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The Marine Corps Wants To Buy 11,000 M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles
Last week, the U.S. Marine Corps released a Request for Information to manufacturers enquiring about their capacity to produce 11,000 more M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles. This stoked rumors that the Marine Corps is looking to replace its M4s with the M27, which were first sparked last November when 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines was equipped with the M27 instead of the M4 during pre-deployment exercises as an experiment.
The RFI for 11,000 M27s could indicate a possible push to replace the M249, which continues to be used by weapons platoons. However, I believe it is more likely that the Corps is simply looking to add more Infantry Automatic Rifles to its inventory. Currently, Marine infantry battalions typically have over 80 Infantry Automatic Rifles distributed at the fireteam level. Just 11,000 new rifles will not re-equip the riflemen of the Corps’ 32 infantry battalions, but it will enhance their firepower and perhaps pave the way for future orders.
While the Marine Corps would no doubt love to replace its current service rifle with the M27, especially with the branch's emphasis on marksmanship, the M27 is considerably more expensive. Each M27 costs in the region of $3,000, according to a November Military.com report. While this is cheaper than the M249, it is significantly more expensive than the M4, which costs approximately $750 per carbine. The Marines’ purchase of an additional 11,000 M27s, the Corps’ largest single order for the rifles so far, will probably cost in excess of $30 million. With the Marine Corps’ annual budget a fraction of other branches, it’s understandable that it is seeking to expand its capabilities with a battle-tested weapon system, rather than attempting to fully transition to the M27.
A U.S. Marine with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, fires a M27 infantry automatic rifle at simulated enemies during an Integrated Training Exercise (ITX) at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Aug. 18, 2016.U.S. Marine Corps photo
The demand for the M27's improved accuracy over both the M249 and the M16A4 and M4 came from hard-learned lessons in Afghanistan. The M27 has a slightly longer range than the M4, and is able to hit targets out to 600 meters, while area fire is effective out to approximately 800 meters.
In 2015, the service announced a decision to move away from the long-serving M16 to the shorter M4, favored by the Army. At the same time, the Corps moved the M249 from fireteams to weapons platoons and introduced the M27. The M27 has the advantage of having fully automatic capability, something that the M4 and M16A4s, which have a three-round burst setting, do not have.
The M27 is based on Heckler & Koch's gas-operated, piston-driven HK416. It has a free-floating 16.5-inch barrel to improve accuracy and cooling. The M27 feeds from standard 30-round or PMAG magazines; however, high-capacity magazines are a future option for suppressive fire. The IAR is issued with a Trijicon ACOG optic and a bipod for both precise accurate fire and suppressive fire. The Corps is also experimenting with suppressors for M27 and other small arms systems. In Afghanistan, the M27's greater range, accuracy, and rate of fire were found to enhance Marine patrols, which had previously relied on M240 medium machine guns and designated marksmen to return longer range enemy fire effectively.
Only time will tell if the Marine Corps really intends to transition the M27 from a support weapon role to an infantry rifle. In the meantime, 11,000 more M27s will greatly enhance the Marine Infantry’s firepower.
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."