U.S. soldiers provide marksmanship tips to Iraqi army

For Soldiers worldwide, rifle marksmanship is one of the most basic skills each and every Soldier must possess. Iraqi soldiers are learning how tedious the training can be and what it takes to become an expert marksman. Spc. Jovi Prevot, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard reports.

U.S. soldiers provide marksmanship tips to Iraqi army
U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Garner, left, security forces platoon sergeant assigned to Task Force India Bravo, teaches an Iraqi army primary marksmanship instruction course at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec.19. Task Force India Bravo is comprised of Soldiers from 1st Squadron, 98th Cavalry Regiment, 106th Support Battalion and 2nd Battalion, 114th Field Artillery Regiment, 155th Armored Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, and is deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, working with the Iraqi Security Forces to develop a sustainable and inclusive force that can secure its sovereign borders, protect the population, and ensure the lasting defeat of ISIS. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army / Spc. Jovi Prevot)

Mississippi Guard members of Task Force India Bravo instructed Iraqi army soldiers assigned to the Supply and Transportation Regiment on basic marksmanship in a weeklong primary marksmanship instruction class. The Iraqi soldiers were fully engaged with the essential training. "Training like this is going to give knowledge to the soldiers. In this way he can know everything he needs and that will make him a better soldier," said one Iraqi company commander with the Supply and Transportation Regiment.

Though the soldiers may not be infantry, marksmanship skills are important to them. "Each and every soldier is supposed to know how to be a soldier first, so anything that he could learn is important," he said. "When we do our jobs we face many things, mechanical problems, casualties, and even death. If we can prepare our soldiers for this, they will be better."

Though marksmanship is a basic skill universal to all services, the evaluation of marksmanship skill varies. "Their weapons qualification is completely different than ours, but that doesn't matter when we teach basic marksmanship fundamentals -- it is universal," said U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Michael Garner, security forces platoon sergeant assigned to Task Force India Bravo. The training was tailored to the needs of the Iraqi soldiers. "Prior to beginning training we assessed them on their skills, then we developed our training course based on a NATO Primary Method of Instruction," he said.

The course layout mirrored the way the U.S. Army trains its Soldiers. "We taught a course including both classroom and practical exercises and we went from less than 10 percent to more than 75 percent being able to demonstrate weapons proficiency," said Garner. "We saw a drastic change in their accuracy of their marksmanship, after teaching the class," he said. "There was a 75 percent improvement from pre- to post-assessment.To date, we have trained approximately 500 soldiers," said Garner. "In the near future we will teach courses on advanced marksmanship techniques."


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