In the Military
New rifle boosts sniper power
Soldiers assigned to Task Force Fury in Afghanistan are testing the Army's new sniper rifle, the XM110 semiautomatic, which has several new features, including an improved rate of fire. Older rifles such as the M24 are bolt-action weapons that require the user to manually feed another round into the chamber after each shot, the Army News Service reported.
A metal tube that fits over the barrel of the rifle reduces the signature blast and eliminates the small cloud of dust that rises off the ground from the gases emitted through the barrel. That is supposed to make it difficult to locate a sniper.
The 17th Operational Weather Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base has been recognized as the Air Force's "Outstanding Operational Weather Squadron," beating out seven other squadrons. The unit is commanded by Lt. Col. Stephen Romolo. The 152 Hickam airmen in the unit are responsible for weather support covering an area of 110 million square miles encompassing 42 countries.
A new Pentagon policy now gives soldiers one day off for every month they are recalled early. That plan is supposed to compensate troops who deploy more often than the past standard. For active duty soldiers, they are supposed to be off the troop rotation for 24 months for every 12 months served. For the National Guard and reserves, it is five years off for every 12 months served.
However, this month Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that the 12-month deployment for troops in Iraq is being extended to 15 months for active duty tours until further notice. Soldiers in that category, like the more than 7,000 from Schofield Barracks now In Iraq, will also get $1,000 extra pay for each tour that lasts beyond the one year. Their time off increases to two days a month and four days a month when other thresholds are reached.
» Kaneohe Bay:
Cmdr. Steve Deal has assumed command of Patrol Squadron 47 (VP-47), relieving Cmdr. Daniel Scheber.
"In the Military" was compiled from wire reports and other sources by reporter Gregg K. Kakesako
, who covers military affairs for the Star-Bulletin. He can be reached by phone at 294-4075 or by e-mail at email@example.com