Skip to comments.Iraqi Troops Train on M-16 Rifle, Continue Transition from AK-47
Posted on 06/22/2010 11:31:06 PM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Soldiers serving on Camp Taji, Iraq, trained Iraqi troops on the fundamentals of marksmanship with the M-16 rifle, June 15. The training was part of a continued effort by the U.S. to phase out the Iraqi Army's use of the Soviet-era AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifle.
The swap between the two weapons has gun-enthusiasts across the military and social-media sites up-in-arms, as fans of both weapons debate the practicality of the initiative.
The AK-47, which has become symbolic of Middle Eastern militaries, has been used by the Iraqi Army since the 1960s. The weapon is less accurate than the western M-16 rifle, yet its more durable design makes it a more suitable match for a desert climate, critics say.
But the transition to the M-16 is not based solely on the weapons capability. As the rifles are issued to Iraqi soldiers, they will be registered individually -- a measure intended to reduce the number of American weapons being acquired by insurgents.
The new M-16s will also update the Iraqi Army's arsenal, as many of their AK-47s are in varying states of disrepair, military officials said.
On Camp Taji it was all smiles from the Iraqi troops, as the U.S. Soldiers walked them through the basics of firing the M-16.
"For their first time, they shot very well -- even compared to some U.S. Soldiers," said Sgt. Kevin Averre, the noncommissioned officer in charge of the training. Averre is assigned to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, serving as a battle NCO in the brigade's tactical operations center.
In 2003, Averre served with Iraqi Security Forces as an infantryman assigned to the 4th Infantry Division.
"Even in 2003 they spoke very highly of the M-16's accuracy," said Averre.
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Peasant gun for a peasant army.
How well will they function 6 months form now?
They have been taking delivery of M4s/M16s since 2007 with no reports of problems too date...
PS There are Iraqis that agree with you. That is why the Ministry of Interior [police] buy Chinese AKs.
Ministry of Defense has over 1/5th [50,000+] of its force equipped with M4/M16 as of Jan 2010 with no major issues.
Except one: It is taking too long for the manufacture to deliver them. Over 100,000 have been ordered but only half delivered to date...
“The AK-47, which has become symbolic of Middle Eastern militaries, has been used by the Iraqi Army since the 1960s. The weapon is less accurate than the western M-16 rifle, yet its more durable design makes it a more suitable match for a desert climate, critics say”
I’ve often wondered if the Iraqis (or the Syrians, etc.) ever made use of the 5.45mm AK-74’s? You rarely hear much about them. I’d be curious to see how they have performed in desert climates, relative to the 47’s.
Thanks for the update.
I did not say there were no problems.
I said none reported.
AK platform, but uses 5.56 ammo.
If they wanted to go Russian, there is the AK-101 as well.
Only if hadji holds the barrel in his mouth......
They chose the M4/M16s because they did not want more “Russian Junk”. [IMoD words]
After losing 2 wars using “Russian Junk”, IMoD wants to get away from it.