Last week, we got confirmation of a sort that the other three armed services would adopt the Army’s new Modular Handgun System, the M17, to replace the old Beretta M9 service pistol. At least, that’s what Army officials told Military.com in a widely shared story about the MHS program’s progress: The Air Force, they said, was down for 130,000 pistols; the Navy would buy 61,000; and the Marine Corps would take 35,000. Altogether, the three services would take more of the guns than the Army, which was ordering 195,000 M17s.
Not so fast, though. Task & Purpose asked representatives of the individual military branches about their plans to replace the venerable M9, and for the most part, they’re not yet on the same page as the Army.
Asked if the Marines intended to replace the M9 with the M17, a spokeswoman for the service told T&P;, "No decision by the Marine Corps has been made." She added that "the Marine Corps is looking at it, and has been involved in all testing, but we do not have a timeline yet for procurement."
"The Navy plans to procure a Modular Handgun System through a multi-service contract," a spokeswoman for the Navy's Naval Sea System Command told T&P; — but since the Army’s MHS contract is being contested, she couldn’t say when the Navy's buy might actually happen; certainly not anytime soon.
The US Air Force did not respond to Task & Purpose’s request for a comment before publication.
Back in January, the Army announced the selection of SIG Sauer's entry into the MHS program, awarding the company a 10-year contract worth $580 million for more than 300,000 pistols, as well as spare parts, magazines, and training. Some controversy has arisen over the contract, with SIG's rival, Glock, lodging a Government Accountability Office protest in February. More recently, Steyr Arms launched a patent infringement lawsuit against SIG. While the GAO protest is expected to be ruled on in June, it remains to be seen whether these challenges will delay, or even scuttle, the adoption of the M17 by the other service branches.
While the other services were involved in the Army's MHS program, it is probable that funding is the primary factor that delays the M17’s general adoption by the other service branches. The purchase of a new sidearm is inevitably a low procurement priority for the naval and air services — though, when funding becomes available, the M17 will almost certainly be their the choice, as noted by Military.com.
(From left to right) Chris Osman, Chris McKinley, Kent Kroeker, and Talon Burton
At least four American veterans were among a group of eight men arrested by police in Haiti earlier this week for driving without license plates and possessing an arsenal of weaponry and tactical gear.
Police in Port-au-Prince arrested five Americans, two Serbians, and one Haitian man at a police checkpoint on Sunday, according to The Miami-Herald. The men told police they were on a "government mission" but did not specify for which government, according to The Herald.
They also told police that "their boss was going to call their boss," implying that someone high in Haiti's government would vouch for them and secure their release, Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles told NPR.
What they were actually doing or who they were potentially working for remains unclear. A State Department spokesperson told Task & Purpose they were aware that Haitian police arrested a "group of individuals, including some U.S. citizens," but declined to answer whether the men were employed by or operating under contract with the U.S. government.
A photo shared by Hoda Muthana on her now-closed @ZumarulJannaTwitter account. (Twitter/ZumarulJannah)
The State Department announced Wednesday that notorious ISIS bride Hoda Muthana, a U.S.-born woman who left Alabama to join ISIS but began begging to return to the U.S. after recently deserting the terror group, is not a U.S. citizen and will not be allowed to return home.
A top Senate Republican and fierce ally of President Donald Trump reportedly exploded at Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recently about the U.S. military's plans to withdraw all troops from Syria by the end of April.
"That's the dumbest f******g idea I've ever heard," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reportedly replied when Shanahan confirmed the Trump administration still plans to complete the Syria withdrawal by April 30.
Later, Graham told Shanahan, "I am now your adversary, not your friend."