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    Rakkasans Train Iraqi Army Soldiers In the Art of the Machine Gun

    4th Division Iraqi Army Machine Gun training

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Russell Klika | Weapons squad leaders of 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st...... read more read more

    Staff Sgt. Russell Lee Klika
    133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    BAYJI, Iraq (March 29, 2006) - Coalition Soldiers held a seven-day crash course for Iraqi Army Soldiers on the fundamentals of firing a PKC-47 machine gun on Forward Operating Base Summerall.

    Weapons Squad Leaders of the 1/187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, known as the Leader Rakkasans, gave select Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 2nd Brigade, 4th Iraqi Infantry Division each a belt of ammunition to zero their weapons and demonstrate their ability to fire from the sitting, kneeling and standing positions. Upon completion of the training, each Iraqi Soldier will be responsible for training other Iraqi Soldiers within their respective units.

    Iraqi Army Sgt. Saheed from Kirkuk quickly led the way by hitting 97 out of 117 targets. "Every Soldier exceeded our expectations by successfully zeroing their weapons," said Staff Sgt. Tracy Loveall of Crocker, Mo.

    The Soldiers were taught to work as a team when operating the machine guns. "Because of the language barrier and having only one interpreter, we found it to be quite challenging to coach the Soldiers. So we gave them a lot of trigger time to learn the techniques," said Loveall. The extra trigger time paid off.

    One week and around 20,000 rounds later, the Soldiers were ready to engage the enemy said Staff Sgt. Matthew Evans of Ft. Collins, Co.

    "We gave them a good building block, and it is now up to them to teach their Soldiers what they have learned this week."

    "I'm 100% confident that they will pass on their new skills," Evans added. "You have to remember, these Soldiers have no [enlistment] contract to be here. They are here to learn how to make Iraq a safe and peaceful country."

    The weapons training is preparing the Soldiers for the eventual departure of Coalition Forces from Iraq said Loveall.

    During the After Action Review, the Iraqi Army Soldiers took turns thanking the
    American Soldiers for taking the time for making them each a better Soldier. The only complaint the Iraqi Army Soldiers had was that they wanted more targets.



    Date Taken: 03.29.2006
    Date Posted: 04.01.2006 09:47
    Story ID: 5925
    Location: BAYJI, IQ

    Web Views: 984
    Downloads: 32