Tag Archives: Marine Corps

KAC getting a lot of Pentagon Love

The aircrew of the Florida-based Coast Guard Helicopter Interdiction Tactical Squadron stand for a photo after the 500th recorded drug bust in the Eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard photo. Note the M107A1 with mounted AN/PEQ-15 aiming laser in the foreground, the M110 7.62x51mm sniper rifle with can in the background, and the fact that the crew names and weapons’ serials have been blurred for OPSEC/PERSEC.

In the past week, the DOD has announced two big contracts for Knight’s Armament Company in Florida.

For those who aren’t familiar with Reid Knight’s KAC, just keep in mind that the company served as the final home of Eugene Stoner, who redesigned his original AR-10 there as the new and very much improved SR-25. That 7.62 NATO precision rifle went on to pull down the Army’s XM110 Semi-Automatic Sniper Rifle competition in 2005.

The resulting M110 has gone on to be used not only by the Joes but also with the Navy EOD and Specwar community, the Marines in a designated marksman role, and the Coast Guard’s HITRON interdiction teams.

It is so well-liked that, even while the Army is picking up HK-made G28s for the new M110A1, they are still buying M110s from KAC, announcing a $13M contract for the rifles last week. 

Quiet Time

U.S. Marines assigned to Scout Sniper Platoon, Battalion Landing Team 3/2, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conduct an M4 Carbine live-fire exercise on the flight deck of the USS Kearsarge, at sea, July 18, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Christopher Q. Stone, 26th MEU Combat Camera/Released)

And in other related news, the Marines just issued a $25M contract to KAC for 5.56 NATO suppressors for their M4/M4A1s and M27 IARs. 

When it comes to suppressor-use by its warfighters, the Marines have been consistently striving to make them the standard rather than the exception. In 2016, the expeditionary-focused service moved to equip every element of a test battalion, from combat engineers to headquarters units, with suppressed weapons after company-level trials yielded results.

By 2017, they were exploring the option of picking up enough to outfit all of their battalions. The new contract will go a long way towards that if all the options are used.

The more things change, Devil 155 edition, with Idaho tanker bonus

A 155mm howitzer is fired by artillery crewmen of the 11th Marines, Guadalcanal

Marines work a 155mm gun position on Guadalcanal in 1942.

A Marine M777-A2 155mm howitzer at night using tactical red lighting as part of Marine Rotational Force Darwin, 2020

Of course, as Plan 2030 gets underway to “lighten” the Marines and trade assets like tanks, Engineer ABVs, bridging companies, and heavy-lift helo squadrons for things like rockets and UAV squadrons, the number of cannon batteries in the Corps is set to drop from the current 21 to just 5 in the next decade, so USMC-manned 155s will be few and far between in the future.

Marines loss, National Guard’s gain

In related news, 39 former Marine reservists in a recently disbanded M1A1 Abrams tank company of the (C coy, 4th Tanks) have switched teams and were sworn in at a joint ceremony into the Idaho National Guard’s 116th Brigade Combat Team.

In line with a storied Marine tradition, they will be using better mounts after shifting from Devils to Joes, as the Guard operates updated M1A2s.

The Marine Corps Reserve’s Company C, 4th Tank Battalion deactivates at Idaho National Guard Base Gowen Field, Aug. 14, 2020. More than three dozen of the former Marines enlisted in the Idaho Army National Guard on Sept. 13, 2020. THOMAS ALVAREZ/U.S. ARMY

Devils wave goodbye to ABVs

No more of these bad boys roaring off LCUs and LCACs any time soon, barring some Army units hitching a ride.

A U.S. Marine Corps M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle exits a U.S. Navy Landing Craft Utility on Camp Lejeune, N.C., Mar. 17, 2020, during Type Commander Amphibious Training. The ABV is with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, 2nd Marine Division. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Mark E Morrow Jr/Released)

The M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicles (ABV)s belonging to 1st MARDIV last weekend were “being divested from the Marine Corps in an effort to accelerate modernization and realign 1st Combat Engineer Battalion’s (1st CEB) capabilities.”

(U.S. Marine Corps photos by Cpl. Jailine L. AliceaSantiago)

And with that, the Marines with 1st CEB disembarked the ABV’s from San Mateo as a part of Force Design 2030, which is seeing the USMC ditch most of their armor.

(U.S. Marine Corps photos by Cpl. Jailine L. AliceaSantiago)

As to what is to become of the Marine’s ABVs, looks like long term storage before they are offered to some overseas ally such as Egypt or Greece. Either that or the scrap heap.

The Army’s version, based on the M1A1, is newer. 

Dat bayonet, doe

You have to admit the PEQ-15, bayonet and mono-pod forward grip combo on an old-school M16 with a steel mag warms your heart

SOUTHWEST ASIA (Sept. 17, 2015) U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Ripoyla moves to his next firing position during a bi-lateral training exercise. Ripoyla is a rifleman with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 15th MEU, embarked aboard the ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, is a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based Marine air-ground task force capable of engaging with regional partners and maintaining regional security. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry/Released)

SOUTHWEST ASIA (Sept. 17, 2015) U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jonathan Ripoyla moves to his next firing position during a bi-lateral training exercise. Ripoyla is a rifleman with India Company, Battalion Landing Team 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 15th MEU, embarked aboard the ships of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, is a forward-deployed, flexible sea-based Marine air-ground task force capable of engaging with regional partners and maintaining regional security. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Jamean Berry/Released)