Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Army, Sig Sauer ‘Confident’ In Modular Handgun System Despite Alarming DoD Report
Despite a recent Department of Defense report detailing accidental discharges and frequent malfunctions, the Sig Sauer P320 9mm pistol, adopted as the M17 and M18 under the Army’s Modular Handgun System program, is “safe to operate,” Army and Sig Sauer officials told Task & Purpose on Jan. 31.
An evaluation of DoD gear and tech programs released earlier this month by the Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E;) revealed a number of issues during testing of the XM17 and XM18, including the ejection of live ammunition, frequent stoppages or malfunctions, and accidental discharges when dropped.
But what the DOT&E; report didn’t reveal, officials say, is that the Sig Sauer and the Army both corrected the issues through a number of upgrades to the original P320.
“There is no drop test deficiency with the MHS,” PEO Soldier spokeswoman Debi Dawson told Task & Purpose. “The drop test referenced in the DOT&E; report occurred on an early prototype of the MHS. Sig Sauer corrected this issue prior to the start of testing, and the MHS passed the Army’s drop test.”
News of the accidental discharges in particular has been a thorn in Sig Sauer’s side since it won the Army’s $580 million MHS contract in January 2017. After the accidental discharges first cropped up last August in reports from civilian P320 users, Sig Sauer issued an upgrade for civilian owners and insisted during a demonstration to reporters that the MHS was “unaffected” by the problem.
When the error appeared during the DoD IOT&E; trials conducted in August and September, Sig Sauer worked with the Army on a set of modifications before shipping the firearms off to the service for fielding.
“The MHS meets, or exceeds, all safety and operational requirements with XM1153 jacketed hollow point ammunition for which it is optimized,” Dawson told Task & Purpose. “The test results published in the Director of Operational Testing and Evaluation (DOT&E;) report are being used to make the MHS even better.”
According to Sig Sauer chief marketing officer Tom Taylor, the Army doesn’t even have to worry about making anymore pesky modifications: The company never sent the Army versions of the unmodified P320, and all of the M17 or M18 pistols that made it into the hands of soldiers featured an upgraded trigger system.
“Any gun sent to an infantry soldier has certainly had a safety upgrade made for the drop test,” Taylor told Task & Purpose, insisting that, the issues detailed in this month’s IOT&E; report were addressed long before members of the 101st Airborne got their pistols on Nov. 30. “All of these problems were addressed in 2017,” he said. “This is old news.”
Those upgrades seem to be working — at least, in civilian circles. Of the of the 500,000 P320s shipped to civilians since 2014, about 100,000 had come in for upgrades, with zero subsequent discharge issues, Taylor said. (“As soon as the guns came back, everyone starts dropping the gun on the ground for their blogs,” he laughed, referencing the flurry of amateur testing that gripped gun blogs after news of accidental discharges first emerged in 2017.)
Sgt. 1st Class Rocky Butler, a signal support systems specialist from Regimental Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, lays in the prone position with the new M17 Modular Handgun System for the first time during the troop's weapons qualification range Jan. 19, 2018 at Fort Hood, Texas.U.S. Army/Staff Sgt. Taresha Hill
But that’s not stopping Sig Sauer from redoubling its testing efforts to ensure that the ambiguity created by the DoD report never emerges again. “Our gun does pass every standard we know of, but we decided that after this, we need to have a higher standard for our testing,” he told Task & Purpose. “We are more confident that the issue is resolved.”
The Army is hedging its bets. While Taylor insisted that the problems with the XM17 and XM18 were identified, isolated, and addressed long before the Army ever received their shiny new P320, this doesn’t necessarily mean that future issues might crop up. Dawson indicated that the branch is developing a process to address any future issues for those M17s and M182 that fielded to units like the 101st Airborne and 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade.
“The currently fielded pistols meet all safety and operational requirements for the ‘go to war’ configuration,” Dawson told Task & Purpose. “Once proven out through testing, the Army will add the changes to the production of new MHS. The Army will also develop a plan to retrofit any fielded MHS with these changes.”
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.