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The Marine Corps is officially picking up some lightweight ammo for the M2 machine gun
There's a bit of good news for Marines grunts tasked with rocking the iconic M2 .50 caliber machine gun: your loads are about to get a little bit lighter.
The Marine Corps has awarded a $10 million contract to Mississippi-based MAC LLC to furnish the service with the company's MK 323 Mod 0 polymer ammunition for the M2 machine gun, Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Friday.
According to MARCORSYSCOM, the service intends to replace its brass ammunition, steel cans, and traditional metal links with MAC LLC's polymer and nylon substitutes in order to both reduce load weights for Marine grunts and allow troops to haul more ammo.
Under the Corps' requirements, one belt of 100 .50 cal cartridges would see up to a 30 percent weight reduction, with an overall goal of shaving roughly 20 pounds off of the current weight of a can of .50 cal ammo, as Task & Purpose previously reported.
Because polymer ammo is highly heat-absorbent, the new ammo will allow Marines to fire the beloved M2 for longer periods of time without the risk of overheating, according to John Carpenter, assistant program manager for ammo engineering.
"When we go to war, we need more ammo to defeat our adversaries," Lt. Col. Bill Lanham, MARCORSYSCOM's deputy program manager for ammunition, said in a statement announcing the new contract. "Polymer ammo gives Marines the opportunity to carry more ammunition or make trades with what gear is important to carry during combat."
The Marine Corps had previously announced plans to order nearly 2.4 million polymer-cased .50 cal rounds from MAC LLC over a three-year ordering period, as The Firearm Blog reported at the time.
According to MARCORSYSCOM, Marines will start receiving a "small quantity" of polymer ammo in the fourth quarters of fiscal years 2020 and 2021 to assess the effectiveness of the rounds before finally fielding the new lightweight ammo some time in fiscal year 2022.
Some Fort Bragg paratroopers who left for the Middle East on a no-notice deployment last month came home Thursday.
About 3,500 soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team were sent to Kuwait beginning Jan. 1 as tensions were rising in the region. The first soldiers were in the air within 18 hours of being told to go.
KABUL/WASHINGTON/PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - The United States and the Taliban will sign an agreement on Feb. 29 at the end of a week long period of violence reduction in Afghanistan, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Taliban said on Friday.
Large cargo ships, small fishing boats and other watercraft sail safely past Naval Station Norfolk every day, but there's always a possibility that terrorists could use any one of them to attack the world's largest naval base.
While Navy security keeps a close eye on every vessel that passes, there's an inherent risk for the sailors aboard small patrol boats who are tasked with helping keep aircraft carriers, submarines and destroyers on base safe from waterborne attacks.
So the Navy experimented Wednesday to test whether an unmanned vessel could stop a small boat threatening the base from the Elizabeth River.
Nancy Turner's modern version of keeping a candle in the window while her soldier son is away is a string of electric lights on the front porch that burn red, white and blue.
But where Turner sees patriotism and support for the troops, her Garner homeowners association sees a covenant violation and a potential $50-per-day fine.
Turner was surprised to receive a threatening email last week after an employee from Sentry Management, which manages the Sheldon Place HOA, spotted the illegal illumination during a neighborhood patrol.
"I honestly had no idea it would be a problem," Turner said.
The HOA did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent as a message through its Facebook page.
In the wee hours of Jan. 8, Tehran retaliated over the U.S. killing of Iran's most powerful general by bombarding the al-Asad air base in Iraq.
Among the 2,000 troops stationed there was U.S. Army Specialist Kimo Keltz, who recalls hearing a missile whistling through the sky as he lay on the deck of a guard tower. The explosion lifted his body - in full armor - an inch or two off the floor.
Keltz says he thought he had escaped with little more than a mild headache. Initial assessments around the base found no serious injuries or deaths from the attack. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted, "All is well!"
The next day was different.
"My head kinda felt like I got hit with a truck," Keltz told Reuters in an interview from al-Asad air base in Iraq's western Anbar desert. "My stomach was grinding."