Today I had a chance to ask two U.S. Army officers who recently oversaw Iraqi army training about the weapons and equipment Iraqi squads and platoons are taking into battle against ISIS.
Paratroopers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne returned home in September from a nine-month, advise-and-assist mission in Iraq. The Panthers trained more than 12,000 new Iraqi soldiers, who are now fighting in the counterattack to reclaim Ramadi.
I wrote a story for Military.com today about how Iraqi army units are taking to the training they are receiving from U.S. forces.
Here’s a snapshot of Iraqi firepower.
Iraqi army squads and platoons are “typically armed with a mix of AK-47s. In terms of machine guns, they have PKMs, PKCs, some RPKs,” said Maj. Michael Hamilton, 0perations officer for 2nd Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment. “The anti-tank weapons systems that they employ are SPG-9s, basically a … shoulder-launch weapon system.”
The U.S. has also fielded some units with M16s, M249 squad automatic weapons, M240B machine guns and AT4 shoulder-fired anti-armor weapons, Hamilton said.
Iraqis use hand held Motorolas, long-range Harris high-frequency radios and a limited number of Iridium Satellite phones communicating beyond line of sight.
“I mean, the bottom line is they’re very fairly well equipped,” said Col. Curtis Buzzard, commander of 3rd BCT.