US special operations snipers are getting a new rifle that fires 3 different calibers

Military Tech
The MRAD from Barrett Firearms

After years in the making, U.S. Special Operations Command has its sights set on its next big sniper rifle.


On Monday, SOCOM awarded a $49.9 million, five-year contract to Barrett Firearms for the command's Advanced Sniper Rifle program meant to replace the Precision Sniper Rifle currently fielded to special operations snipers.

Barrett's bolt-action Multi-Role Adaptive Design (MRAD) precision system will be chambered in 7.62×51 mm NATO, .300 Norma Magnum, and .338 Norma Magnum with the help of a separate conversion kit.

The MRAD appears to meet SOCOM's 2018 requirements for a "modular, multi-caliber, bolt-action sniper rifle," and as As Guns.com notes, the Pentagon had previously picked up Barrett's MRAD platform in a December contract for the rifle chambered in the new 300 PRC caliber.

"The United States Department of Defense announced today that Barrett has been selected to provide their MRAD as the U.S. Special Operations Command Advanced Sniper Rifle system, designated as Mk21," the company said in a statement, per Military Times. "This marks the first time in history that a father and son have had rifle designs adopted by the US military: Ronnie Barrett with M107 and Chris Barrett with Mk21."

Here's a sizzle reel for the MRAD's Military Deployment Kid from 2016.

The San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship USS Arlington. (U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Chris Roys)

The Navy is investigating reports that a female Marine discovered a hidden camera in one of the women's restrooms aboard the USS Arlington, an amphibious transport dock that's currently on at port in Greece, NBC News originally reported.

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The sun sets behind a C-17 Globemaster III at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, as Soldiers wait in line to board Nov. 17, 2008. (Air Force/Tech Sgt. Erik Gudmundson)

Today, an American service member died in a "non-combat incident" in Ninawa Province, Iraq according to a statement by Operation Inherent Resolve, the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State.

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First came the explosion. Then, the cover-up.

"I held one [sailor] in my hands as he passed. He died in my arms."

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USS Iowa on April 19, 1989. (Wikipedia Commons)

It's been 30 years since an explosion inside the number two gun turret on the USS Iowa killed 47 American sailors, but for Mike Carr, it still feels like yesterday.

"I knew all 47 guys inside that turret because as part of the ship's policy we had rotated between all three turrets," Carr, who served as a gunner's mate in the Iowa's aft 16-inch turret, told Task & Purpose. "We all knew each other rather intimately."

On April 19, 1989, the day of the blast, the ship was preparing for live-fire training at Vieques, Puerto Rico Naval Training Range.

Carr was wearing headphones that allowed him to hear what the crews in the other turrets were saying.

"At 10 minutes to 10 a.m., somebody came over the phones and said, 'We're having a problem, Turret 2, center gun,'" Carr recalled. "Then approximately two minutes later, I recognized Senior Chief [Reginald] Ziegler, who was the chief in charge of Turret 2, yell into the phones: 'Fire, fire, fire! Fire in center gun, turret 2. Trying to contain it.'"

Then came the blast, which was so strong that it ripped the headphones right off Carr's head.

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Barracks to business: Hiring veterans has never been easier

Organizations offer training, certifications, networking to connect veterans, businesses

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Jason Sutton

As a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a newly minted second lieutenant, I felt well-prepared to tackle the challenges facing a junior field artillery officer in the U.S. Army. When the time came to leave the Army, however, I was much less prepared to make the transition into the yet-unknown civilian sector.

One of the primary issues facing veterans after we transition is that we lack the same sense of purpose and mission that we had with our military careers. Today, more than ever, our service members volunteer to put themselves in harm's way. They are defending our freedom across the globe and should be recognized as our country's true heroes. It's critical that employers educate veterans and provide viable options so we can make informed decisions about the rest of our lives.

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Maj. Gen. David Furness

The two-star general in charge of the roughly 15,000-strong 2nd Marine Division has turned micromanagement into an art form with a new policy letter ordering his Marines and sailors to cut their hair, shave their faces, and adhere to a daily schedule that he has prescribed.

In his "Policy Letter 5-19," Maj. Gen. David Furness lamented that he has noticed "a significant decline in the basic discipline" of troops he's come in contact with in the division area, which has led him to "FIX IT immediately," instead of relying on the thousands of commissioned and non-commissioned officers below him to carry out his orders.

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