atlantic. The Eagle 56 had been carrying a crew of 62. Rescuers pulled 13 survivors from the water that day. It was April 23, 1945, just two weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany.
The U.S. Navy classified the disaster as an accident, attributing the sinking to a blast in the boiler room. In 2001, that ruling was changed to reflect the sinking as a deliberate act of war, perpetuated by German submarine U-853, a u-boat belonging to Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine.
Still, despite the Navy's effort to clarify the circumstances surrounding the sinking, the Eagle 56 lingered as a mystery. The ship had sunk relatively close to shore, but efforts to locate the wreck were futile for decades. No one could find the Eagle 56, a small patrol ship that had come so close to making it back home.
Then, a group of friends and amateur divers decided to try to find the wreck in 2014. After years of fruitless dives and intensive research, New England-based Nomad Exploration Team successfully located the Eagle 56 in June 2018.
Business Insider spoke to two crew members — meat truck driver Jeff Goodreau and Massachusetts Department of Corrections officer Donald Ferrara — about their discovery.
These CIA officers were the first US boots on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11 — and one was 'Marine Todd'
Before the 5th Special Forces Group's Operational Detachment Alpha 595, before 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment's MH-47E Chinooks, and before the Air Force combat controllers, there were a handful of CIA officers and a buttload of cash.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
"Shoots like a carbine, holsters like a pistol." That's the pitch behind the new Flux Defense system designed to transform the Army's brand new sidearm into a personal defense weapon.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."