|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||May 12, 2017 09:16 AM EDT|
(Photo : USMC) Marines of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment tote M4s with silencers during a field exercise in California.
A U.S. Marines company currently assigned to defend Norway from an invasion by Russia has become the first infantry unit in either the Marines or the U.S. Army to have all its Colt M4 carbines equipped with silencers, which asre also called sound suppressors.
Two other Marine companies -- both deployed to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina -- were also issued "SureFire" suppressors as part of the evaluation phase.
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Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division arrived in Norway in January and with silencers for all their M4 carbines. The men of Bravo Company, who have been testing the silencers in field exercises in arctic conditions for three months, are unanimous in their liking for the silencers.
The Marines' proof-of-concept effort will eventually equip every weapon in an infantry battalion with silencers: M4 carbines; M27 Infantry Automatic Rifles; M249 light machine guns; M240G medium machine guns and M2A1 .50 caliber heavy machine guns.
Maj. Gen. John Love, Commanding General, 2nd Marine Division, said the suppressors are changing the way Marines operated in early testing and evaluation.
"It used to be a squad would be dispersed out over maybe 100 yards, so the squad leader couldn't really communicate with the members at the far end because of all the noise of the weapons," said Gen. Love.
"Now they can actually just communicate, and be able to command and control, and effectively direct those fires."
Silencers make the Marines more "invisible" to the enemy by suppressing weapon flash and sound. They also allow team leaders to stop carrying radios and extra radio batteries, lightening their load.
Two other companies have been issued suppressors as part of the evaluation phase: Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines deployed in March aboard the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and Lima Company, and 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines from Camp Lejeune deployed to Japan in February as part of the unit deployment program.
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