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Maneuver Battle Lab tests new mortar system

The Army wants to decrease the weight Soldiers carry on missions, and Fort Benning's Maneuver Battle Lab is part of the effort. Last week, 10 Soldiers evaluated a lightweight base plate being developed for the M224 Lightweight Company Mortar System during a series of live-fire, static and movement exercises at McKenna Urban Operations Complex, Fergusson and Buckner ranges. The current M8 base plate limits the direction and distance a mortar can be fired, said Rusty Schulten, a project officer for MBL's Soldier Team, and Soldiers still have to carry the M7 base plate - weighing more than

The Center for Army Lessons Learned publishes Agribusiness Development Teams Handbook

The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas has just released CALL publication 10-10, Agribusiness Development Teams (ADT) in Afghanistan Handbook. This handbook is a product of the National Guard Agribusiness Development Team Coordination Office with input from current and previously deployed Agriculture Development Teams (ADTs). Agriculture accounts for 45 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product and is the main source of income for the Afghan economy. Over 80 percent of the Afghan population is involved in farming, herding, or both.

HIMARS Shoots High For Award

The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System is a repeat award winner. This precision strike weapons system, assigned to fire brigades supporting brigade combat teams, is the only two-time recipient of the Secretary of Defense Performance-Based Logistics award. The award recognizes government and industry teams providing war fighters with exceptional operational capability through PBL agreements. "This is the second time our team has been rewarded for a really good job of supplying fielded capabilities," said Col.

Improved magazine increases weapons reliability

The Army has begun fielding a new 5.56mm 30-round "improved magazine" that delivers a significant increase in reliability for M-16 and M-4 weapons. Bolstering the already high reliability ratings of the M-16 and M-4, the improved magazine reduces the risk of magazine-related stoppages by more than 50 percent compared to the older magazine variants, according to officials at Program Executive Office Soldier. Identified by a tan-colored follower, more than 500,000 of the improved magazines have been fielded to units in Iraq, Afghanistan and the United States. "With the improved magazine

Japan-U.S. Military Exercise Improves Readiness

CAMP HIGASHI-CHITOSE, Japan-On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan mutual defense treaty, U.S. and Japanese forces have successfully concluded a major exercise here on Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. Yama Sakura, an annual joint and combined full-spectrum training exercise, this year involved 1,500 U.S. service members and 3,500 members of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. Its focus was the refinement of bilateral planning, coordination, and interoperability. "This exercise proves the strength of the long-standing relationship between the U.S.

Live-fire demo showcases future weapons

The Small Arms Branch of the Soldier Requirements Division rolled out more than 30 weapon systems - including pistols, rifles, sniper weapons, machine guns and grenade launchers - for a special live-fire demonstration Tuesday at Red Cloud Range. The weapons, including new sniper technology, weapons upgrades and an air burst rifle prototype, represent 60 percent of the Army's small arms strategy, said Lt. Col. Thomas Henthorn, chief of the small arms branch. The demonstration was to familiarize Maj. Gen.

Mustang Squadron Trains 'Light'

Vanguard Brigade Soldiers are continuing to train as a lighter fighting force - fulfilling the Army's need for a light infantry brigade combat team, and serving as the only one of its kind in the 3rd Infantry Division.

Corps of Engineers builds radar stations on Georgia's Black Sea Coast

In January 2010, the last of three U.S.-funded radar stations on the Black Sea coast of Georgia will open, marking the completion of a significant international assistance program. The radar stations will help a key U.S. ally protect its maritime borders, said James Kelly, chief of party for the U.S.

Commander Discusses Exercise in Africa

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9, 2009 – The largest U.S. Defense Department-sponsored exercise in Africa this year yielded many important lessons, the commander of U.S. Army Africa said yesterday.  Army Maj. Gen. William B.