Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
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.
‘Take what’s inside and get it outside’ — Air Force psychologist reminds airmen of mental health resources
Kirtland Air Force Base isn't much different from the world beyond its gates when it comes to dealing with mental illnesses, a base clinical psychologist says.
Maj. Benjamin Carter told the Journal the most frequent diagnosis on the base is an anxiety disorder.
"It's not a surprise, but I anticipate about anytime in the population in America, about 20% of the population has some form of diagnosable anxiety disorder, and it's no different in the military," he said.
Leading the way among the anxiety disorders, he said, were post-traumatic stress disorder "or something like panic disorder or generalized anxiety disorder."
The DNA of a niece and nephew, who never met their uncle, has helped identify the remains of the Kansas Marine who died in WWII.
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that 21-year-old U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Pfc. Raymond Warren was identified using DNA and circumstantial evidence. Warren had been buried in a cemetery in the Gilbert Islands, where he was killed when U.S. forces tried to take secure one of the islands from the Japanese.
The Battle of Tarawa lasted from Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, 1943, and claimed the lives of 1,021 U.S. marines and sailors, more than 3,000 Japanese soldiers and an estimated 1,000 Korean laborers before the U.S. troops seized control, the agency said.
Arizona lawmakers are vowing to fight a plan by the Air Force to start retiring some of the nation's fleet of A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack jets — a major operation at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base — as part of a plan to drop some older, legacy weapon systems to help pay for new programs.
U.S. Sen. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., a former A-10 pilot, and U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., both vowed to fight the move to retire 44 of the oldest A-10s starting this year.
During a press briefing last week, Air Force officials unveiled plans to start mothballing several older platforms, including retiring some A-10s even as it refits others with new wings.
MOSCOW/SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea, whose leader Kim Jong Un was filmed riding through the snow on a white stallion last year, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on 12 purebred horses from Russia, according to Russian customs data.
Accompanied by senior North Korean figures, Kim took two well-publicized rides on the snowy slopes of the sacred Paektu Mountain in October and December.
State media heralded the jaunts as important displays of strength in the face of international pressure and the photos of Kim astride a galloping white steed were seen around the world.
North Korea has a long history of buying pricey horses from Russia and customs data first reported by Seoul-based NK News suggests that North Korea may have bolstered its herd in October.
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A high-profile local Taliban figure who announced and justified the 2012 attack on teenage Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai has escaped detention, Pakistan's interior minister confirmed a few days after the militant announced his breakout on social media.
Former Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, who claimed responsibility on behalf of his group for scores of Taliban attacks, proclaimed his escape on Twitter and then in an audio message sent to Pakistani media earlier this month.
The Pakistani military, which had kept Ehsan in detention for three years, has declined to comment but, asked by reporters about the report, Interior Minister Ijaz Shah, said: "That is correct, that is correct."
Shah, a retired brigadier general, added that "you will hear good news" in response to questions about whether there had been progress in hunting down Ehsan.