February 7, 2009:
Dutch troops in southern Afghanistan are getting the first extended combat workout in over half a century. This has caused expected wear and tear on equipment and weapons. The Netherlands is using the need to refurbish many of their weapons, as an opportunity to upgrade them as well. Thus M-16 and M-4 assault rifles are not only having worn parts replaced, but are having standard rails (which allow quick attachment of sights and other gear) added, as well as the "red dot" sights that U.S. troops have found so useful. By replacing the traditional cross-hairs (which are actually hard to see), with a more visible red dot, troops can get off a more accurate shot more quickly and more often. The rifles will also have minor (but popular and combat tested) changes made to the butt stock, fire selector and magazine release.