Marines will be able to kiss their green-tinted night vision goodbye by 2020

Military Tech

VIDEO: Meet the Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggles (SBNVG)

The Marine Corps is full speed ahead with the acquisition of a new helmet-mounted night vision system with one twist: grunts will no longer see green when they're in the field.


Marine Corps Systems Command has awarded a $249 million contract to the Harris Corporation of Virginia to furnish infantry Marines with 14,000 Squad Binocular Night Vision Goggle (SBNVG) systems, MARCORSYSCOM announced on Tuesday.

A lightweight, helmet-mounted replacement for the standard-issue Army/Navy Portable Visual Search (AN/PVS-15) monoculars, the SBNVG uses white phosphor image intensifier tubes rather than traditional milspec tubes, a departure from the ubiquitous yellowish-green of conventional night vision

U.S. Marines with the Aviation Combat Element, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, compare green (left) and white phosphor (right) night vision goggles during professional military education, RAAF Base Darwin, Australia, June 18, 2019(U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Kealii De Los Santos)

"The use of white phosphor provides a greater capability to see at night with more clarity, giving Marines enhanced situational awareness," infantry weapons program manager Lt. Col. Tim Hough said in a statement.

The SBNVG also "consists of a binocular image intensifier night vision goggle, with a modular uncooled thermal imaging sensor, and associated external power supply and helmet mounting system," according to the original MARCORSYSCOM request for proposals published in November 2018.

The Corps is pushing hard to dole out new night vision gear to infantry Marines. In January, MARCORSYSCOM accelerated the acquisition of about 1,300 SBNVG systems using existing Defense Logistics Agency contracts.

"We made the investment to procure the 1,300 systems and fielded them to two infantry battalion, so we already had a good, robust understanding of the technology we were chasing," MARCORSYSCOM combat optic team lead Roberto Gonzalez said in a statement. "That allowed us to quickly get through the source selection process [for this contract]."

This is the Corps's second batch of new night vision goggles in just over a year. In June 2018, the Corps began fielding the Binocular Night Vision Goggle II (BNVG II) to Force Reconnaissance and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Marines with the goal of achieving full operational capacity by spring 2019.

MARCORSYSCOM plans on first fielding the SBNVG to infantry units starting in the spring of 2020.

(U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Andrew Smith)

Three U.S. service members received non-life-threatening injuries after being fired on Monday by an Afghan police officer, a U.S. official confirmed.

The troops were part of a convoy in Kandahar province that came under attack by a member of the Afghan Civil Order Police, a spokesperson for Operation Resolute Support said on Monday.

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Marine Maj. Jose J. Anzaldua Jr. spent more than three years during the height of the Vietnam War. Now, more than 45 years after his release, Sig Sauer is paying tribute to his service with a special gift.

Sig Sauer on Friday unveiled a unique 1911 pistol engraved with Anzaldua's name, the details of his imprisonment in Vietnam, and the phrase "You Are Not Forgotten" accompanied by the POW-MIA flag on the grip to commemorate POW-MIA Recognition Day.

The gunmaker also released a short documentary entitled "Once A Marine, Always A Marine" — a fitting title given Anzaldua's courageous actions in the line of duty

Marine Maj. Jose Anzaldua's commemorative 1911 pistol

(Sig Sauer)

Born in Texas in 1950, Anzaldua enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968 and deployed to Vietnam as an intelligence scout assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division.

On Jan. 23, 1970, he was captured during a foot patrol and spent 1,160 days in captivity in various locations across North Vietnam — including he infamous Hỏa Lò Prison known among American POWs as the "Hanoi Hilton" — before he was freed during Operation Homecoming on March 27, 1973.

Anzaldua may have been a prisoner, but he never stopped fighting. After his release, he received two Bronze Stars with combat "V" valor devices and a Prisoner of War Medal for displaying "extraordinary leadership and devotion to his companions" during his time in captivity. From one of his Bronze Star citations:

Using his knowledge of the Vietnamese language, he was diligent, resourceful, and invaluable as a collector of intelligence information for the senior officer interned in the prison camp.

In addition, while performing as interpreter for other United States prisoners making known their needs to their captors, [Anzaldua] regularly, at the grave risk of sever retaliation to himself, delivered and received messages for the senior officer.

On one occasion, when detected, he refused to implicate any of his fellow prisoners, even though severe punitive action was expected.

Anzaldua also received a Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism in December 1969, when he entered the flaming wreckage of a U.S. helicopter that crashed nearr his battalion command post in the country's Quang Nam Province and rescued the crew chief and a Vietnamese civilian "although painfully burned himself," according to his citation.

After a brief stay at Camp Pendleton following his 1973 release, Anzaldua attended Officer Candidate School at MCB Quantico, Virginia, earning his commission in 1974. He retired from the Corps in 1992 after 24 years of service.

Sig Sauer presented the commemorative 1911 pistol to Anzaldua in a private ceremony at the gunmaker's headquarters in Newington, New Hampshire. The pistol's unique features include:

  • 1911 Pistol: the 1911 pistol was carried by U.S. forces throughout the Vietnam War, and by Major Anzaldua throughout his service. The commemorative 1911 POW pistol features a high-polish DLC finish on both the frame and slide, and is chambered in.45 AUTO with an SAO trigger. All pistol engravings are done in 24k gold;
  • Right Slide Engraving: the Prisoner of War ribbon inset, with USMC Eagle Globe and Anchor and "Major Jose Anzaldua" engravings;
  • Top Slide Engraving: engraved oak leaf insignia representing the Major's rank at the time of retirement and a pair of dog tags inscribed with the date, latitude and longitude of the location where Major Anzaldua was taken as a prisoner, and the phrase "You Are Not Forgotten" taken from the POW-MIA flag;
  • Left Side Engraving: the Vietnam War service ribbon inset, with USMC Eagle Globe and Anchor engraving;
  • Pistol Grips: anodized aluminum grips with POW-MIA flag.

The top leaders of a Japan-based Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornet squadron were fired after an investigation into a deadly mid-air collision last December found that poor training and an "unprofessional command climate" contributed to the crash that left six Marines dead, officials announced on Monday.

Five Marines aboard a KC-130J Super Hercules and one Marine onboard an F/A-18D Hornet were killed in the Dec. 6, 2018 collision that took place about 200 miles off the Japanese coast. Another Marine aviator who was in the Hornet survived.

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A former Army soldier was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday for stealing weapons from Fort Bliss, along with other charges.

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(U.S. Air Force photo illustration/Airman 1st Class Corey Hook)

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

The Department of Veterans Affairs released an alarming report Friday showing that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, with little sign that the crisis is abating despite suicide prevention being the VA's top priority.

Although the total population of veterans declined by 18% during that span of years, more than 6,000 veterans died by suicide annually, according to the VA's 2019 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report.

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