The Marine Corps's first new sniper rifle since the Vietnam War is finally ready for a fight

Military Tech

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Atthaporn Suwanarat sights in with the Mk13 Mod 7 Sniper Rifle aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, January 17, 2019

(U.S. Marine Corpss/Staff Sgt. Bryan Nygaard)

The wait is over: the Marine Corps's brand new sniper is officially ready for action.

The Mk13 Mod 7 sniper rifle reached full operational capacity earlier this year after extensive testing, Marine Corps Systems Command announced on Wednesday. Now, the new rifle is finally available in both scout snipers and recon Marine arsenals.


"Scout snipers are now being fielded a weapon system that makes them even more lethal at distance than they were previously," MARCORSYSCOM project officer Capt. Nick Berger said in a release. "This weapon better prepares us to take the fight to any adversary in any clime and place."

Selected back back in March 2018 as a much-needed and long-overdue replacement for the M40 sniper system that Marines have wielded since the Vietnam War, the Mk13 is chambered in .300 Winchester Magnum and offers an effective range well over 1,000 yards,

While that effective 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, it far outstrips the M40's comparatively limited reach amid the Pentagon's ongoing emphasis on lethality and precision fires.

"When shooting the Mk13, the bullet remains stable for much longer," MARCORSYSCOM infantry weapons team leader Maj. Mike Brisker said in a release. "The weapon gives you enough extra initial velocity that it stays supersonic for a much longer distance than the M40A6."

The Corps started fielding the a handful of infantry and reconnaissance battalions and scout sniper schoolhouses with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force in September 2018, with plans to roll out the new system II MEF and II MEF units.

But according to MARCORSYSCOM, a scout sniper platoon with the "Darkhorse" 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines have been enjoying the Mk13 for "more than a year" — and according to the system's program officers, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

"At our new equipment trainings, the resounding feedback from the scout snipers was that this rifle is a positive step forward in the realm of precision-fire weapons," Berger, the MARCORSYSCOM project officer, said in the release. "Overall, there has been positive feedback from the fleet."

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials are warning soldiers and military families to be aware of scammers using the Exchange's logo.

In a news release Wednesday, Exchange officials said scammers using the name "Exchange Inc." have "fooled" soldiers and airmen to broker the sale of used cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and boat engines.

Read More Show Less

KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.

The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.

Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.

The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Brian Kimball

Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Calling aviation geeks in New York City: The British are coming.

In their first visit to the United States since 2008, the Royal Air Force "Red Arrows" will perform an aerial demonstration next week over the Hudson River, according to an Air Force news release. F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, the Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels demonstration teams will also be part of the show.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Air National Guard/Staff Sgt. Michelle Y. Alvarez-Rea

Frances and Efrain Santiago, natives of Puerto Rico, wanted to show their support last month for protesters back home seeking to oust the island's governor.

The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.

Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."

Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.

Read More Show Less
Todd Rosenberg/AP

A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.

The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.

Read More Show Less