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These Marines Will Be The First To Get M320 Grenade Launchers
The Marine Corps recently dropped a bombshell — or more accurately, a ton of 40 mike-mike — when it announced June 9 that the service had finally received the M320 grenade launcher, just eight years after the Army took possession of the new weapon. The Corps is slated to receive approximately 7,000 M320s and will issue the new bloop gun to infantry Marines first. From there it’ll make its way to other ground combat units, according to the Corps.
“In keeping with Commandant of the Marine Corps’ priority, the infantry will be the first to receive the M320, then expanding out to combat engineer squads, reconnaissance teams, Light Armored Reconnaissance companies, Marine Special Operations Teams, and MOS training locations,” Barb Hamby, a Marine Corps spokesperson, told Task & Purpose in an email.
Currently, Marines with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion and 2nd Marine Division based out of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, are experimenting with the M320 as part of Sea Dragon 2025, an 18-month initiative in which Marines field-test new weapon systems and tactics. The Corps is even outfitting a single “uber squad” of grunts from 1st Battalion, 6th Marines with everything from M27s to polymer mags and suppressors, according to Military.com.
Engineers with 2nd CEB hit the range at Camp Lejeune on June 6 to test out the M320 as part of the Corps’ small-arms modernization strategy, which experiments with different weapon systems to test their lethality, Hamby said.
A Marine prepares to fire an M320 grenade launcher module mounted on an M4 rifle at simulated enemy targets at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina on June 6, 2017.U.S. Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Taylor Cooper
Unlike the M203, which is permanently affixed under the barrel of a rifle, the M320 can be fired as a standalone weapon. Additionally, the M320 loads from the side, allowing for longer projectiles with greater velocity, compared to the breech loading M203. Among the list of perks the M320 boasts: Its sight is a bit less cumbersome than the M203’s leaf sight, which can get in the way of a weapon’s optics.
“The M320 has an increased rate of fire, and also allows the operator to acquire their targets much faster; used as either a standalone weapon or on a host weapon, it’s an accurate and efficient system,” Cpl. Nelson Gay, a squad leader with 2nd CEB said in a recent Marine Corps statement.
The news that the Corps will begin fielding the M320 is sure to be well received, but let’s not get too excited about it being a “new” grenade launcher; after all, both the Army and Battlefield 4 had it first.
‘I made promises to the people that I lost’— How the Iraq war forged a Navy SEAL’s path to Harvard Medical School and NASA
Navy Lt. Jonny Kim went viral last week when NASA announced that he and 10 other candidates (including six other service members) became the newest members of the agency's hallowed astronaut corps. A decorated Navy SEAL and graduate of Harvard Medical School, Kim in particular seems to have a penchant for achieving people's childhood dreams.
However, Kim shared with Task & Purpose that his motivation for living life the way he has stems not so much from starry-eyed ambition, but from the pain and loss he suffered both on the battlefields of Iraq and from childhood instability while growing up in Los Angeles. Kim tells his story in the following Q&A, which was lightly edited for length and clarity:
You can almost smell the gunpowder in the scene captured by a Marine photographer over the weekend, showing a Marine grunt firing a shotgun during non-lethal weapons training.
A Marine grunt stationed in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina is being considered for an award after he saved the lives of three people earlier this month from a fiery car crash.
Cpl. Scott McDonell, an infantry assaultman with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, was driving down Market Street in Wilmington in the early morning hours of Jan. 11 when he saw a car on fire after it had crashed into a tree. Inside were three victims aged 17, 20, and 20.
"It was a pretty mangled wreck," McDonell told ABC 15. "The passenger was hanging out of the window."
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.