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Ranger Automatic Rifleman

U.S. Army Ranger Automatic Rifleman
image sourced from public domain | photo by Army Sergeant Mikki Sprenkle

A Ranger from the 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment fires a M249 Squad Automatic Weapon (SAW) as part of the battalion's Task Force Training, 2014.

This Ranger's M249 is fitted with a SpecterDR 1.5-6x Multi-Function Combat Day Sight, AN/-PEQ Advanced Target Pointer Illuminator Aiming Light (ATPIAL)

There are 2 Automatic Riflemen in each Ranger rifle squad, with one in each of the squad's two fire team.

In U.S. Army doctrine, the role of the Automatic Rifleman (AR) is to lay down a high volume of suppressive fire against area targets.

This vital member of the fire team provides them with a mobile base of rapid fire when assaulting.

When used in defensive operations, the Automatic Rifleman can lay down fires equivalent to multiple standard riflemen.

In the 75th Rangers, the automatic rifleman may be armed with a M249 or MK46 Mod 0/1, both of which fire disintegrating belts of 5.56mmx45mm NATO rounds.

The 7.62mmx51mm Mk48 Mod 0/1 may also be used.

The weapons can be fired in the manner of a rifle, as shown here, from the hip, or prone, supported by their fold-down bipod.

The M249 and Mk48 feature a mounting lug that allows them to be be used with a tripod or vehicle mount.

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