5/24/2012 By Cpl. Joshua Hines , Security Cooperation Marine Air Ground Task Force - APS

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. The Marines and sailors of Security Cooperation Task Force Africa Partnership Station 2012, were able to get hands-on experience with several variants of the AK weapons series, during the foreign weapons training held aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 18.

This was the first chance for many of SCTF APS-12 to ever see, let alone, get their hands on any variant of the AK. The purpose behind the training was to familiarize them with the weapon systems by teaching them how to load, unload and conduct speed reloads as well as disassemble and reassemble the weapon systems.

"This is definitely a cool experience, something I've never done before," Lance Cpl. Sean Reilly, combat cargo Marine, ground combat element APS-12, said.

"I really enjoyed it."

Many African soldiers are equipped with versions of the AK series; because of this, the training showcased a wide spectrum of AKs which included variations of the AK-47 assault rifle and RPK machine gun.

SCTF APS-12 intends to use the knowledge gained from the weapons training to better interact with the African forces as they train alongside each other during their upcoming partnership.

"The Marines having the knowledge of these weapons helps them gain rapport with their counterparts," Staff Sgt. Derrick Stanfield, command element APS-12, said.