As a note, this week is the 76th anniversary of the bloody and hard-fought Battle of Tarawa.
Maj. Gen. Julian C. Smith’s 2nd Mar Div– consisting of the 2nd, 8th, 10th, and 18th Marines– hit the Red Beach 1, 2, and 3 and Green Beach. The Marines were opposed by 4,800 mixed Imperial Japanese Navy SNLF and Korean construction troops, who were holed up in more than 500 sand-and-log pillboxes under command of RADM Keiji Shibazaki.
The effort for the Gilbert Islands atoll raged for three days, resulting in 3,301 Marine casualties out of the 18,000 that landed– a rate of one-in-six.
Of the four Marines who received the Medal of Honor for Tarawa, three did so posthumously.
The Marine Corps has posted a Request for Information on commercially available suppressors that can work across all of their 5.56mm platforms.
The RFI, posted Aug. 3, is feeling out the industry for current availability of a detachable suppressor capable of reducing the sound of a 5.56mm round to 139dB. To be used by the M4 and M4A1 carbines, as well as the M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle — a select-fire HK416 — the Corps is interesting in buying in bulk.
Like 194,000 in bulk.
More in my column at Guns.com
The 2nd Marine Division’s Gunner explains what’s up when it comes to the effectiveness of suppressors in an effort to dispell some myths.
The Marines have been spending a lot more quiet time with their suppressors lately and CW5 Christian P. Wade in the above video tackles some misconceptions about how they operate as part of the 2nd Marine Division’s “Ask the Gunner” segment on the unit’s social media page.
Wade uses a 10.5-inch barreled Mk18 just to rub it in that he is the Division Gunner and fires it unsuppressed through a chronograph, then adds a can and repeats the process with the same ammo.
“So, as you can see, you don’t suffer a defective range or lethality, or accuracy penalty by having a suppressor on your weapon,” says Wade after the results are in. “What we covered today was the principle question of putting a suppressor on your weapon and what that does to your capability. It increases your capability. And if nothing else, I want you to walk away with that. It doesn’t slow your bullets down, you literally have to use subsonic ammunition to lose that range and lethality capability. And we’re not doing that to it.”
End the end, he closes out with a forecast that could be good news to those in the Marines who would like to keep their new cans.
“Suppressors are a good thing, it increases your lethality, it makes you harder to kill, and you’re gonna get one here pretty soon,” says Wade.
Bonus for the cantaloupe takedown cutaway with the Magpul D60, btw.
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.”
Devil Dogs just before the Tarawa landings doing what Marines normally do…
Tragically, Tarawa was a hard nut to crack for the 2nd Marine Division and these leathernecks deserved every bit of happiness they got prior to hitting the beach. In just three days the Marines suffered 1,009 killed and 2,101 wounded, a casualty rate of some 10 percent.
In the Roman times such a rate was called decimation.