The first batch of the Army’s new handguns will hit three units starting next month.
Brig. Gen. Brian Cummings, of PEO Soldier, said in a recent announcement that 2,000 of the M17 handguns will be delivered in November to soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
The M17, a 9 mm handgun made by Sig Sauer, replaces the M9 Beretta, which has served as the Army’s sidearm for more than 30 years.
After the handguns are fielded to the 101st Airborne soldiers, they will next be delivered to soldiers in the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas, and one of the new Security Force Assistance Brigades. Those soldiers are expected to receive the M17 by the end of the year, Cummings said.
Army officials first announced in May that the 101st Airborne would be the first unit to receive the new handgun. The 3rd Cavalry Regiment and the new SFAB are new additions to the fielding list.
Soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines tested the new handgun at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in September.
Sig Sauer also will manufacture the M18, a compact version of the handgun, also in 9 mm. Marine units have expressed interest in the compact version.
The 10-year, $580 million contract won by Sig Sauer earlier this year is scheduled to provide 195,000 pistols to the Army.
The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have also adopted the M17.
Todd South has written about crime, courts, government and the military for multiple publications since 2004 and was named a 2014 Pulitzer finalist for a co-written project on witness intimidation. Todd is a Marine veteran of the Iraq War.