Samar soldiers get R4 assault firearms, replacing M16 rifles
Rommel L. Rutor (The Freeman) - February 4, 2016 - 9:00am

CATBALOGAN CITY, Philippines — “It is more mobile and lighter yet powerful, than the old M16 armalite rifles that our soldiers commonly use. The R4 assault firearm is a selective-fire rifle from semi-automatic to automatic, it is a gas-operated weapon that fires from a closed bolt, it is hammer-fired and uses a trigger mechanism with 3-position fire selector and a safety switch”.

This was the description given to The Freeman by Major General Jet Velarmino, commander of the 8th Infantry Division, about the new assault rifles distributed this week to at least 400 soldiers of the 20th Infantry Battalion, as the first batch of new firearms, under the AFP’s modernization program.

Velarmino said 2,800 more of the R4 rifles will be issued to the soldiers of the 8th ID within the first half of this year.

“The 20th IB got it first because they were the ones who were able to finish the training course for this weapon upgrade. Of course with new weapons at hand, our soldiers also have to get used of the new mechanisms. The remaining seven battalions under our division will get their upgrades within the semester,” he explained.

With the procurement of the 5.56 R4 rifles, the early models of M16 and M16A-1 also known as the Armalite and Baby Armalite rifles will be turned over to the Army’s reserve command and members of the CAFGU units, which are still using old model firearms to this day.

Velarmino said the old M16 rifles will reinforce the weaponry of those tasked in geographical security, thus over-all, the upgrade will be for everyone in the entire 8th ID.

Each of the R4 rifle was priced at P38,000, lower than its original cost of P70,000. “Considering that the AFP purchased these firearms in bulk, malaki ang naging savings natin dito, besides achieving our upgrading target for 2016, under the ATR,” Velarmino added.  (FREEMAN)

8TH ACIRC ARMALITE ARMALITE AND BABY ARMALITE INFANTRY BATTALION INFANTRY DIVISION MAJOR GENERAL JET VELARMINO NEW RIFLES SOLDIERS VELARMINO
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