An Iraqi tank crew member loads a .50 caliber machine gun during a live fire training exercise with an M1 Abrams tank, in Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 14.
A few more at DVIDS.
Several years ago Germans were incensed at the prospect of selling Leopards to the Turks. Popular opinion was that they would be used to exterminate Kurds. The deal was nixed.
I think we’ll look pretty dumb if the Iraqi Army does precisely this in the future.
I was wondering where my battalions M-1′s went when the National Guard took them away.
My last AT in the unit was a real embarressment. A couple of German tankers had come over to train with us. They got there just in time to see our last tanks loaded on flatbeds and driven away.
This was a great way to take money from Iraq, under the pretense of selling something they can use, because those Gas Turbine engines are nearly unsustainable for the US, Saudi, Egyptian, and Kuwaiti armies. It would be no small miracle if a country as poor and unstable as Iraq could keep more than a company-sized number of M1s running.
Also, how much of Iraq’s infrastructure do you suppose can support a 70-ton vehicle?
If the collapse of the bridge at Al Faysaliyah is any indication, I’d say… not well;
Don’t expect Baghdad to spend the money required to beef-up it’s infrastructure to compensate for the heaviest production tank since the Tiger II.
Heck, just look at Australia. They only bought about 60, but they’ve had a heap of trouble (no pun intended) just getting them out of the ports they were delivered to;
Well then it was good training. For how the real military works.
In a related development, see:
Giving (or selling) them all this late model western kit is all well and fine. Here comes the “but”. But, I have no optimism at all they’ll be able to keep it running more than a few months, unless they hire at all their logistics and maintenance to profiteering contractors like me. Over the course of my tour their, I talked extensively with Military and Contractor personnel involved in outfitting the Iraqis with everything from Abrams to Hummers to entire base complexes. The consensus amongst my sources was Senior Iraqi leadership didn’t care about, was incompentent, or both on L & M. The only thing keeping enything running were the MilSpec and contrator trainers who were supposed to be training the Iraqi L & M recruits THEY WEREN’T GETTING. Most of the trainers thought the Iraqis didn’t think of L & M as manly or sexy enough and tended to shy away from it……….then there was the unfortunate cultural tendancy to pilfer stuff that wasn’t nailed down.
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