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Posted: 10/8/2007 5:01:13 PM EST
Very interesting article in today's print edition of The Wall Street Journal on Iraqi Army receiving new Colt produced M-16 A4's. Some highlights from the article:

Iraqi army views the M-16 as a "status symbol" of the professional soldier

In training the article talks about "aimed fire" being a new concept

Iraqi soldiers having a difficult time gripping and aiming their new weapons and often revert back AK habits of "point and spray"

The author discusses the need for "spares and many small parts" and "constant cleaning"

Here are pictures referenced from the article:

Question: Does the Iraq Army have any hope in converting from AK to something that can deliver precision firepower at the cost of more detailed upkeep maintenance and attention to detail?

Here are the pic - I look forward to reading people's thoughts/comments!

















Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:06:11 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 5:08:58 PM EST by chuckTLE]
Captions from the pics - interesting reading - and interesting that the media still doesn't get basic firearms nomenclature correct...

What do people think of these snippets...?


After years of requests from senior Iraq politicians and generals, the U.S. has begun quietly converting the Iraqi army over to the M-16, the main rifle for U.S. soldiers for more than 50 years.

At left, Iraqi soldiers stand in formation near a dusty firing range in Camp Taji, northwest of Baghdad, as they prepare to fire their M-16s for the first time.

Through decades of war, the Iraqis replied on the cheap, plentiful and easy-to-use AK-47 assault rifle. The M-16 is a far more accurate and deadly weapon than the AK-47, and some U.S. troops question the wisdom of giving such powerful rifles to an army riddled with insurgent sympathizers.

Here, an American contractor shows his Iraqi students how to "clear" their M-16s to make sure there are no bullets left in their weapons.

In a country where almost every family keeps an AK-47, the M-16 has become an important symbol of a new, modern Iraq.

At left, Iraqi soldiers practice disassembling and cleaning their newly issued M-16s.

Here, an Iraqi soldier holds his M-16 after learning how to quickly reassemble his machine gun.

The M-16 demands regular maintenance and cleaning or it will cease firing. The American rifle also has more parts, springs and pins than an AK47, which means that soldiers need to have access to far larger pool of spare parts than are needed with an AK47.

The Iraqis received their first shipment of 20,000 M-16s earlier this year and will receive a second shipment of 21,000 weapons this fall. So far, the U.S. has distributed only about 2,400 of them.

At left, a U.S. contractor shows a class of Iraqi soldiers the proper way to grip an M-16.

Some U.S. trainers say the switch to the M-16 will help improve the professionalism of the Iraqi force and its performance on the battlefield.

Here, an American military adviser helps an Iraqi soldier practice loading and unloading his M-16.

At left, an Iraqi soldier poses with his M-16 after finishing three days of instruction on his new weapon. U.S. soldiers undertake almost two weeks of training on the same guns.

Iraqis say they want the weapons more for esprit de corps than for military effectiveness. Senior U.S. commanders say they have noticed the psychological advantage the M-16s give Iraqi soldiers, but it'll take time for the army to learn to operate the weapons effectively. Even among the Iraqis, after the initial enthusiasm of getting the new guns wore off, some soldiers began to complain that they preferred their old AK-47.

Here, Iraqi soldiers use wooden cut-outs to practice aiming their M-16s at a firing range at Camp Taji.



Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:13:34 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:19:28 PM EST
I see them having a lot of problems early on with keeping them cleaned and maintained.

Hopefully this doesnt cause a rise in the price of spare parts for us.


Looks like they are doing the boring ass shadow box drill.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:20:40 PM EST
Is this the reason there is a shortage of 5.56mm lately?
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:32:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sumoj275:
Is this the reason there is a shortage of 5.56mm lately?


The entire war is why 5.56 and other ammo prices have gone up. No one was cranking out a ton of 5.56 before the war. Troy has a great post in the ammo forum about why the prices of all ammo has gone up over the last few years. I'm sure this won't make the price of 5.56 go down any time soon.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:35:28 PM EST
Should'a kept 'em using AK's.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 5:43:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/8/2007 5:48:28 PM EST by Achilles1]
I find it a little funny that we're giving them M16's and M4's a rifle that we're looking to replace in part by how it's been in Iraq with sand issues when at the same time it seems some of our troops choose to carry a captured Ak47 instead of their issue M4 or A2 at times.

I hope their paying for em, because I'm pissed if we are. In that case why don't we just save the money on giving them new ones and pass off some of the ones we got already. Than the money we would have spent on the fuckin new Colt's to give to them we could use for new Scar's or HK416's for our own troops.

If their paying for them than great, but how bout we offer them a deal on some of our used one's too to recover a little capital and put that dough to new Scar's or HK416's.

Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:10:09 PM EST
Yea lets arm them while forces in this country try to disarm us...great
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:25:15 PM EST

Originally Posted By jb241970:
Should'a kept 'em using AK's.


+1....our tax dollars at work....
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:27:05 PM EST
too bad those arent A4's like the caption says
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:31:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By rixxdogg5:
too bad those arent A4's like the caption says


The sure look like A4s to me. Full stock, 20 inch barrel and a removable handle.

Rob
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:31:24 PM EST
In that entire series of pictures, there is only ONE clown who doesn't have his finger planted on the trigger.

They will not maintain them, and my understanding is that they lack the necessary discipline to learn proper marksmanship to effectively utilize the platform. These are the same people who cut the stocks off of their AKs simply because they thought it looked cool.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 6:38:56 PM EST
Who needs to aim, when Allah is on your side.
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 7:04:02 PM EST
At least when we fight em again in the future the ammo and spare parts will already be there
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 7:06:56 PM EST
All the easier for the insurgents to get their hands on US equipment and pose as US friendly troops?
Link Posted: 10/8/2007 7:09:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By Sumoj275:
Is this the reason there is a shortage of 5.56mm lately?


One of our inputs downrange last month we flew in slightly over 2.9 million rounds of M855 with us. 18 pallets - 96 cases per pallet - 1680rds per case. The entire payload weighed approx. 124k lbs.

It brought a tear to my eye when I stepped on the jet and saw it full of ammunition, and brought an even bigger tear to my eye when it all got offloaded at our destination.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 10:07:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By gtpness:

Originally Posted By Sumoj275:
Is this the reason there is a shortage of 5.56mm lately?


One of our inputs downrange last month we flew in slightly over 2.9 million rounds of M855 with us. 18 pallets - 96 cases per pallet - 1680rds per case. The entire payload weighed approx. 124k lbs.

It brought a tear to my eye when I stepped on the jet and saw it full of ammunition, and brought an even bigger tear to my eye when it all got offloaded at our destination.


How much do you charge to deliver to Hattiesburg, MS? We have a C-17 strip about a mile from my office; I can meet you with my buddy's Deuce and a Half whenever you say...
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 11:07:59 AM EST

Originally Posted By gtpness:
One of our inputs downrange last month we flew in slightly over 2.9 million rounds of M855 with us. 18 pallets - 96 cases per pallet - 1680rds per case. The entire payload weighed approx. 124k lbs.

NOOOOOOO!!!!
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 3:04:44 PM EST
so providing other countries with superior firepower/weapons is a good thing? are we going to give the germans tactical nukes and some stealth bombers.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 3:06:58 PM EST
Love that finger displine in the 2nd pic
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 5:10:38 PM EST
That is a FMS deal, meaning we are not paying for them, Iraq is.
Link Posted: 10/9/2007 6:20:37 PM EST
Now they can more effectively blend in and infiltrate coalition forces. Awesome.
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