Fellas....thanks for the thoughtful comments and I'm glad to add some info to the mystical M995 round. I'll keep my eyes open for the new 5.56mm, 62gr round that is supposed to replace our beloved Green Tip. I believe their are 2.5million rounds in theater now being tested for its "anti-flash" type powder and terminal ballistics.
Slightly O/T but here are the wave tops and is also my initial personal assesment after being on the deck the first 30 days. Sorry for the shotgun blast of info. Bottom line, The PEOPLE are the center of gravity. If we win them, we win the war. We can't kill enough "Taliban" to win the war. It's not going to happen. We NEED the people. This is not Iraq. The Marines are doing some great work over here and performing magnificently with what we have to work with. It's difficult to partner with a country that is 300-400 years behind us in technology and holding a different ideology, but I don't blame them. "You don't know, what you don't know."
Right now is a pivotal point in time....almost in limbo. The country is tetering and it is the time we stay even more vigilant. We are fighting a couple of different type of "Taliban." The first, are the "hard liners." These are the guys that fight and die to the death if you can trap them. They usually come and go from AO to AO, living off the people. Never spending too much time in once place for obvious reasons. They are also the type to hire most of their dirty work to be done by the other type of Taliban I'll talk about in a bit. These guys are also the type to hire smart, local guys to build and emplace IEDs. Each AO has their own IED "head honcho" if you will. The guy that makes them, but not necessarily emplaces the IEDs. The other type of "Taliban" is the "part time" or local fighter. He doesn't necessarily give a shit which side wins, he just wants to survive day to day and make a few extra bucks, or not wake up with his throat cut by the 1st type of Taliban I spoke of earlier. These are the guys we usually kill on a day to day basis. These are the low hang'n fruit if you will...that either emplace the IEDs, or are pulling the triggers in the daily small arms engagements. I could go into further details..but I'm sure you guys get the picture.
As far as weapons, ammo and gear goes....we have top notch stuff, almost too much. We aren't hurting for much. It's all here in theater....it's just getting it from point A to point B and into the right hands (is the difficult part) due to the IED threat. "They" own the roads in AO South (Helmand Province) for sure. We can't freely drive on them without the constant threat of IEDs. The men are happy with the M4/A4 series of weapons. Our Bn is equipped about 1/2 and 1/2 of both M4a3/a4 rifles. Our Snipers are shooting the M40A5 (7.62) and we also have the KAC Mk11/12. We use the MK262 round in the Mk12 exclusively. Of course the .50cal SASR is here too.
99% of the ammo we are issued is M855 and the guys are happy with it and it's capabilities or just don't know the difference. I have not heard of, or seen any bad guys getting up off the ground after taking a round of M855...but I will keep my ears open. The round is doing it's job contrary to what you hear around the internet. Most Marines can shoot their asses off....but don't really understand "what" they are shooting out the end of their muzzles. They don't need to. They just need to be able to put steel on steel so to speak. Most Marines are not "Gun Guys".....so don't take interest in this stuff like we here on the ammo forum do.
The Marines are carrying a combat load of 180-210 rnds on their body...with extra ammo in the vehicles if needed. All of our rifles have RCO's mounted and most are running the Matech BUIS as issued. The PEQ16A's and the issued GRIP POD are also mounted on almost every rifle in the Bn. As far as PPE....we wear the MTV or Scalable Plate Carrier...depending on mission of the day.
I need to rap up...and I don't want Zhuk to thump me on the head....so if you all have any other questions related to any crap I've mentioned....feel free to IM me.