Infantry platoons bristle with direct-fire weapons, but everyone loves a grenade. Grenades give ground troops the ability to send a big boom of fire and shrapnel over a wall or hedgerow, inside a window, or wherever else you can wing one. The catch, of course, is that a hand grenade’s range tops out at roughly 40 meters, depending on whether the grenade-hurler tried out for the minors before joining the military.
A contingent of roughly 400 Marines are headed home from Syria after three months of providing fire support to U.S.-backed Kurdish and Syrian Arab Forces who battled Islamic State fighters in the militant group’s former capital.
As Marines and soldiers redeploy to Afghanistan to provide support to coalition allies and Afghan National Security Forces, there’s one weapon system that’s remained a stalwart workhorse in the ongoing fight against the Taliban: The M252 mortar system.