Photo Information

A Marine with II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group fires an AK47 during foreign weapons training aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 26, 2010. Training with foreign weapons provides Marines an opportunity to operate weapons used by NATO forces. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel A. Wulz)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Daniel A. Wulz

Lejeune Marines train with foreign weapons

26 Aug 2010 | Lance Cpl. Daniel A. Wulz

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group’s marksmanship training unit held a foreign weapons training exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 26, 2010.

The weapons training included classes and practical application for three rifles: the German G-3 Battle Rifle, the Belgian Light Automatic Rifle, and the Russian AK-47.

The U.S. works side-by-side with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. Training with foreign weapons provides Marines an opportunity to operate weapons used by NATO forces. Also, it aides Marines who are attached to transition teams and tasked to conduct foreign weapons training while deployed.

“The purpose of [Marines] coming out here is to familiarize themselves with weapons they might see [while deployed],” said Sgt. Matt N. Lafontaine, the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of II MHG MTU. “A lot of these weapons, especially the AK-47, are the most widely-spread weapons in the world. They’re guaranteed to see the AK-47 [during a combat deployment] as well as the other weapons systems we’re firing.”

Lance Cpl. John K. Chamberlin, a food service specialist with II MHG, was one of the Marines who learned how to use an AK-47 in the foreign weapons training exercise.

The Marines who took part in the training said that the AK-47 is lighter and easier to shoot, and it has a different loading process.

Knowing how to operate the allies’ or enemies’ weapons if Marines ever get put into a situation where they have to use them is the importance of this type of training, said Chamberlin.