Army takes HK416s from special unit

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Boondocksaint375

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Army takes HK416s from special unit
By Matthew Cox - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Mar 10, 2008 17:04:44 EDT

The Army has stripped the Asymmetric Warfare Group of its weapon of choice — the Heckler & Koch 416 — saying that its mission requires the unique outfit to carry the standard issue M4 carbine.
The decision reverses a policy that allowed the AWG to buy 416s instead of carrying M4s when it was established three years ago to help senior Army leaders find new tactics and technologies to make soldiers more lethal in combat.
Members of the AWG have declined to comment on the issue, but sources in the community told Army Times that the unit fought to keep its several hundred 416s, arguing that they outperform the Army’s M4 and require far less maintenance.
In a response to a March 6 Army Times query, the Army acknowledged initial approval of the AWG’s move to the 416.
“The AWG is empowered to procure, on a limited basis, select non-standard equipment to assist in identifying capability gaps and advise on the development of future requirements. To this end, the Asymmetric Warfare Group did purchase H&K 416 rifles,” said Army spokesman Lt. Col. Martin Downie.
“The AWG also advises units on training, tactics and procedures. In this capacity, the use of the standard issue M4 is required. In support of this mission set, the decision was made to transition to the M4 and the AWG is now turning in its H&K rifles.”
This is the latest round of controversy surrounding the M4 since late November, when the weapon finished last in an Army reliability test against several other carbines.
The M4 suffered more stoppages than the combined number of jams by the three other competitors — the Heckler & Koch XM8, FNH USA’s Special Operations Forces Combat Assault Rifle (SCAR) and the H&K 416.
Army weapons officials agreed to perform the dust test at the request of Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in July. Coburn took up the issue following a Feb. 26 Army Times report on moves by elite Army Special Forces units to ditch the M4 in favor of carbines they consider more reliable. Since then, Coburn has questioned the Army’s plans to spend more than $300 million to purchase M4s through fiscal 2009 rather than considering newer and possibly better weapons available on the commercial market.
Army officials have downplayed the test results, maintaining that soldiers using the M4 in combat praised the weapon in a recent study by the Center for Naval Analysis.
But this isn’t the first time the M4’s performance has come under fire.
U.S. Special Operations Command decided nearly four years ago that it wanted a better weapon than the M4. After a competition, it awarded a developmental contract to FN Herstal to develop its new SCAR to replace all of the command’s M4s.
But even prior to USSOCOM’s decision, the Army’s Delta Force replaced its M4s with the H&K 416 in 2004 after tests revealed that its piston operating system reduces malfunctions while increasing the life of parts.
The M4, like its predecessor, the M16, uses a gas tube system, which relies on the gas created when a bullet is fired to cycle the weapon. Weapon experts say the M4’s system of blowing gas directly into the receiver of the weapon spews carbon residue that can lead to fouling and heat that dries up lubrication and causes excessive wear on parts.
The AWG followed Delta’s example when it stood up in March 2005 to advise the Army’s senior leadership on how to identify and counter emerging threats on the battlefield. With Army approval, the unit bought several hundred 416s for its members to carry when they deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots.
Many senior sergeants in the AWG were angered that soldiers in the unit had to turn in their 416s, a process that began last fall, said a U.S. Military officer with knowledge the special operations and AWG communities.
“They were outraged,” he told Army Times. “It’s a reduction in capability. It’s a waste of money that was already spent, and it makes the job more difficult since [the M4] is much more maintenance-intensive.”

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2008/03/Army_no416s_031008w/

http://www.militarytimes.com/multimedia/video/carbine/ (VIDEO)
http://www.militarytimes.com/projects/flash/2007_02_20_carbine/ (interactive)
 

moobob

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uhhhhh... I thought that the AWG advised units on how to counter emerging threats, not how to clean their M4s....
 

Ravage

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But even prior to USSOCOM’s decision, the Army’s Delta Force replaced its M4s with the H&K 416 in 2004 after tests revealed that its piston operating system reduces malfunctions while increasing the life of parts.

Marketing or confirmed ? (I'm no secret squirrel but that would be like telling UFO's landed in the White House)
 

Ravage

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The Asymmetric Warfare Group is a unit of the United States military created during the Global War on Terrorism to craft doctrine for asymmetric warfare. The unit is stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland and is not associated with Special Operations Forces.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asymmetric_Warfare_Group

http://www.awg.army.mil/


A tactical advisor with the U.S. Army's Asymmetric Warfare Group, sits at an abandoned hospital in during an operation in Baquba, Iraq, June 21, 2007. He is attached to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Curt Cashour)
 

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Diamondback 2/2

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WillBrink said:
Hmmm, I thought I knew most of the secret squirrel groups, but AWG is a new one for me. I know Delta aint called that any more....but what does AWG do for the army SF, "Delta," etc don't already do? What, "Delta" not asymmetric enough?! :)

PM me if this is OPSEC issue.

AWG has a totally different mission, then SOF-D. They are not even remotely close in mission statement. AWG primary mission is to asses the battle field, type of attacks and then advise the command groups on how to counter the type of attacks. They develop new tactics based of battle field data, and serve as an attachment to conventional and unconventional units…

SOF-D primary mission is counter terrorism.
 
S

Simmerin' SigO

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The more important issue is that someone who is more interested in looking good over being good decided that a superior weapon was no allowed because it wasn't "fair". :doh:

Who cares if they are Delta-like, Delta-lite, or just a task-focused special purpose unit. The fact is that an assessment, by competent leadership, was made of the right weapon, and they selected, procured, and employed it.

Now, more money/time/effort wasted. Way to go Dept of the Army.

I thought we were past this 20th Century "ordinary forces" bull already; that the post-9/11 era hearkened a new time where the best tools for the task was the order of the day.

Apparently not. :(
 

AWP

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WillBrink said:
Hmmm, I thought I knew most of the secret squirrel groups, but AWG is a new one for me. I know Delta aint called that any more....but what does AWG do for the army SF, "Delta," etc don't already do? What, "Delta" not asymmetric enough?! :)

PM me if this is OPSEC issue.

If it is an OPSEC issue then no one should be PM'ing you with an answer. This is one of those questions that can either be answered open source or it can't.
 
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WillBrink

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AWG has a totally different mission, then SOF-D. They are not even remotely close in mission statement. AWG primary mission is to asses the battle field, type of attacks and then advise the command groups on how to counter the type of attacks. They develop new tactics based of battle field data, and serve as an attachment to conventional and unconventional units…

SOF-D primary mission is counter terrorism.

Ah, the only other group I know who uses the 416 being "Delta," it sounded like they were HSLD types who felt they needed the 416. Does not sound like the 416 has any greater utility to that unit then the M4, unless I am reading it wrong. I'm more surprised they ended up with the 416 to begin with if i am understanding the mission of the AWG correctly.

If it is an OPSEC issue then no one should be PM'ing you with an answer. This is one of those questions that can either be answered open source or it can't.

I suppose that makes perfect sense. Hell, they have their own Wiki page, so I guess that's as open source as it gets...:p
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Ah, the only other group I know who uses the 416 being "Delta," it sounded like they were HSLD types who felt they needed the 416. Does not sound like the 416 has any greater utility to that unit then the M4, unless I am reading it wrong. I'm more surprised they ended up with the 416 to begin with if i am understanding the mission of the AWG correctly.



I suppose that makes perfect sense. Hell, they have their own Wiki page, so I guess that's as open source as it gets...:p

In reality any unit in the military can spend their funds as they see fit, with in reason. The issue is that a newly formed unit (AWG) picked a good piece of kit, and was told due to cost NO! SOF-D or CAG is not the only unit that uses the 416, there are many unit’s that use the 416. However, the M4 is cheaper and has fund sites available for punches in units.

As for OPSEC, there is nothing posted here that breaks OPSEC. However, the subject is a mute point, due to the fact that the big Army already decided on the AWG weapons…:)
 
8

8'Duece

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Maybe the AWG doesn't really deserve them and they'll find their way to an SF Group or Ranger Batt.

Just a thought.
 

tigerstr

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Maybe the AWG doesn't really deserve them and they'll find their way to an SF Group or Ranger Batt.

Just a thought.

If I remember well something I read a while back in an open source publication ,one of the SF Groups (1st ?) already bought a number of HK 416s with its own funds.

Not sure though if they were for the CIF Company or for general Group use.

Anyway there is great controversy in the specialised press, between the M4, the new SCAR the HK- 416 and the possible need for a new (harder-hitting) caliber altogether, like the 6.5mm Grendel, instead of 5.56.

BTW, although not a part of SOF or USASOC, the AWG appears to be a Special Missions Unit.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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BTW, although not a part of SOF or USASOC, the AWG appears to be a Special Missions Unit.

I remember walking up to 3 new cherries a few years ago, I told them I had gotten a special mission form the CO and that they had been assigned to me due to them having the latest and greatest training from BCT/AIT. Thus making them the better trained soldier we have in the company.

“The mission was to provide security to the Supply NCO, while he transported new weapons from another armory. The reason this was a “special mission” was b/c we had been given a “terrorist warning” and that it’s possible they might attempt to steal the weapons. So the CO wanted the best on the mission. So we jump in the back of a 5 ton, and run with the Supply NCO down to the other armory. We get out load all the new weapons in the truck, issue 1 magazine a piece and get back to our armory. Then we turn in our mag’s unload the truck, and report to our squads (special mission complete)!”

These soldiers were all happy, and running around thinking they just conducted a “special mission”! What they really did was a bullshit detail; I was tasked with by my PSG for being late. I really don’t see how I could compare them to SOF though?:uhh::rolleyes::p:p
 
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irnbndr

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I remember walking up to 3 new cherries a few years ago, I told them I had gotten a special mission form the CO and that they had been assigned to me due to them having the latest and greatest training from BCT/AIT. Thus making them the better trained soldier we have in the company.

“The mission was to provide security to the Supply NCO, while he transported new weapons from another armory. The reason this was a “special mission” was b/c we had been given a “terrorist warning” and that it’s possible they might attempt to steal the weapons. So the CO wanted the best on the mission. So we jump in the back of a 5 ton, and run with the Supply NCO down to the other armory. We get out load all the new weapons in the truck, issue 1 magazine a piece and get back to our armory. Then we turn in our mag’s unload the truck, and report to our squads (special mission complete)!”

These soldiers were all happy, and running around thinking they just conducted a “special mission”! What they really did was a bullshit detail; I was tasked with by my PSG for being late. I really don’t see how I could compare them to SOF though?:uhh::rolleyes::p:p

Haha! Good technique!
 

tigerstr

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I remember walking up to 3 new cherries a few years ago, I told them I had gotten a special mission form the CO and that they had been assigned to me due to them having the latest and greatest training from BCT/AIT. Thus making them the better trained soldier we have in the company.

“The mission was to provide security to the Supply NCO, while he transported new weapons from another armory. The reason this was a “special mission” was b/c we had been given a “terrorist warning” and that it’s possible they might attempt to steal the weapons. So the CO wanted the best on the mission. So we jump in the back of a 5 ton, and run with the Supply NCO down to the other armory. We get out load all the new weapons in the truck, issue 1 magazine a piece and get back to our armory. Then we turn in our mag’s unload the truck, and report to our squads (special mission complete)!”

These soldiers were all happy, and running around thinking they just conducted a “special mission”! What they really did was a bullshit detail; I was tasked with by my PSG for being late. I really don’t see how I could compare them to SOF though?:uhh::rolleyes::p:p

I see where you are coming from, been in such "special" details myself back in the day.

Having said that, please note that I dont compare AWG to SOF.

I just said that they appear to be a SMU ( the way they are organised, assessment and selection, and a very special kind of mission).

SMU I believe does not mean just DA or CT.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I see where you are coming from, been in such "special" details myself back in the day.

Having said that, please note that I dont compare AWG to SOF.

I just said that they appear to be a SMU ( the way they are organised, assessment and selection, and a very special kind of mission).

SMU I believe does not mean just DA or CT.

Nope your right, anything can be deemed “special” by simply calling it special. AWG is not anything super special though. Basically a group put together by the army, to develop new tactics and doctrine. Almost like an “Observer Controller” they tell you how you fucked up, and or what you can do better. Then they help build new doctrine through TTP’s and modifying FM/ TSP’s…
 
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Zeus187

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My last deployment to Iraq in 2006 to 2007, we had AWG out with us on patrol. They gave us very usefull information out there to help us out. I wouln't say what it is due to OPSEC reseasons. One of them guy's was actually runnig around out there with us with one hand!! Thants hard core.
 

Viper1

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Has anyone hear ever shot the HK-416 (i haven't). How does it compare to the M-4 and other similar weapons systems?
 
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WillBrink

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Has anyone hear ever shot the HK-416 (i haven't). How does it compare to the M-4 and other similar weapons systems?

I did, but it was 1 20rd mag at a range, so I can't say it was superior or different. Shot and felt like an M4 under that limited experience, but seemed like a mighty fine gun.
 
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8'Duece

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The H&K 416 has been discussed, ad nauseam, all over the net.

Is it a "better" rifle than the current Colt M4A1 ? Yes, it probably is, especially right out of the box when your carrying a rifle that has reached it's service life and needs a new barrel, new barrel extension, new bolt and carrier, etc, etc, etc, etc, .

I don't believe the Army is real good at replacing old and worn out weapons, at least in my limited experience.

Trust me, the H&K 416 may be a great rifle, but someone somewhere is going to have an op rod break or bend and his or her rifle is going down. I'd rather have to just replace a fireing pin, or a bolt or extractor than wait for for another rifle or to have an armorer fix it back at the base.

Just my .02
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't HK come out with the 416 as a weapon that has several design features in common with the AK variants, only a little more workmanship put into the total weapon?

One of the best features of the AK is the ease of maintenance, which is a real plus when you have to break down a weapon for a quick cleaning and get back into a fight. When we were running an AK range for one of our brigades during my last summer in, breaking down the weapons coming off the range for a quick clean was a breeze.

I don't care how good you are at breaking down an M-16 or M-4, they have way too many pieces that have to be dealt with. And you lose a couple of those smaller pieces, like that little pin that holds the bolt extractor in place, forget about it.
 
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