by 1st Lt. Jake Mentele
Company B, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 4th Infantry Division
CAMP ADDER, Iraq – A Soldier assigned to Company B, 64th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Advise and Assist Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, recently helped train the 10th Iraqi Army at Camp Ur in support of the Logistics Training and Advisory Team and Operation New Dawn.
Spc. Taylor Bearden, a small arms and artillery repairer, showed a class of approximately 20 Iraqi army soldiers the step-by-step process of conducting a proper functions check, weapons maintenance and premarksmanship instruction on the U.S. standard issue M4 carbine assault rifle. The one-week training course occurred at Camp Ur where Bearden is stationed.
The top five performing students of the class will train the remaining soldiers within their respective companies.
“The weapon requires more detailed maintenance than their familiar AK47 assault rifle. However, when this weapon is maintained it is more proficient,” said Bearden.
Training on these weapons signifies the country’s transition from the AK47 assault rifle to the American M4 and M16 assault rifles. The M4 and the M16 are two pounds lighter than the AK47 and use 5.56 mm rounds instead of 7.62 mm rounds, making it easier to maintain ammunition supplies.
“Each time we share our knowledge with our Iraqi partners, it sets the Iraqi army and Iraq itself up for success in the future,” said Staff Sgt. Bobby Walker, a wheeled vehicle mechanic assigned to Company B.
The training Bearden conducted is in addition to his normal day-to-day duties as a vehicle gunner assigned to the security and distribution platoon which escorts logistics convoys across Southern Iraq.
“It was a great experience teaching our Iraqi partners and fun learning more about their culture,” said Bearden.