The 58th Presidential Inauguration Joint Task Force National Capital Region (JTF-NCR) has stood up and has been practicing for the swearing-in event, scheduled for Jan. 20. The task force is under the command of U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Bradley Becker.
As outlined in the below infographic, each of the five military branches– the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S Air Force, and U.S. Coast Guard– will have a 180-strong marching company in the parade as well as a 355-member (103 for the Coast Guard) cordon stretched along the parade route.
Each of the four federal service academies will have 90 cadets marching as will the Army and Air National Guards.
Finally, there will be six military premier bands encompassing 550 members and a 2,340-strong combined honor guard primarily drawn from the Army’s 3rd Infantry Regiment– the famous “Old Guard” who are tasked with ceremonial military duties in the Washington Military District such as mounting the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
In 2004, the Marine snipers deployed in the sandbox needed a rifle that was shorter and lighter as well as quieter, than their standard M40s.
This led a small group of sniper wonks including Steve Reichert (then SNCOIC of the 2nd Marine Division’s Pre-Sniper course) and others to hammer out what was known as the DARPA XM-3 rifle, using an 18.5″ Hart 416R Stainless Steel (Mil-Gauged) barrel that was suppressor ready.
What was so special about them?
-The receivers were clip slotted to accept the reverse-engineered titianium picatinny rail (IBA Design) to fit firmly.
-The receivers’ internal threads were opened up to 1.070” to allow a perfectly true alignment with the bolt face and chamber/bore dimension. The chamber was cut to accept M118LR ammo.
-The titanium recoil lug was built with the 1.070” diameter opening for the larger-barrel threads and surface ground true.
-The stainless steel magazine box was hand fitted and welded to eliminate movement when assembled.
-The stocks were custom made for the project.
-The barreled actions were bedded in titanium Devcon and Marine Tex to allow for decades of hard use without losing torque or consistency.
-Nightforce made a full 1 MOA elevation adjustment on their NXS 3.5-15X50’s to allow for faster dope changes at distance. These scopes had 1/4 MOA windage.
While successful and a hit with the Devils who got to use them, the 56 or so XM3’s were all pulled from service by 2014.
Thankfully, some have made thier way to the CMP and, as surplus bolt-action rifles, can be sold to the public.
They just auctioned off XM-3 rifle, serial number S6534025 with a factory green stock finish, built at Iron Brigade Armory by D. Briggs, USMC (Ret), 2112.
The rifle included the scope, sniper data book with some firing information; PVS22 Night Vision Device and other goodies.
Talk about functional history…
It looks like Wyoming-based Magpul will be providing the mags for the Marines moving forward, with their PMAG being the only authorized mag for field use while the USGI EPM will be relegated to training.
In government administered tests, the Gen M3 PMAG ran through 20,400 rounds of M855A1 ammo without any magazine-related stoppages, so there is that. The mags will be in two types, GEN M3 PMAG in Black (NSN 1005-01-615-5169) and the new Medium Coyote Tan (NSN 1005-01-659-7086).
“In light of the results from an enormous body of reliability and durability testing and 4 years of combat use, today it was announced that the PMAG 30 AR/M4 GEN M3 Window, in Black and Medium Coyote Tan (MCT), would be the official magazine of the entire United States Marine Corps,” noted the company in a statement on social media.
The company says the MCT mags with the NSN will be available around SHOT show for commercial sale and were designed with the HK416/M27 in mind, which is a big plus.
And it also means their will probably be about 2 million old metal body GI M16/M4 mags hit the surplus pipeline in the coming year or three.
Marine Special Operations Team (MSOT) 8222 was deployed to Bala Murghab in 2009-10. The team was tasked with partnering with national Afghan forces to train them to stabilize a remote valley in northwestern Afghanistan.
This specialized beryllium copper knife was used by the team breacher to cut plastic explosives.
This knife cut every charge used by MSOT-8222 during this deployment.
It’s a Strider BD Beryllium Copper (CuBe). These knives, made in St. Paul, MN, have a 6.5-inch blade, paracord wrapped handle, and go an impressive 0.25-inches wide. They run four-figures but are guaranteed non-sparking & non-magnetic.
They are extremely corrosion resistant and doesn’t spark like a steel blade would. Precisely the type of knife you’d want if your job involved cutting through hundreds of blocks of high explosives.
U.S. Marine Sgt. Kirstin Merrimarahajara captured a Marine walking through Rukla Training Area, Lithuania during Exercise Iron Sword 16. The Marines, after all, have a history of fighting deep in the primordial forests of Europe despite their reputation as sea soldiers.
It reminds me of the words of Dr. Benjamin Rush:
“It would seem from this fact, that man is naturally a wild animal, and that when taken from the woods, he is never happy in his natural state, ’till he returns to them again.”
Speaking of Lithuanian forest dwellers, check out the below video that NATO published this week on the life of one of the 8,000 reservists in the Lithuanian National Defence Volunteer Forces (the same size as the regular active duty Land Forces). Note both German HK G3s and G36s being used side by side.
He wasn’t sure whether the flaming debris was the rocket pack or the heat shield breaking up. “Fortunately,” he told an interviewer,“ it was the rocket pack – or I wouldn’t be answering these questions.”
The U.S. Marine Corps is expanding its use of suppressors in a test that will see a full battalion using them on everything from service rifles to .50-caliber machine guns.
An infantry battalion of the 2nd Marine Division will have every element, from combat engineers to headquarters units, equipped with suppressed weapons in an upcoming experiment. The concept has already been trialed so far this year in company-level exercises.
I spoke with Adam Mehlenbacher, who knows firsthand about dealing with hearing loss and complications for many service members and their families. He’s an audiologist who heads up the American Academy of Audiology’s Government Relations committee and he is also an Army veteran who had deployed to Bosnia and Iraq.
“Hearing loss and tinnitus are the most common service related disabilities. They can have an enormous negative impact on communication ability and quality of life,” Mehlenbacher told Guns.com. He added that they’re both completely preventable.
“Everyone in the military is issued hearing protection and as an audiologist I will say you should always wear it,” he said. “Although, as a veteran I know there are times when service members just do not. Issuing weapons with suppressors is a great way to reduce noise exposure.”