Iraqi Army Units Are “Well Equipped,” U.S. Commander Says

iraqi army

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 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.

About the Author

Matthew Cox
Matthew Cox is a reporter at He can be reached at
  • Docduracoat

    The unit in the photo is all M 16 except for Mr Red Beret who carries an AK
    Those long barreled, fixed stock rifles look very old fashioned in this M 4 modern era
    I was unde the impression the the entire Iraqi National army was switched to the M 16
    I am amazed that they can keep them functioning. We can argue about what lube and cleaning scheduled, but the M 16 is maintenance intensive.
    Someone has to arrange a regular supply of oil and not steal the money for cleaning patches


    pictured are all M16A4s, which have the flat rail that makes it easy to install optics, these are a lot newer then the M16A2, which are what my unit currently has. Additionally all helmets have NVG mounts installed this makes one believe the might also have NVGs, no one wears there NVGs during the day. The lack of PT Belts is concerning, however they could have been removed for opsec purposes.