101st Airborne’s ‘Strike’ brigade first Army unit issued M26 shotgun

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. — It weighs 3.5 pounds, has a bar­rel length of 7.75 inch­es, fires 12-gauge shells and can be mount­ed on the M4 car­bine or act as a stand­alone firearm. The M26 Mod­u­lar Acces­so­ry Shot­gun Sys­tem is the lat­est com­bat enhancer in Strike’s arse­nal.

Sgt. Vin­cent Men­nell, a com­bat engi­neer with Com­pa­ny A, 2nd Brigade Spe­cial Troops Bat­tal­ion, 2nd Brigade Com­bat Team, 101st Air­borne Divi­sion (Air Assault), fires the stand alone ver­sion of the M26 Mod­u­lar Acces­so­ry Shot­gun Sys­tem
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101st’s Strike first Army unit issued M26 shot­gun
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The 2nd Brigade Com­bat Team, 101st Air­borne Divi­sion, is the first unit in the Army select­ed to be issued this new weapons sys­tem.

“This is a new capa­bil­i­ty that is now in your hands for you to con­duct your mis­sion down­range,” said Col. Scott C. Arm­strong, with Project Man­ag­er Sol­dier Weapons, or PMSW, dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion cer­e­mo­ny held at Fort Campbell’s Strike Acad­e­my, Feb. 7.

“This is a big day, not just for the 2nd Brigade, but for the Army,” he said.

Picatin­ny Arse­nal-based PMSW is a group that sup­ports Sol­diers through the devel­op­ment, pro­duc­tion, field­ing and sus­tain­ment of cur­rent and future weapons sys­tems. PMSW field­ed the M26 MASS to the 2nd BCT, also known as the Strike Brigade due to the unit’s pro­file and future deploy­ment sched­ule.

“We’re glad to be the first unit to put this weapon to work and there is an appre­ci­a­tion for all that goes into this,” said Col. Dan Wal­rath, the Strike com­man­der, while hold­ing the new Strike Shot­gun.

After the “hand-over” cer­e­mo­ny, the weapons were issued to Strike’s engi­neer com­pa­ny, Com­pa­ny A, 2nd Brigade Spe­cial Troops Bat­tal­ion and Strike’s mil­i­tary police with Head­quar­ters and Head­quar­ters Com­pa­ny, 2nd BSTB. For three days, under the guid­ance of PMSW, the Strike Sol­diers learned how to assem­ble, main­tain, repair and effec­tive­ly fire their new weapons.

“From the class­room instruc­tion to employ­ing the tech­niques taught at the M26 live-fire range, I was very impressed with the pro­fes­sion­al­ism, moti­va­tion and skill of the Sol­diers present,” said Maj. Vin­son Mor­ris, assis­tant prod­uct man­ag­er.

“I have no doubt the 2nd Brigade Sol­diers will seam­less­ly incor­po­rate this new weapon into their cur­rent mis­sions while ben­e­fit­ing from the weapon’s light weight and excep­tion­al reli­a­bil­i­ty.”

The Strike Sol­diers who received and shot the weapons are wel­com­ing the new firearm into their arse­nal, and saw how its capa­bil­i­ties will help their mis­sions.

“I can see this being very effec­tive with the engi­neers for breach­ing and with the mil­i­tary police, espe­cial­ly since you can shoot ammu­ni­tion that is non lethal,” said Sgt. Rhys McMa­hon, a com­bat engi­neer with Com­pa­ny A. “So far this is an amaz­ing weapon. I’ve shot about 75 rounds and it works mag­nif­i­cent­ly. This would have helped us out quite a few times when we were in Afghanistan.”

The Strike MP’s first sergeant, 1st Sgt. David Ward, is hon­ored to have his teams use the new weapon sys­tem and attrib­ut­es it part­ly to their accom­plish­ments achieved in Oper­a­tion Endur­ing Free­dom 10–11.

“Since I have the brigade MP pla­toon in my com­pa­ny, I feel the ini­tial deploy­ment of these weapons to Strike is a tes­ta­ment to the ser­vice the Strike Sol­diers have always exem­pli­fied, but most specif­i­cal­ly in our last deploy­ment into Afghanistan,” said Ward, talk­ing about the brigade’s engi­neers and MPs.

“Both of these ele­ments of the brigade did some out­stand­ing work in Afghanistan and it is nice to see them be the first to field the lat­est and great­est sys­tems.”

U.S. Army

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