The M4 Carbine is the Army's primary individual combat rifle for Infantry, Ranger, and Special Operations forces. Since its introduction in 1991, the M4 carbine has proven its worth on the battlefield because it is accurate, easy to shoot and maintain. The M4's collapsible stock and shortened barrel make it ideal for Soldiers operating in vehicles or within the confines associated with urban terrain. The M4 has been improved numerous times and employs the most current technology available on any rifle/carbine in general use today.

The M4 is the highest-rated weapon by Soldiers in combat, according to the Directorate of Combat Development, Ft. Benning, Ga. In December 2006, the Center for Naval Analysis conducted a "Soldiers' Perspective on Small Arms in Combat" survey. Their poll of over 2,600 Soldiers reported overwhelming satisfaction with the M4. The survey included serviceability and usefulness in completing assigned missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Similar to its programs ensuring the best body armor, armored tactical-wheeled vehicles, and force protection equipment for its fighting force, the Army continues to improve its capabilities to ensure our Soldiers are protected and best able to continue to execute any assigned mission. The U.S. Army Infantry Center is conducting a study to refine the Army's Small Arms Strategy, which focuses on the employment of rifles, carbines, ammunition caliber, and future technologies. All Services are participating in this study, which is expected in the July/August 2007 timeframe.

The Army has approximately 225,000 M4/M4A1 carbines in the inventory, with more procurement programmed.

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For additional information, the media may contact Lt. Col. William Wiggins,, Office of the Chief Army Public Affairs, 703-697-7591.