Marines test infantry battalion using silenced weapons
In a series of experiments this year, units from 2nd Marine Division will be silencing every element of an infantry battalion -- from M4 rifles to .50 caliber machine guns.The SEALs use silencers on their weapons. It makes it easier for the troops to communicate and it also makes it more difficult for the enemy to spot the shooters. The Marines think it will enhance command and control. This looks like a concept that could be used Corps on a larger scale. It has the potential to change how firefights develop.
The commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, Maj. Gen. John Love, described these plans during a speech to Marines at the Marine Corps Association Ground Dinner this month near Washington, D.C.
The proof-of-concept tests, he said, included Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines, which began an Integrated Training Exercise pre-deployment last month at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms.
"What we've found so far is it revolutionizes the way we fight," Love told Military.com. "It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn't really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons. Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control and effectively direct those fires."
Chief Warrant Officer 5 Christian Wade, the division's gunner, or infantry weapons officer, said the Lima companies in two other battalions -- 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, and 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines -- now had silencers, or suppressors, on all their rifles, including the M27 infantry automatic rifles. All units are set to deploy in coming months. The combat engineer platoons that are attached to these units and will deploy with them will also carry suppressed weapons, he said.