U.S. Army Dual Arms Combat units

U.S. Army weapons officials today explained the service’s recent decision to dual-arm more soldiers in combat units with the service’s new Modular Handgun System (MHS) in addition to the M4 carbine. Last month, soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky became the first Army unit to receive the MHS, which comes in two versions —the M17 and M18.

The MHS is designed to provide soldiers with more of an offensive weapon than the Cold-War era M9 pistol it is replacing, The Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning searched for weapon system that did not require development and offered more offensive capability to those in close combat with the enemy.

Initially, the MHS will be issued to squad leaders and team leaders to carry along with their M4 carbines. In the past, these junior leaders have not typically carried sidearms. Close combat often involves maneuver into tight spaces where a pistol is more effective. Dual arming the pistol down to the team leader level will introduce the MHS into the squad. The Army will regularly reassess the fielding plan.

 

National Army Museum Store

The Army Historical Foundation has launched the National Museum of the United States Army’s online museum store, which includes apparel, souvenirs and a line of exclusive National Army Museum products. The museum is under construction and due to open in late 2019 on Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The store can be reached through the foundation’s website at http://www.armyhistory.org.

 

Vietnam Vets to Honor UH-1 Crews

Kent Vietnam Veterans to Honor
Vietnam Dustoff Association Crews Who Saved Them
Published July 17, 2017 | By LMcCloskey
Joe Start, Vietnam Veteran

“That others may live,” was the slogan of the UH-1 Dustoff helicopter crews who flew into firefights to rescue the wounded in Vietnam. That slogan and heroism have been passed down to today’s medical evacuation crews who serve in harm’s way across the globe.

The Vietnam Dustoff Association is coming to Dover for their September 21-23 national convention. They will be hosted by Kent County Chapter 850, Vietnam Veterans of America.

They have special meaning to Joe Startt Jr., Chapter 850 president, who will never forget his own life-saving ride after being wounded in Vietnam in 1969.

“I remember being told to hold on, help was on the way. In less than 15 minutes the ‘whop, whop, whop’ was like an angel’s voice telling me I’d survive. The UH-1 Huey on display at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park serves as an ongoing reminder of their heroism,” he said.

Paul Davis, vice president of Chapter 850, worked for two years with the federal government and even the White House to secure the helicopter. That was followed by a road trip caravan to Florida by Joe Startt and other members of the chapter to pick it up with the help of a trucking company sympathetic to veterans.
One of the highlights will be a Friday, September 22, 7 p.m., dinner hosted by the chapter at the Modern Maturity Center and followed by several events the next day.

Saturday’s agenda will include a special 10 a.m. ceremony at the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on S. Little Creek Road in Dover where crew members will be honored, followed by lunch at the Dover AFB dining facility where the Dustoff crews with be greeted by representatives of the 436th Airlift wing and some of the today’s airmen. A special tour of the AMC Museum will follow.

“These men, several thousand of whom paid the ultimate price saving lives in Vietnam,” are our brothers who traded their tomorrow for our today,” said Mr. Startt. “We will always honor and revere them.”

The $35-a-plate dinner will be open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. The cutoff date is September 15. “Sponsorships are also available to help with the costs of honoring these heroes,” said Paul Davis, VVA State Council president. For tickets or sponsorship opportunities, call 302-697-8384 or email pauldavis5322@comcast.net.

Why Cyber Matters

 

“The opening shots of a large-scale conflict are likely to begin with cyber,” acting Secretary of the Army Robert Speer told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Our emphasis is on defense for the Army,” he said, noting that protecting the network and protecting the ability to operate with degraded information or a complete shutdown of communication and data lines is important.

What to watch: Tactical units cycling through the National Training Center are being exposed to cyberattacks so they can learn to operate with limited contact to higher headquarters and adjacent units.

Surprise Victory in 1776

On May 23, 1776 at Sag Harbor, New York, Patriot troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel R. Jonathan Meigs captured several British vessels and burned tons of Redcoat supplies.

With the help of two local men, Meigs and his Connecticut raiders grabbed the British garrison commander from his bed in the wee hours of the morning, firing only one gunshot. Instead of guns, the Patriots used bayonets to capture the British fort, successfully avoiding announcing their presence with gunfire.

With six Redcoats dead and 53 captive from their success on land, the Patriots moved from the hilltop fort towards the harbor. The British ships anchored there eventually noticed the body of men in long boats moving towards them and opened fire. The Patriots, though, went on to burn 24 British ships and their cargoes of hay, rum, grain and other merchandise. With an additional 37 prisoners in custody, the 170 Yankee raiders returned to Connecticut without having lost a single man in their party.

The Sag Harbor ambush was the only successful Patriot attack on Long Island between the British takeover in 1776 and their departure following the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

Army prepares a needs list

In anticipation of Congress and the Trump administration boosting defense spending, Army leaders have created funding wish lists that focus on troops, modernization and delayed installation maintenance.

The lists, totaling $8.2 billion for 2017 and $18.3 billion for 2018, reflect unfunded priorities aimed at both near- and long-term readiness.

For 2017, the Army’s request includes $2.5 billion for aviation programs, $1.8 billion for armored vehicles, $1.3 billion for air defense, $500 million for command and control, $500 million for installation maintenance and operations, and $100 million for test and evaluation.

For 2018, the Army seeks $7 billion to cover the cost of higher troop end strength plus $2.5 billion for aviation, $2.5 billion for armored vehicles. $1 billion for air defense, $800 million for Stryker vehicle improvements, $800 million for installation maintenance and operations, $500 million for command and control, $300 million for soldier equipment, and $200 million for test and evaluation.

The list of unfunded priorities was prepared after President Donald Trump charged Defense Secretary James Mattis with conducting a 30-day review to assess readiness conditions including training, equipment maintenance, munitions, modernization and infrastructure. That information will be used to draft an amendment to the 2017 budget, and to help form the 2018 budget.

Separately, President Trump has directed reviews of the U.S. nuclear posture and ballistic missile defense capabilities.

Retired CSM Elected to Congress

A retired Minnesota Army National Guard Command Sergeant Major, the highest-ranking enlisted soldier ever elected to Congress, has become ranking Democrat on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  Rep. Tim Walz, first elected to Congress in 2006, also serves on the House Armed Services Committee and is co-chairman of the House National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus.

He was elected by fellow Democrats to be the senior member of their party on the veterans’ panel. Walz joins fellow Army veteran Rep. Phil Roe, a Tennessee Republican and former military doctor, in leading the veterans’ committee in the 115th Congress that convened Jan. 3.

Among Walz’s legislative achievements is a provision of a 2016 bill changing the legal definition of “veteran” to include Guard and Reserve members who served 20 years of military service but were never called to federal active duty. “Guard and Reserve members make many of the same sacrifices as those in regular service, and their commitment should be recognized,” Walz said as the bill was signed into law in December.“Recognizing Guard-Reserve retirees as veterans is a small but important step we can take to honor their great service to our country.”