Thursday, November 25, 2010
The general in charge of training and equipping Marines for the future fight said Nov. 16 that it is still unclear how infantry units will need to adjust to replace their light machine guns with the service's new automatic rifle.
Lt. Gen. George Flynn, who heads the Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, told reporters at a Washington, D.C. breakfast that the service plans to finish outfitting five battalions with the new M-27 Infantry Automatic Rifle next month and then will observe how those Marines use it on deployment before changing the organization, training, and tactics of infantry units around the new weapon.
But Flynn pushed back at critics of the M-27, saying the improved accuracy of the Heckler and Koch-made automatic rifle makes up for a lower rate of fire compared to the M-249 Squad Automatic Weapon it's being fielded to replace.
"The initial feedback was that the IAR performed pretty well," Flynn said of early evaluations of the M-27. "Accuracy has a suppressive power all by itself."
Yawn. Yeah. Sure. Accuracy is important. So is busting away bushes, soft barricades, and anything else that accomplishes the PRIMARY mission of a full-auto squad weapon, which is to stop the other guys from taking potshots at you while your guys maneuver to take them out. Ambush scenarios are a totally different story. Then, you want to ground as many of the bad guys as possible before they take flight or worse, take aim.
Bottom line is the fact that one full-auto weapon will not do everything. Eventually, even the Generals will figure that out. Oh and one other thing; the chicoms and russkies have been happy with their AK's for decades not only because they're cheap to keep. No one in his right mind selects a varmint round to go to war with, and while I hate 'em, our enemies are not insane.