Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Written by Mike Shelton
Operational testing of the Army’s newest generation sniper system — the MK-22 Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR) — marks the project’s final hurdle before fielding.
“The modular nature of the PSR allows it to be tailored to meet mission requirements and is appealing to airborne Snipers who are typically armed with long-barreled precision rifles of a single caliber offering,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Love, Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate, Test Noncommissioned Officer.
Because of the single-caliber offerings, snipers requiring additional capabilities must deploy with additional weapons. The PSR can be configured for multi-calibers by the sniper in the field and requires no higher level maintenance to reconfigure. It will also extend engagement ranges for both anti-material and anti-personnel target engagements.
“The increased engagement range will keep snipers safer and increase the options for the local commander employing these combat multipliers,” said Sgt. Austin Stevens, a sniper assigned to the 1st Battalion, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.
“With a folding stock and removable suppression system, the PSR will provide airborne Snipers a more compact load during airborne infiltration operations without reducing their lethality while providing a precision rifle platform more conducive to their combat environment,” said MK-22 Project NCO Sgt. 1st Class Jonathan Copley.
Spc. Michael Liptak, a sniper with Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 325th Infantry Regiment immediately identified the attributes of accuracy in regards to the MK-22. “I was surprised at the accuracy and the straightforward approach to testing the PSR,” he said.
Prior to testing, snipers from across the airborne and special operations community took part in new equipment training which included familiarization with
the system, maintenance, target engagement, system configuration and zeroing procedures.
For Spec. Nathanael Keffer, a sniper with 2nd Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, the PSR’s versatility to adapt to multiple mission sets was a marked advantage. “The PSR is a very versatile weapon system that can be tailored to meet multiple mission requirements,” said Keffer.
Larry Harris, ABNSOTD Deputy Chief of Test said, “The critical task in testing any small arms platform intended for use by airborne forces is ensuring zero retention of the primary optic subsequent to airborne insertion. “This is a critical gauge of the paratrooper’s lethality during airfield seizure and other follow-on operations.”
To evaluate this performance measure of the PSR, the ABNSOTD test team applied the organization’s mobile weapons boresight collimator to the rifle after jumping to make sure the sniper’s pre-mission zero was not degraded by shock during the jump.
“This process establishes a baseline for sight reticle locations prior to and post airborne insertion,” said Miles Crawford, Test Technology Branch Chief, ABNSOTD. “Testers can monitor any shift in the weapon sight reticle that may have been induced by shock associated with static line parachutes,” Crawford said.
The Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate is based at Fort Bragg. It plans, executes and reports on operational tests and field experiments of airborne and special operations forces equipment, procedures, aerial delivery and air transportation systems to provide key operational data for the continued development and fielding of doctrine, systems and equipment to the warfighter.
The U.S. Army Operational Test Command is based at West Fort Hood, Texas, and its mission ensures systems developed are effective in a soldier’s hands and suitable for the environments in which they train and fight. Test unit soldiers provide feedback by offering input to improve upon existing and future systems soldiers will ultimately use to train and fight.
Pictured above: A sniper conducts post-drop live-fire test trials of the MK-22 Precision Sniper Rifle at Range 61 on Fort Bragg. (Photo by James Finney)
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
Written by Hannah Lee
Early Voting in Hope Mills will kick off on Oct. 14 and run through Oct. 30. as residents of the town start voting for their next Mayor and five Town Commissioners. The winners of the election will serve for the next two years.
The candidates for Mayor are Jessie Bellflowers, a current commissioner and military veteran, and Jackie Warner, the current Mayor. Warner has served as Mayor for the past ten years. Bellflowers has been a town commissioner for the past four years.
Up & Coming Weekly will conduct a joint Q&A session with the two candidates. That interview will be published in the Oct. 27 edition.
There are seven people running for Town Commissioner. Only five will be voted in. The candidates are: Sally Bailey, Jerry Legge, Bryan Marley, Kenjuana McCray, Grilley Mitchell, Jim Morris and Joanne Scarola.
No photo identification is needed to vote unless you are a newly registered voter.
If you want to register to vote and cast a ballot on the same day, you will need to bring an ID with your name and your current address. The document may be a digital image on your cell phone.
When entering the polling location, you will be asked to state your name and your address.
Curbside voting will be available at all voting sites for those who cannot enter the polling location due to age or physical disability.
Voting sites have designated parking indicating curbside voting and will have an alert system that will notify the election officials. An election official will come to the vehicle to obtain the voter’s name and address. Before a ballot is issued, the voter must swear an oath affirming his or her qualification to use curbside voting.
During early voting, voters can go to the Cumberland County Board of Elections at 227 Fountainhead Lane in Fayetteville to cast their ballots. The poll is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday.
On Oct. 30, the poll is open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
On Election Day, Nov. 2, there will be six polling locations which will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
For those who live in the Cumberland 1A, 03 and 04 precincts, the polling location is E. Melvin Honeycutt Elementary School.
For those who live in the Hope Mills 1A precinct, the polling location is at the Hope Mills Recreation Center.
For those who live in Hope Mills 1A or Hope Mills 1B precincts, the polling location will be the Cotton Fire Department.
For those who live in the Hope Mills 3, Pearces Mill 2A and Pearces Mill 2B precincts, the polling location will be at the Hope Mills Middle School.
For those who live in the Hope Mills 4 precinct, the polling location will be at C. Wayne Collier Elementary School.
For those who live in the Stoney Point 1 or Stoney Point 2 precincts, the polling locations will be at the Lighthouse Baptist Church.
If you don’t know your precinct, look it up at www.cumberlandcountync.gov/departments/election-group/elections/resources/polling-sites or call the elections office at 910-678-7733.
The last day to hand deliver an absentee ballot will be Nov. 2 at 5 p.m. at the Board of Elections office. Absentee ballots that will be sent by mail must be postmarked by Nov. 2 and the Board of Elections must receive it no later than Nov. 5.