CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq- Soldiers assigned to Task Force Spear, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, conducted basic rifle marksmanship training with Iraqi soldiers of the 6th Brigade, 3rd Division, to enhance their skills in firing small-arms weapon systems at the Spear Base Range, Nov. 1.

The Task Force Spear troopers taught their Iraqi partners the four basic fundamentals of marksmanship-steady position, aiming, breath control and trigger squeeze-during their first collaborative training exercise.

"I think this team building and weapons familiarization training went great," said Maj. Jason Carter, Team Spear's executive officer. "They're pretty good shots, and really proficient in their weapon systems."

Along with firing hundreds of 7.62mm rounds down range from their assigned AK-47 assault rifles, the IA cross trained on how to properly fire the U.S. M4 carbines and M9 pistols, and the Iraqi soldiers also taught the members of Task Force Spear how operate their AK-47s.

"This helps me to be more confident in them and the fact they've mastered their own weapons," said Carter, of Panama City, Fla. "I know now if either one of us ever goes down on a joint patrol we can grab the other's weapon and fire effectively."

"Today we definitely made it clear that basic rifle marksmanship is imperative," said 1st Sgt. Jose Rosario, the Task Force Spear sergeant major. "I think the IA understood (the basics) once we demonstrated. By following those steps you can acquire your target a lot better and be more effective at engaging the enemy," said Rosario, a native of Puerto Rico.

Task Force Spear will continue rotating IA soldiers through the basic rifle marksmanship training throughout their deployment in support of Operation New Dawn.