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Cross-Cultural Weapons Training - Transcript

Senior Airman George Solis: These Soldiers are familiar with the sights — and sounds — of the RPG-7.

1st Lt. Lukas Wright: Some of us have been to Iraq and Afghanistan, and we've encountered some incidents when we've had RPGs fired at us, but we haven't had the opportunity to fire RPGs ourselves.

Senior Airman George Solis: These Soldiers are getting a better understanding of a weapons system usually found in the hands of their enemy.

1st Lt. Lukas Wright: It was definitely a great experience getting to fire the RPG-7. I have a newfound respect for it, and I think a lot of our Soldiers do, also. It's quite powerful, and just to experience shooting that, you know, it's a common weapon used by insurgents. So, to know what your enemy is using definitely I think it puts you at a definite advantage to know how to counter that weapons system.

Senior Airman George Solis: Lt. Wright says that the Minnesota National Guardsmen won't use their RPG-7 during their deployment to Afghanistan, but they needed to be familiar with it considering their Croatian and Afghan counterparts still use it as part of their arsenal.

1st Lt. Lukas Wright: You can never have enough time behind the trigger, so to speak. We just finished doing some live-firing with the M-75 hand grenade. We fired the AG-36, which is an under-the-barrel grenade launcher for the G-36 weapon. It's a Croatian weapon system. And we finally finished up with the M2 .50-caliber machine gun. It was definitely good training for the U.S. side. We're going to be operating with them, so it's important to know their weapons systems. The more proficient we become with their weapons, I think the better off we'll be as a team. And not only just firing the weapons but getting on the range with the Croatians and the U.S. working together — it's helping build our team. The end stage is that when we arrive in Afghanistan, we're gelled together, and we can all operate together.

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