For many of us from the conventional side of the military (or who never served at all) the FN Scar tends to carry with it a certain appeal. As a rifle designed specifically for Special Operations troops (SCAR actually stands for Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle), it’s hard not to look at the jagged angles of the rifle and bulky 7.62×51 magazines with a sense of envy. There we were carrying around our M4s (or often in my era, M16 A4s) chambered solely in 5.56, baby faced and feeling awfully standard issue, when a group of Special Operations bubbas came strolling by with slung SCARs and the sort of beards that could intimidate a bear. In our minds, everything about that life just seemed better. Better training, better grooming standards, and of course, better guns.
On November 2018, a Ranger was killed during a raid against al-Qaida fighters in Afghanistan. Sergeant Leandro Jasso, a team leader serving at the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, was mortally wounded during room-clearing operations in the Kash Rod district, Nimruz province.
People are always asking, “What do I need to do to become a Navy SEAL?” Or they say, “Those Rangers are all psychos and mindless killing machines; that’s not for me.” Or, perhaps someone thinks they have what it takes, physically, to be a Special Forces soldier, but they don’t know if they have the necessary mental intangibles, so they doubt themselves and their ability to pass the Q Course.
I, much like the next Joe, am curious what the next workout fad will be. If I were to summarize the “exercise fad industry,” I would describe it as the constant search for the next set of flashing lights and ringing bells that will entertain us long enough to “get into shape.” The definition of what it is to be in shape is as broad as the Mississippi River is wide, rife with rationalizations and bursting with excuses why we fail to attain it.
Throughout nearly two full decades of combat, the special operations community has seen a dramatic shift in employment and operational tempo. Unlike in traditional wars, where special operations troops might be reserved for very specific mission parameters, the War on Terror has brought with it unique challenges that America’s Special Operations war fighters are uniquely suited to face. Complex environments, complex relationships with locals, and high risk mission sets all conspire on the battlefields of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and even Africa to place SOCOM troops consistently at the forefront of the fight.
Phil Campion is a veteran of military operations in just about every conflict-prone corner of the world. He served with the Royal Hampshires, passed through Commando and Parachute Regiment selection, before being badged with 22 SAS. He left the British Army in his early thirties, with the rank of Staff Sergeant, and started working on the private military circuit.
Eric Davis served alongside Brandon Webb as an instructor at the Naval Special Warfare Sniper Course and was the personal sniper instructor and mentor of the late Chris Kyle. During this exclusive interview, Eric describes what it takes to be a good sniper. Find out what it takes to go beyond basic sniper training to become one of the best.
It’s not at all uncommon to find articles breaking down the proper techniques you should employ when clearing your home, just like it’s easy to find articles discussing and debating what the best possible firearms are for that specific (and dangerous) set of circumstances. I love reading these pieces and participating in the dialogue they encourage, but all too often, I’m left with the uneasy feeling that the debate is going on between a strange combination of experienced veterans, well trained amateurs… and idiots that fancy themselves cowboys. Of course, not all idiots are bad guys, some are just woefully inexperienced, under-trained, and overconfident. In a lot of ways, you could use those same three adjectives to describe me doing just about anything half the time I’m doing it. Being an idiot only becomes really dangerous when you don’t realize you’re doing it.
The Irish government decided to deploy its elite counterterrorism unit to Mali as part of the United Nations (U.N.) peacekeeping effort in the region. A team of 14 operators from the Army Ranger Wing (AWG), also known as the Irish Army Rangers, will be attached to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The AWG is an elite, “Tier 1” unit that specializes on Counterterrorism (CT), Hostage-Rescue (HR), Direct Action (DA), Counterinsurgency (COIN) and Special Reconnaissance (SR) operations.
Admittedly, I’d rather not be shot with either, but if I had to choose, I’d take a round from the AK-47 over the M4 any day of the week. To add a caveat to that statement, I’m talking from relatively close range here—say up to 150-200 meters. To understand why, it’s important to first take a very basic look at the physics behind terminal ballistics. In this case, consider the science of what happens when a penetrating missile enters a human body.
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