Well, the snake eaters have come out from their hides and begun to comment on yesterday's article about a test shoot I participated in with some SF Soldiers who demoed the SCAR.
Aside from the inevitable implication that somehow I was endorsing the weapon myself, the gist of the upcoming debate seems to be leaning toward the idea that the operators I interviewed haven't spent enough time with the weapon and don't know what they're talking about.
In all candor, I would agree. No one is going to make a definitive judgment on a weapon's capability from one day of firing. But first impressions are important -- especially if they're the impressions of Soldiers who will actually use the equipment -- and that's why I included them in an article for DT readers.
Here's an interesting response from "CDRODA396" on the Professional Soldiers web forum:
The SCAR was originally a SEAL requirement, specifically they wanted a weapon that would fire immediately upon breaking the surface of water, as stated above it can do.
The main impetus behind the SCAR has not been USASOC, which they have not helped, but the main push has been SOCOM all along. Specifically an Infantry COL who is the PM down at Tampa. More recently, the Dpty G8, USASOC (18A) has been pushing it, going so far as to making the statement, "We are ready to accept the SCAR right now, and turn in our M-4's to get it," at the last SOCOM Weapons Integrated Product Team (IPT) meeting.
This is NOT the position held at USASFC, which is more fix its problems, prove it works and then we'll move forward. MG Csrnko, CG, USASFC was briefed on the SCAR about two weeks ago. The VTC included all the Groups, USASFC, USASOC and USSOCOM, mainly represented by the O-6 PM.
At that meeting the recurring problems, like the butt-stock breaking, identified over three years ago as an issue, and again found most recently in April (I think it was April, maybe May) at the last User Assessment, were highlighted.
MG Csrnko asked some good questions, including, and probably most importantly, has the thing really been tested in anything other than a "sterile range" environment, which the answer was no.
So, it has been requested by USASFC that the current "issues" get addressed, for good, and it get tested in a FTX, CTC type environment, being used, "like we are going to use it." Until then, we are keeping the M-4A1.
And that's what I know about that.
Let's keep track of what these guys are saying. I'm interested to take a look at how others who've spent more time with the weapon feel about it. One commenter said: "start posting on this thread your issues with the wonderful SCAR that's about to be force fed to you in large doses...It's time to take the SCAR to task."