M1A1s for Iraq

Heavy Metal

An Iraqi Army tanker with the 9th Armored Division drives an M1A1 Abrams tank under the instruction of Soldiers with Company C, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, United States Division-Center Jan. 16 at Camp Taji, Iraq. The IA tankers are preparing for a 45-day New Equipment Operatorís Course this spring at the Besmaya Combat Training Center, Iraq. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Chad Menegay, 196th MPAD, 25th Inf. Div., USD-C)

The photo complements a story run a few days back:

Iraqi Army drives into the Future.

The M1A1s purchased by the Iraqi Army are downgraded from standard US issue.  Most important of the downgrades is the lack of depleted uranium armor.

4 thoughts on “M1A1s for Iraq”

  1. I had to search to double check what I remembered, but the 9th Armored Division was not on the order of battle in 1991 nor in 2003. Perhaps coincidence that the unit selected for fielding was not one which could trace lineage back to the 1991 Gulf War.

  2. We were just beginning t0 establish a partner relationship with 9th when I left. I had the fun experience of going to Besmaya to a live fire event my CDR set up with 9th’s CDR. We were basically going to showcase how our crew training gets results on a range. We watched them fire a BMP1 with poor effects, and a T72 with even worse effects (i.e. at least the BMP fired more than one round.) Then a section of M1s and a section of M2s put on a demonstration. The IA firing was bad enough that we literally had to tone down our demo to prevent a loss of face on their part. Then a crewman from 9th IA got in the M1 and fired one round with steel on target. (Having been talked on…) Two sidenotes: The CDR of 9th DIV told my boss that he was reserving his M1s for parade use, and it was the first time I personally fired an M1A1SEP, and I can attest that the thermal optics are absolutely incredible compared to the M1A1Cs I grew up with. Xbrad, I also dumped about 250 rounds of 25mm myself, “talking guns” with my boss. Best day I had in 3 trips to Iraq!

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