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NEWS | June 24, 2024

South Carolina Guard Modernizes with NextGen Squad Weapons

By Maj. Karla Evans, South Carolina National Guard

FORT STEWART, Ga. – Soldiers assigned to 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment, 218th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, South Carolina Army National Guard, conducted an integrated training weapons strategy qualification table for the newly fielded Next Generation Squad Weapon Rifle, XM7, and the Next Generation Squad Weapon Automatic Rifle, XM250, during a week-long training event that culminated June 23.

The South Carolina Army National Guard is the third Army National Guard command to receive the new weapons, following the North Carolina National Guard and the West Virginia National Guard. The 4-118th is part of the 30th Armored Brigade Combat Team, the “Old Hickory,” a modular heavy brigade headquartered in North Carolina.

“The XM7 is a great rifle. We are training and practicing target shots. My favorite thing about the XM7 is how the weapon can be easily used by righthanded and lefthanded shooters,” said Cpl. Joseph Negron, a cavalry scout assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment. “Training this week has been great, learning directly from the experts.”

Facilitating the rapid fielding of increased capabilities such as the XM7 and the XM250 increases the ability of the Soldier and squad to train, fight, win and survive on the battlefield. The Next Generation Squad Weapons’ capabilities increase the lethality, mobility, protection and situational awareness of the close combat force. It is the first time in 65 years the Army has fielded a new rifle and automatic rifle, a fire control system and a new caliber family of ammunition.

“The XM7, compared to the M4, is definitely a step up,” said Negron. “The rifle is a little bit heavier, but it’s accuracy is definitely worth the extra weight.”

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 have a quick-detach suppressor optimized to reduce sound and visible flash signatures.

“The Soldiers of the 4-118th are well trained and equipped with the Army’s latest and greatest made battle systems and weapon platforms,” said Lt. Col. Benjamin Thornton, 4th Battalion, 118th Infantry Regiment commander. “These Soldiers stand ready to support contingency operations wherever our country calls.”



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