Primary Arms

Archive for the ‘USMC’ Category

Marines Want To Add New Caliber Option to Mk22 Advanced Sniper Rifle

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

In remarks this week during the Future Force Capabilities Conference presented by the National Defense Industrial Association in Austin, Texas, Marine Corps civilian Mr Chris Woodburn, Deputy, Maneuver Branch, Marine Corps Capabilities Development Directorate, mentioned that the Marines desired to add the capability to fire .300 Win Mag to the new Mk22 Advanced Sniper Rifle.

Currently beginning fielding, the Mk22 is manufactured by Barrett Firearms and offers the capability to fire 7.62 NATO and long with the new cartridges: XM1162 .338 Norma Magnum (NM) Armor Piercing (AP) (DODIC: AC32) and XM1163 .300 Norma Magnum (NM) Ball (DODIC: AC33). It is a joint service project being adopted by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and USSOCOM.

The Marine Corps is seeing great success with their current Mk13 Mod7 chambered in .300 WM. Since they have a reliable supply of .300 WM ammunition and their snipers are familiar with the round’s performance characteristics, they want to to add the capability to the Mk22.

Tomahawk Robotics Awarded $6.5M Contract with United States Marine Corps

Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

MELBOURNE, Fla., Sept. 15, 2022 — Tomahawk Robotics is thrilled to announce the award of the Autonomy and Robotics Enhanced Multi-Domain Infantry Squad (ARTEMIS) program through the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL). The $6.5M award spans activities and deliveries scheduled from 2022 through 2024.

The ARTEMIS program builds on capabilities delivered under Tomahawk Robotics’ existing Radio Agile Integrated Device (RAID) contract with MCWL. With the ARTEMIS contract, Tomahawk Robotics will integrate six additional unmanned systems and several ground radios used by the US Marine Corps into the Kinesis Ecosystem.  These unmanned systems include both ground and airborne platforms in use by US Marine Corps Infantry Units.    

Brad Truesdell, Tomahawk Robotics’ CEO said “This is another major step forward in our work to deliver AI-enabled universal robotic command and control for our men and women in uniform. Through this program, we will deliver products providing for the safe, efficient, and intuitive control of robotic systems by the US Marine Corps.”

The ARTEMIS program leverages previous DoD investments to provide a fully integrated common control and communications solution for both air and ground unmanned systems. It will enable universal robotic control of legacy Program of Record (PoR) systems as well as next-generation unmanned systems, sensors, and payloads for dismounted Marine Corps units. Universal robotic control technologies provide infantry units with significant improvements in situational awareness, mission success, and lethality to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s battlefield.

Tomahawk Robotics is proud to support the Marine Corps and the US DoD through this work.

Marine Special Reaction Team Conducts Multiple Weapon Sustainment Training

Friday, September 9th, 2022

OKINAWA, Japan —

High-risk emergencies can happen anytime and require the attention of a specific group known as the Special Reaction Team, or commonly referred to as SRT.

The members of SRT are attached to the Provost Marshal’s Office and are always on standby to respond to situations such as an active shooter, hostage situations, and barricaded subjects.

“Today, we shot from a tower structure to simulate engaging a hostile target from a sniper position. Afterward, we moved to a short range to practice static fire, multiple hostel engagements, and team movement drills,” said Gunnery Sgt. Russell Harned, team commander with SRT, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific. “We conducted a familiarization course of fire with an M40A6 rifle, Colt M45A1 Close Quarter Battle Pistol, P320-M18 pistol, and M4A1 Carbines.”

To remain proficient, SRT practices marksmanship weekly by conducting range firing and team tactics. As they continue to train, the team members have adapted to work not only with a dynamic approach but also with a psychological one.

“The way we execute the mission at hand has drastically changed,” said Harned, “We still enter structures in a dynamic style, referring to kicking down doors, but we now take into account a psychological approach, to understand what the individual inside is thinking and what we can do to help them.”

SRT works on an emergency basis. When a threat is deemed too high risk for a patrolman, SRT receives a call to neutralize the subject. Their main goal is to contain, control, and dominate a threat psychologically or physically.

“My job is to protect and save lives,” said Cpl. Dylan Diamond, a team leader with SRT, H&S Battalion, MCIPAC. “Our job as a team is to protect all service members, Status of Forces Agreement Personnel, and local nationals on base. When we arrive at a site, we resolve the situation promptly, with minimal property damage.”

Diamond explained that he sees SRT continuing to move positively by adapting to the new situations and developing new tactics to protect bases across Okinawa further. Diamond explained that they will continue to grow and work as a team, furthering their goal to contain, control, and dominate a threat psychologically or physically.

By LCpl Jonathan Beauchamp, Marine Corps Installations Pacific

2nd MAW Marines Train Using Video Games

Friday, August 19th, 2022

CHERRY POINT, N.C. —

The tension in the room was palpable as the prototype of the Gaming Environment for Air Readiness system was booted. Program stakeholders loomed over the shoulders of anxious developers as the Marines of Marine Air Support Squadron 1 prepared their demonstration of the program. Unit leadership observed as the Marines worked through air-control scenarios while plotting points on their maps, giving commands to a simulated pilot programmed with artificial intelligence. The Marines who work in the Direct Air Support Center were training with only a desktop computer instead of using a large quantity of vehicles, gear, personnel, and time.

“The role of the DASC is to control airspace,” said 2nd Lt. Joseph B. Greer, an air-support control officer with MASS-1 who was testing the GEAR. “While aircraft are in that airspace, we’re the ones who are telling them where to go and how they will go, as in altitude or specified route. We can deconflict aircraft paths with other supporting arms, like artillery, just to make sure that everyone’s getting where they need to be safely.”

“I’ve been at MASS-1 for almost a year, and I think this could be really beneficial for newer Marines, myself included.’

LCpl Matthew R. Gignac, an MASS-1 air-support operations operator

Marines that work in the DASC have an important role in military exercises involving aircraft. Controlling the ebb and flow of airspaces requires ample and continuous training, which can often be challenging to implement and maintain.

“Just to train personnel takes a lot of equipment, a lot of time, and upwards of 60 Marines just to go out and do a live exercise,” said Kyle B. Tanyag, the lead software developer for the GEAR program. “I think [GEAR] would benefit the Marine Corps by allowing them to train without restricting them to just these live exercises.”

Electronically replicating a DASC is no easy feat, for many Marines are required to fill in the roles necessary to run the center. To supplement this, the GEAR features artificial intelligence characters to interact with the user.

“When I speak, there’s a speech-to-text feature that is sent to the AI,” said Greer. “From there, the AI picks out the critical pieces of information from what I spoke and discerns a proper response in order to simulate what a pilot would be saying to me.”

“We call it a rule-based AI system,” said Tanyag. “The student either text chats something or responds via voice. We take that and parse through what was said or typed. The AI takes that input, and given the context of those messages, is able to respond.”

Although still a prototype, the Marines of MASS-1 are optimistic about the potential impact the GEAR could have on training.

“I’ve been at MASS-1 for almost a year, and I think this could be really beneficial for newer Marines, myself included,” said Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Gignac, an air-support operations operator with MASS-1. “Doing it like this, in a way less stressful environment, makes it really good training. If it was more developed it could definitely help progress Marines.”

The Marines of MASS-1 will continue to test new versions to help determine if the GEAR can potentially augment or replace traditional on-the-job training in the future.

By LCpl Elias Pimentel, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

SCUBAPRO Sunday – First Submarine Commando Raid

Sunday, August 14th, 2022

On August 17, the USS Nautilus and USS Argonaut were off the coast of Makin Atoll in the pacific. They were carrying 221 Marine Raiders. The Raider’s objectives were to destroy the Japanese garrison and installations, take prisons so they could be interrogated, and finally, the Gilbert Islands must be reconnoitered. It was also meant to divert Japanese attention and reinforcements from the Allied amphibious invasions on Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

Even with two 100-meter super-subs, A and B Company could only fit 221 men, so they left without a platoon from each. Maj. James Roosevelt, the president’s 35-year-old son, was one of Carlson’s targets. After serving as FDR’s political consultant and covert diplomat, the young Roosevelt joined the Marines. As a Raider enthusiast, he convinced his father to let him join.

Raiders were stuffed inside vacant torpedo tubes during travel. Submarine ventilation techniques couldn’t prevent thin air and high temperatures. The boats would surface for ten minutes twice a day to let the Raiders exercise and breathe fresh air before ducking back into the Pacific to avoid air assault.

The two submarines surfaced outside Makin’s coral reef at midnight on August 16–17 to find turbulent conditions. The first two LCRL rubber boats sank in the surf. The remaining launches’ uninsulated 6-horsepower engines were flooded with seawater and failed to ignite. Carlson felt his two-pronged approach would be too difficult to accomplish in the inclement weather and ordered A and B company to land together. In the chaos, the boat carrying Lt. Oscar Peatross and 11 Raiders missed the orders and headed west.

Carlson’s Raiders landed about 5 AM after battling the waves for an hour, with some troops scattered but undetected. Carlson’s invention was to divide his squad into three fireteams, each with one rifleman with a semi-automatic M1 Garand for distance shooting, another with a Thompson submachinegun for close-range firepower, and a Browning Automatic Rifle gunner to give covering fire. Heavy armaments included.30 caliber light machine guns and.55 caliber Boys anti-tank rifles were requisitioned from the Canadian Army by Carlson.

On landing, a Raider unintentionally fired his BAR, ruining any chance for surprise. The garrison’s commander, Chief Petty Officer Kyuzaburou Kanemitsu, had been alert days earlier. His men deployed by bike and truck to fight the American invaders. Misadventures continued when the Raiders kidnapped a Japanese soldier but shot him when he escaped.

Carlson met Makin locals who spoke pidgin English. They were pleased to help the Americans and said 160 to 300 Japanese were on the island, and they were ready. The Raiders maintained their march until 6 AM when Lt. Le Francois’ scouts sighted Japanese forces dismounting from vehicles.

Le Francois ambushed his platoon in a breadfruit grove on high ground. Sgt. Clyde Thomason adjusted the men’s positions as Japanese skirmishers neared. When the Japanese got close, the marines opened fire, killing the closest attackers and exploding the truck’s engine with an anti-tank rifle.

The Japanese answer was fatal. Four Type 92 Lewis machine guns raked Raider positions, killing Sgt. Thomason and injuring Le Francois. Posthumously, Thomason became the first enlisted Marine to win the Medal of Honor. Camouflaged shooters killed Lt. Jerry Holtom and four radio operators among palm palms.

Carlson quickly added the 2nd Platoon, which lost nine men in 15 minutes, and B Company. Raider machine gunner Cpl. Leon Chapman fired 400 rounds into a Japanese machine gun nest at 200 meters. After inspecting the silenced weapon, Chapman “nearly threw up” when he discovered he had slain a dozen Japanese who had sacrificed themselves to man it.

Twelve of Peatross’ forces landed at the second landing zone and proceeded uncontested into the barracks and the defender’s command position. An isolated squad shot six astonished Japanese before being held down by an LMG crew. Pvt. Vernon Castle was struck multiple times as he advanced, but he threw a grenade and killed three before dying.

After that, Peatross’ marines fired a car speeding towards the command post, blew up a radio and a truck full of ammo, and retreated to the Nautilus, losing two more troops. In the chaos, they killed Kanimetsu, who destroyed confidential documents and conveyed the message, “We are dying defending the island.”

The Nautilus began bombarding Japanese positions with two dozen shells when Carlson learned from natives that hostile ships were in the lagoon. Unwilling to risk a shore battery’s fire, the Nautilus arced 65 6-inch shells into the lagoon. By luck, indirect fire sank two ships, igniting a transport and a patrol boat and mistaking a hostile plane for a bird, the submarine dove, ending naval gunfire support. The Japanese assaulted the Raiders, attempting to swarm them failed, and the assailants were all killed at close range. Undeterred, the bugle played again, and the Japanese launched a second suicide strike, wiping out Kanimetsu’s marine platoon. A few dozen survivors continued to shoot intermittently. Fearing more reinforcements, Carlson chose not to strike the Japanese position. At 1:30, air support arrived. Twelve Mitsubishi F1M floatplanes bombed and strafed the island for an hour, driving the Raiders fleeing but not inflicting any fatalities. Then an F1M and a Kawanishi flying boat landed in the lagoon. The Raiders fired machine guns and anti-tank rifles at the aircraft, setting it on fire. The seaplane with scores of men managed to land. The intensity of incoming fire must have given the pilot second thoughts as he taxied on the water and took off again before landing.

The colonel decided to withdraw to submarines at 7 PM as planned. When they returned to the ocean, his troops discovered their boats’ motors had stopped working, and the waves and weather made it difficult to paddle back to the submarines. Exhausted Raiders dropped their ineffective launch motors and spent five hours trying to force through severe waves, losing most of their weapons and supplies. Eleven of 18 boats reached the American subs. By nightfall, Carlson, Roosevelt, and 70 injured Raiders remained on Butaritari. Individual boats continued to battle the waves the following day, including one with Roosevelt onboard. A five-person crew led by Sergeant Allard volunteered to row back to the atoll with a rope the Raiders could use to board the submarine. A squadron of Japanese jets bombed the Nautilus halfway through its launch. The subs crash-dove, and the jets strafed the rescue squad, killing them. After reassessing the situation, Carlson opted to finish the mission on Makin. The Raiders scavenged Japanese weapons to replace those washed away and sabotaged a derelict seaplane facility while avoiding air assaults. They burned much of the facility and 1,000 aviation fuel drums. Carlson decided his forces had a greater chance of reaching the submarines from the lagoon because it had no shore armament.

He encouraged the Nautilus’s captain to enter the lagoon using a semaphore lamp and a dinner chat they had earlier. The Raiders paddled on a raft of three launches, two working outboard engines, and local canoes as outriggers. The Indians gave them a canoe and buried their dead in exchange for USMC combat knives. The new boat reached the submarines, and the Raiders set sail for home. Among the 17 wounded soldiers, four surgeries were performed on the submarine’s mess table. The injured soldiers all survived.

On August 27, Carlson’s Raiders returned to Pearl Harbor to a hero’s welcome. They reported 18 dead and 12 MIAs and killed 160 enemies. According to Japanese records, 46 base personnel and an undisclosed number on Japanese boats and planes died.

Marines Complete One of the Most Difficult Swim Qualifications the Marine Corps Offers

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022

MCAS FUTENMA, Japan —

Thirteen U.S. Marines stationed across Okinawa graduated from the Water Survival Advanced course at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma on July 22.

WSA is the highest swim qualification that Marines can obtain before becoming Marine Corps Instructors of Water Survival. Throughout the course, students endured aquatic conditioning, endurance swimming, and underwater rescue training.

Taught by six Marine Corps Instructors of Water Survival, each Marine endured a physically demanding week of eight-hour training days in the water. The training included endurance swimming, underwater training, and rescue techniques.

“These students went through a lot of aquatic conditioning, underwater confidence training exercises, and team building exercises,” said Sgt. Bryantruc Nguyen, a network administrator with Marine Air Control Squadron 4, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. “Underwater conditioning is extremely important, because it gives students a foundation before we transition them into making open water rescues. ”

Nguyen explained one of the most difficult parts for students was underwater conditioning. Events aimed toward underwater conditioning were usually conducted with only physical training shorts. The purpose of underwater training was to physically prepare students for tasks they would have to complete while making rescues.

 “As MCIWS we make this course difficult so we can fully trust trainees to make rescues and supervise future swim qualifications.”

Sgt. Bryantruc Nguyen, 1st MAW network administrator

He said that the students completed two sessions of rifle-ups, a main component of underwater confidence training. During rifle-ups students would drop their rifles in the deep end. Once the rifles were at the bottom, they would dive down to retrieve their rifles and stay underwater until instructed to return to the surface. Instructors increased the time spent underwater after every succeeding repetition of rifle-ups. During this iteration of the course, underwater training forced a handful of students to exit the pool due to the difficulty of the task

“Students also struggled with Marine Corps rescues because they were forced to make open water rescues in their full combat utility uniform without panicking,” said Nguyen. “As MCIWS we make this course difficult so we can fully trust trainees to make rescues and supervise future swim qualifications.”

Per Marine Corps Order 1500.52D, the intention of swim qualification courses is to ensure that each Marine meets the expectation of being “amphibious by nature.” This requires Marines to be prepared if they ever need to make a rescue while on active duty.

“Swimming in combat utility uniforms was my weakness. I was a distance swimmer in high school, but I never swam in full gear,” said Lance Cpl. Tyge Watts, a motor vehicle operator with 3rd Transportation Battalion, 3rd Marine Logistics Group. “That’s a big obstacle you have to face, because it disrupts your form, and you have to go back and focus on the basics of swimming.”

In conjunction with underwater conditioning, students completed Marine Corps rescues and endurance swims. During the Marine Corps rescues, students underwent four different scenarios for rescuing a thrashing victim and properly escorting them out of the water in their full utility kit.

Watts explained that the 1500-meter swim and Marine Corps rescues in full uniform were the most difficult challenges for him. Everyday, students swam up to a mile, performed timed conditioning swims every day and focused on different swimming techniques that helped them maneuver comfortably in the water in their full kits.

Nguyen explained that this iteration of the WSA course saw 12 out of 21 students successfully graduate at the end of the course. The average dropout rate for each cycle is around 75 to 85 percent due to the intense physical demand to complete the course.

“WSA is definitely not a course for everyone, it’s a very big jump from the intermediate swim qualification course,” stated Nguyen. “It’s definitely a great course, but only a select few can say that they are advanced swim qualified.”

Marine Corps Installations Pacific

Combat Artist Illustrated Marine Raiders

Friday, July 29th, 2022

CAMP LEJEUNE, NC —

It was a hot day at Camp Lejeune while a Marine Special Operations Company conducted a portion of their pre-deployment readiness exercise. In the distance, Marine Raiders conduct a gear check as they prepare for the next segment of their training. In the foreground sat Capt. Charles J. Bauman and to his left, Capt. Michael Reynolds, as both expertly maneuver their choice of drawing tools across their sketch pads, illustrating the story unfolding right before them.

Capt. Charles Baumann, a designated combat artist and logistics officer with Marine Wing Support Squadron 271, and Capt. Michael Reynolds, ammunition officer with Marine Forces Special Operations Command, document a pre-deployment culminating exercise while attached to a Marine Special Operations Company, June 13-16, 2022.

“The purpose of the [Marine Corps Combat Art Program] is to document Marine Corps operations via illustration for historical documentation,” explained Baumann. “I hope to contribute to the collections of work archived in the [National Museum of the Marine Corps] and provide a slightly different perspective to viewing the recorded history of the Marine Corps. I hope that in 10, 20, 50 years my artwork can be used to help tell the story of the Corps while I was in service.”

“The purpose of the Marine Corps Combat Art Program is to document Marine Corps operations via illustration for historical documentation.”

Capt. Charles Baumann, Designated combat artist and logistics officer

Baumann, initially, was not aware of the Marine Corps Combat Art Program. Once he became aware of the program, he reached out to retired Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael D. Fay who was the last activated reserve combat artist during the early Iraq War years who then introduced him to retired Col. Craig H. Streeter, also a combat artist. Streeter then introduced Baumann to the NMMC’s director, deputy director and art curator, who encouraged him to submit a portfolio of artwork. They deemed Baumann’s artwork skilled enough to bring him into the program and he attained the free military occupational specialty of combat artist.

Combat artist is a free military occupational specialty that can be filled by any Marine regardless of primary MOS in addition to their regular duties. They illustrate military operations on behalf the Marine Corps’ historical collection efforts as their schedule allows and is intended to capture military operations from an organic point of view.

“Once I realized I could combine my passion [and] skill for art and my calling to serve in the USMC, I was immediately inspired to see my military experience as medium to be illustrated,” said Baumann. “My initial body of work that was submitted as a portfolio was praised by people I respected and admired as veteran artists, which had a huge impact on my self-confidence and determination to develop my skill.”

Reynolds is currently applying to join Baumann as a combat artist for the Marine Corps Combat Art Program.

“I can directly attribute my desire to become a combat artist to the influence of Marine Corps Combat Artists like Capt. Baumann and former Staff Sgt. Elize Mcelvey,” said Reynolds. “Just as in marksmanship, if you have the foundational understanding of what is supposed to happen and have the ability to receive and grow from constructive criticism, you can consistently get better with more practical application.”

“Just as in marksmanship, if you have the foundational understanding of what is supposed to happen and have the ability to receive and grow from constructive criticism, you can consistently get better with more practical application.”

Capt. Michael Reynolds, Ammunition officer

Baumann was coached early on by Fay, Streeter and Richard Johnson, a civilian field illustrator, to draw from observation and life-to-life experiences. Once he grasped the concept of illustrating by direct observation, new opportunities came with the confidence to draw what he observed in person. He now keeps a sketch pad and camera on hand for any opportunities that may arise worth illustrating.

“I hope my art is able to connect with the viewer in an emotional and personal way,” expressed Baumann. “I want my civilian audience to gain an appreciation for the details of what it means to serve in the military. I feel like I can provide an insider perspective as both the illustrator and active-duty service member.”

Reynolds shares what he hopes to accomplish with his art.

“When observing artwork by former Marine Corps combat artists like retired Chief Warrant Officer Mike Fay, I’m brought back into the scene I’m looking at,” said Reynolds. “I recall the smell of JP8, the feel of moondust beneath my boots, and the sounds of the rumbling engine of the Humvee in the distance. It’s that level of connection that I am to achieve in hopes that someday, someone can recall and connect with what I’ve illustrated to tell a story using non-verbal communication.”

The NMMC is currently taking applications from artistically talented Marines to serve as combat artists. For more information on the program and how to apply, refer to MARADMIN 267/22.

Sgt Jesula Jeanlouis, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

SCUBAPRO SUNDAY – The Real USMC Birthday

Sunday, July 10th, 2022

It’s a fact that most Marines are probably unaware of but a fact nonetheless, according to the Marine Corps History Division, which records the service’s official institutional and operational history.

The Second Continental Congress passed a resolution establishing two Continental Marines battalions on November 10, 1775, which the Corps now celebrates as its official birthday, marking 247 years of existence.

But as the History Division notes in its Brief History of the United States Marine Corps, the Continental Marine Corps was disbanded after the Revolutionary War “for reasons of the economy” in 1783 and ceased to exist for the next 15 years.

“The government auctioned off warships, and the Continental Marines ceased to exist,” military historian Chester Hearn told The Camp Pendleton Patch. “Major Samuel Nicholas, the first Marine officer, returned to his former occupation as owner of Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.”

It wasn’t until July 11, 1798, that Congress established a service known as the United States Marine Corps under the command of the Navy. The act passed by the 5th Congress and signed into law by President John Adams created the nearly 900-man strong Marine Corps, which consisted of one major, four captains, 28 lieutenants, about 100 sergeants, and corporals, and more than 700 privates.

And for the next 123 years, the Marine Corps recognized its birthday as July 11. As the History Division notes, “an unidentified newspaper clipping from 1918 refers to the celebration of the 120th birthday of the Marine Corps on July 11 ‘as usual with no fuss.'”

Then, in 1921, the good idea fairy caught the attention of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. John A. Lejeune, and suggested the service celebrate its earlier birthdate despite that 15-year gap. From the History Division:On October 21, 1921, Maj Edwin McClellan, Officer-in-Charge, Historical Section, Headquarters Marine Corps, sent a memorandum to Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune, suggesting the actual birthday on November 10, 1775, be declared a Marine Corps holiday to be celebrated throughout the Corps. Maj McClellan further suggested that a dinner be held in Washington D.C. to commemorate the event. Guests would include prominent men from the Marine Corps, Army, and Navy, and descendants of the Revolution.

Accordingly, on November 1, 1921, Maj Gen Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921. The order summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the Corps and directed that it be read to every command on November 10 each subsequent year in honor of the birthday of the Marine Corps. This order has been duly carried out.

Hey, look on the bright side: now you can get drunk and celebrate the birth of the Marine Corps twice a year. So, Semper Fidelis and Happy Early birthday!