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Army Delivers Next Generation Squad Weapon to First Unit

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. – A brigade from the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell was the first unit equipped with the Army’s new Next Generation Squad Weapon (NGSW) system today.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, accepted Next Generation Rifles and Automatic Rifles in preparation for New Equipment Training (NET) in April. NET is an in-depth, train-the-trainer course that prepares designated non-commissioned officers to facilitate follow-on training across the company.

“The process of developing and fielding new equipment is never without challenges and setbacks and speed bumps, so we’re celebrating the fact that we’re delivering on schedule, as promised,” said Lt. Col. Mark Vidotto, the NGSW lead for the Soldier Lethality Cross-Functional Team (SL CFT) at Fort Moore, Georgia. “It was a team effort from start to finish.”

The “start” was 2018, and the “team” included the SL CFT and their Program Executive Office Soldier partners, Joint Program Executive Office Armaments and Ammunition, Sig Sauer, Vortex and a number of other stakeholders who teamed to hasten development and production of the new system after the requirement was identified in a 2017 study that recognized the need for weapons that will perform better at range.

More than 25,000 hours have been invested by Soldiers during the development and testing of the NGSW system, which includes the XM7 Rifle, the XM250 Automatic Rifle, the XM157 Fire Control and the 6.8 mm family of ammunitions.

LTC Mark Vidotto, Next Generation Squad Weapons (NGSW) requirements manager for Army Futures Command, LTC Eric Evans, Battalion Commander, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, CSM Ryan Jeffers, senior enlisted leader of the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, and MAJ Eric Forsgren, assistant product manager for the NGSW for PEO Soldier, pose for a group photo at an NGSW first unit equipped and unboxing event at Fort Campbell, Ky., March 28.

“The NGSW fielding is a culmination of a comprehensive and rigorous process of design, testing and feedback, all of which were led by Soldiers,” said Col. Jason Bohannon, project manager, Soldier Lethality, PEO Soldier. “As a result, the Army is delivering on its promise to deliver to Soldiers the highest quality, most capable small-caliber weapons and ammunition.” 

Based on modernization schedules, the Army will field NGSW systems to a National Guard armored brigade in May.

Note from SSD: This came from Army Futures Command. It did not include a photo but few people read articles without photos. I included the image at the top from PEO Soldier’s PM Soldier Lethality. It was not taken during this First Unit Equipped event and only illustrates the XM250 Automatic Rifle. The optic shown is not currently part of the program of record. The previous test event with the 101st was considered first unit issued. Later in the day, PEO Soldier released the two additional images.

3 Responses to “Army Delivers Next Generation Squad Weapon to First Unit”

  1. frank says:

    The correct name is Fort Benning, the place I attended Airborne School. Th epalce Ranger School was headquartered. If they’re going to start renaming army bases based upon the sensitivities of those who never served a day in their life, and are not qualified to hold the ranks of the deceased they hate, maybe they should have named it after Audie Murphy, who didn’t just win the DSC, but every medal for valor the Army had. Oh, I forget, he was a Southerner.A sharecropper from Texas.

    • Eddie H. says:

      AMEN! Well said.

    • RayRaytheSBS says:

      So the important thing to take away from this article isn’t the fact that the Army is getting its first completely new squad weapons since the 1960’s… It’s that the installation name that the Lethality Cross Functional Team came from isn’t Fort Benning? And what did Audie Murphy have to do with Fort Benning? Last I checked, he served in 3rd Infantry Division, which would make more sense if Fort Stewart was being renamed. I’m just trying to understand what your rambling rant has to do with these weapons… Which appears to be nothing at all.

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