For decades, troops have been complaining about the limitations of the M16 rifle and M4 carbine, both of which are hindered by the same flawed operating system that makes the weapons jam easily. But after years of ignoring small arms in favor of expensive aircraft and warships, the Pentagon is taking a long, hard look at how to give the Army 11 Bang Bangs and Marine grunts a better weapon.
Defense Secretary James Mattis has ordered the creation of a task force to make American small arms more lethal to give infantry soldiers and Marines an extra advantage in the close fight, Pentagon personnel chief Robert Wilkie said. It has been decades since the Pentagon last looked at the combat effectiveness of small units.
“We don’t want any more fair fights,” Wilkie told Task & Purpose on Wednesday. “We want to overmatch any adversary out there.”