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NEWS | June 11, 2024

NC Guard Unit Tests NextGen Squad Weapons

By Sgt. 1st Class Leticia Samuels, 382nd Public Affairs Detachment

FORT LIBERTY, N.C. – Soldiers assigned to the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team conducted the qualification table of the Integrated Training Weapons Strategy using the newly fielded Next Generation Squad Weapon Rifle, XM7, and the Next Generation Squad Weapon Automatic Rifle, XM250, June 6.

The 30th ABCT is a major subordinate command under the North Carolina National Guard and was selected to be the first National Guard unit to field test the XM7 and XM250, which are replacing the M4/M4A1 carbine and the M249 Squad Automatic Weapon.

“This is great,” said Staff Sgt. Steven Grayson, an infantryman assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 252nd Armored Regiment. “We are the second unit in the Army to be fielding these weapons systems.“

In 2020, Army senior leaders approved the regionally aligned readiness and modernization model to enable integration and synchronization of force employment and modernization of the force without sacrificing readiness across the Total Army. Equipment fielding allows service members to train on new equipment and incorporate different experience levels to enhance combat rigor and training understanding.

“It’s really squad integration at that point,” said Grayson. “If you are having someone at each rank that is training on it, then you have every aspect of a rifle company or a mechanized company and someone at each rank that knows what’s going on. I think for us that is working pretty well.”

The XM7 is a modular, piston-driven, select-fire, magazine-fed, 6.8 mm rifle. The XM250 is a lightweight, belt-fed, light machine gun with a collapsible buttstock. Both weapons come with a quick-detach suppressor optimized to reduce sound, visible flash signature and close combat force.

“At my level, it’s a great step having that ability to penetrate Level 4 plates and defeat some of our adversaries’ armor when necessary,” said Grayson. “It’s definitely a necessity going forward.”

“Weapon advancements such as the NGSW ensures that units under our command have the best weapons possible,” said Col. Paul Hollenack, 30th ABCT commander. “The fielding of the XM7 and XM250 is a step in making sure that we are doing just that.”



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