US Marines Hunt Sangin Sniper

The town of Sangin is best known as the southern epicenter of the Afghanistan opium trade. Today, however, the Pashtun town of 14,000 captured a headline at the Wall Street Journal (Sniper in Afghan Town Puts Marines on Edge) for another reason: an insurgent sniper that the US Marine Corps wants dead. So far, the Sangin Sniper and an accomplice are responsible for two dead (one British and one American) and three wounded. Some of the shots were spectacular . . .

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The town of Sangin is best known as the southern epicenter of the Afghanistan opium trade. Today, however, the Pashtun town of 14,000 captured a headline at the Wall Street…

Marines Mount Mini-Gun on MV-22 Tilt Rotor Transports


After a decade of dithering, the U.S. Marines are equipping two tilt-rotor transport aircraft bound for Afghanistan with the GAU-2B machine-gun. Strategypage.com reports that the Marines will retro-fit the guns to the rest of their Afghan-based fleet of MV-22 aircraft. Just in case you have no idea what this all means—save the fact that this is another sign that the U.S. military are relying on overwhelming force to defeat the Taliban—here’s some tech talk to keep you distracted. “The GAU-2B is a remote control turret using a six-barrel 7.62mm machine-gun. This system has a rate of fire of 3,000 rounds per minute (50 per second), and max range of 1,500 meters. The system weighs a few hundred pounds and includes 4,000 rounds of ammo.” But don’t worry that the Marines are getting too feisty with it. “The machine-gun turret is mainly there for protection from local threats, not for turning the V-22 into an assault aircraft. The marines also plan to mount an M-2 12.7mm machine-gun on the rear ramp as well.” To paraphrase Winston Churchill, if you’re going in that direction, keep going.

After a decade of dithering, the U.S. Marines are equipping two tilt-rotor transport aircraft bound for Afghanistan with the GAU-2B machine-gun. Strategypage.com reports that the Marines will retro-fit the guns…

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