"For their first time, they shot very well — even compared to some U.S.
soldiers," Sgt. Kevin Averre, in charge of the training, said.
Officials said the U.S. military has imposed restrictions on the use of
the M-16 to the Iraq Army. They said the Iraqis were required to register
each M-16 to ensure that they are not sold or given to Al Qaida or other
The U.S. Army, amid an accelerated troop withdrawal, has
maintained its assault rifle training course in Iraq.
"Many Iraqi soldiers on Camp Taji do not use M-16s, and as the weapons
continue to arrive, U.S. units will remain actively engaged in the training
of the Iraqi Army," the U.S. Army said on June 21.
"The new M-16s will also update the Iraqi Army's arsenal, as many of
their AK-47s are in varying states of disrepair," the U.S. Army said.
In the latest course, Iraqi cadets were taught how to adjust the target
sights of the M-16. Other elements in the course included weapons
maintenance, something seldom necessary with the AK-47.
"While the Iraqi army has already received thousands of weapons in
accordance with the proposed one-for-one swap of AK-47 for M-16, receipt of
the weapons is prioritized by necessity," the U.S. Army said.