MARCORSYSCOM issued an RFI on February 10, 2017, a “Request for Information M67854-17-I-1218 For Marine Corps Systems Command (MARCORSYSCOM), Quantico, VA Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR)”. At this point, the federal government is seeking information through an initiation of market research under Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) Part 10; and has not begun the Request for Proposal (RFP). But the first step has been taken in the acquisition process for new equipment.
Last year, a Marine Infantry Battalion was issued with IARs instead of M4s and was hailed a success. The Integrated Task Force Marines used the equipment while training at Camp Lejeune and was written about by the Corps:
Before Marines transitioned to automatic fire, they were required to zero the IAR with both back up iron sights (BUIS) and with the squad day optic (SDO) in order to ensure they could accurately engage targets at known distances. Additionally, special emphasis was made to ensure that the Marines understood that 90 percent of the time in combat, the automatic-rifleman functions as a regular rifleman until circumstances dictate that he must transition to the AR role, i.e. full automatic fire in support of the squad’s tactical movement.
“For the majority of the Marines, this is probably their first time shooting the IAR,” said Cpl. Joshua T. Long, rifleman, 2nd Platoon, Company A, GCEITF. “Everything is coming really quickly at you, so you want to make sure that you’re tight in, you have a good stable platform, and that you’re applying all the fundamentals and using them properly.”
Once the Marines transitioned to the field firing training tasks, they engaged targets at known distances from the standing, kneeling and prone positions. Long said this IAR course of fire better allowed the Marines to get comfortable with the unique role of the weapon system.
“In the standing if you’re just transitioning, you’re just aiming at the other target, same with the kneeling – it is much easier,” said Long. “But when you’re in the prone, you need to shift your body so you’re still getting that good, stable platform behind you once your body is fully lined up. The weapon is an extension of your body, so you’re just going to be shifting your whole body instead of just throwing the weapon around.”
Conducting live-fire training with the IAR helps Marines familiarize themselves with not only the mechanical skills needed to properly employ the weapon system, but it drives home the unique way the IAR helps set the conditions for team and squad tactical movement against the enemy. In between courses of fire, Marines conducted relevant concurrent training to ensure they were exposed to all functional and doctrinal aspects of the IAR and the unique role it serves in the 13-man rifle squad.
“In order to get my Marines to the level they need to be at, they need to not only know how to operate the weapon mechanically, but also the doctrinal, conceptual application of the weapon system and how it fits into a fire team, and how we use it and employ it in order to locate, close with and destroy the enemy,” said Sgt. Christopher J. Leonard, squad leader with 3rd Platoon, Company A, GCEITF.
The purpose of the IAR live-fire event and past training exercises is to not only successfully prepare the Marines for their assessment that will take place at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, but to drive home the applicable automatic rifleman tenets that will continue to ensure the continuing success of the rifle squad in combat.
“All these Marines, when we get to California, are going to spend time in every single billet in a fire team from fire team leader, automatic rifleman, grenadier, and as a rifleman they will have to employ every weapon that a (Table of Organization-complete) squad has organic to them,” said Leonard. “They will have to understand each weapon system and their roles and billets inside a fire team.”
From October 2014 to July 2015, the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force will conduct individual and collective skills training in designated ground combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate a standards based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks.
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I read that, two, three times, just so I could understand what the hell the writer, or the ‘sergeant’ being interviewed. And I’m not sure what the hell was written, or said. Maybe I need a college degree. I never heard any of my sergeants speak like that, neither did I talk that way when I was a fire-team, squad or platoon sergeant. What I THINK I heard them say is they’re thinkin’ about getting this other rifle that another Battalion has already tested. There was the corporal who, I think, said you gotta ‘learn’ how to get the weapon locked into you (putting it up to your shoulder) and gettin’ right in the prone (layin’ on the ground) position so you can shoot the thing right and it doesn’t kick your ass or you miss everything. And I heard, I think, that everyone from a rifleman, machine gunner (M-60 shooter in my day) and everyone else needed to learn it. Well, hell, of course everyone should But what do through all that fancy-pants talk about it. You almost wonder what happened to the ‘real’ Marines who talked like regular grunts? Are these guys for real, or actors? Young, Sgt 1st Marines ’69-72
This just seems like a souped up M16A1! All of our weapons had full auto until the “three round burst” came about.
A thought the SAW(M249) was the squad/fire-team organic auto-matic weapon?
Gents I was a crew chief on CH 53s. 83-91. Then reserves with 3/24 was co. Where they made me a machine gunner. Been around lots of Marines, ain’t never heard anyone talk like these guys. I agree with 1st comment. Semper Fi
The verbiage used come out of public Relation and those dealing with the manuel not a basic 0311.
What o didnt get eas the article saod every one ws to get tje new eeapon but the tacyicle training sound like 1in 4 (fire team) and 3 in a squad.
But if if ot yp replave the m4 wouldnt it be basic weapon for all amd in a fore team 3 of 4 tactically
Old 0311 still liked the 14 over 16