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Thread: So, what about them marine infantry squads?

  1. #1
    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    So, what about them marine infantry squads?

    According to sporadic coverage on TFB and Task and Purpose, the Marine Gazette (which I can no longer access due to it being a members-only archived story), the USMC is apparently giving a serious look into 15-marine squads.

    A squad will consist of three four-men fireteams, including two assault teams and one fire support team, plus a three-men command team. Some or all team leaders tot M4A1s, while the remainder are armed with HK416-variants, including the M27 infantry automatic rifles, a few marksman's rifles and one M249 LMG, sprinkled with under-slung grenade launchers, with Suppressors all around. I recall the fire support team humps a Karl Gustav and maybe LAW or AT4s. Plus a UAV and a counter-UAV system, and a radio.

    This really looks a bit like a WWI rifle section and quite a bit lighter on automatic suppressive firepower vs traditional infantry layouts. My uneducated guess is that they anticipate a lot of close quarters battle where marines would fight as assaulters, that deficits in volume of fire would be made up for by vehicle-mounted .50 cal HMGs, and that they deem 16-inch barrel is a decent enough solution for both close in work and fights out to 400m and beyond.

    Would that actually work?
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    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    They've been talking about changing the basic 13-Marine rifle squad for the last 20-30 years, but all talk has been reducing the number of Marines in the squad. Can't see them going bigger due to manpower constraints. The Assault Squad has always been part of weapons platoon and they'd be farmed out as required - was nice as they could be concentrated easily to focus power at the critical spot.

    Never rely on vehicles for fire support, there's always some terrain that keeps them from showing. Or there late. Or broken down on the side of the road.

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    Senior Contributor Triple C's Avatar
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    Anyone know is there going to be a phase out of M249 on the squad level?
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    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple C View Post
    Anyone know is there going to be a phase out of M249 on the squad level?
    I believe the plan is to replace all the M249s with M27s. The SAWs are just worn out. See this Mil.com article for more on the M27 and it's fielding within the USMC:
    https://www.military.com/kitup/2018/...ne-grunts.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCT View Post
    I believe the plan is to replace all the M249s with M27s. The SAWs are just worn out. See this Mil.com article for more on the M27 and it's fielding within the USMC:
    https://www.military.com/kitup/2018/...ne-grunts.html
    The M27 seems so different from the 249. How can one replace the other?

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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    The M27 seems so different from the 249. How can one replace the other?
    Automatic Rifleman is a position.

    It started with 1 member of each fire team equipped with the BAR, then the M14A1 (a selective fire variant). When the M-16/M-16A1 came out one member of each fire team was issued a bipod and 4 extra magazines and served as the autoriflemen....other members of the team shot on semiauto.

    With the advent of the M249 SAW the M16A2 went to the 3 round burst option.

    The M27 is much more accurate than the M249. The Marines believe well aimed, accurate fire is a better suppressor than an inaccurate high volume of fire.
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    Military Professional JCT's Avatar
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    Yes, much more accurate, plus the lower ammo consumption simplifies logistics to a point.

    But the amount of fire the SAWs could lay down was impressive. Employed as a base of fire, it could put a lot of lead down range in support of your attack. Unfortunately, the other two squads were slowed by the SAW in their fireteams. So good with the bad, but probably too much with our already overloaded infantry burden.

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