The Air Force has borrowed Mk14 EBR rifles from the Navy to equip their Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams. They needed a rifle that was accurate at longer ranges than the M4/5.56mm was capable of. Air Force Times reports …
Airmen with the 466th Explosive Ordnance Disposal Flight, Operating Location Delta, operating in Helmand province, last month began carrying the Mk14 enhanced battle rifles with larger 7.62-millimeter rounds than the normal M4’s 5.56-millimeter round. The new rifles were necessary because the M4 carbines were not accurate enough to reach insurgents firing from a distance, according to an Air Force release.
“It’s simple math — the enemy was engaging us at distances from which we couldn’t effectively return fire,” said Capt. Brandon Goebel, the 466th executive officer, in the release.
It is incredible that the shortest-lived service rifle in US military history is still in such demand decades later. While the rest of the Western world (UK, Germany, Australia, New Zealand etc.) are adopting modern 7.62x51mm rifles, the Army, Navy and Air Force have spent decades trying to build their own AR-10 rifle with little success. Both the SR-25 and M110 were expensive and unreliable. They are now trying to find a replacement for the M110. Meanwhile USSOCOM seem to be happy with their FN SCAR-H rifles.
Many thanks to Peter for the tip.