Check out this layout of Warsaw Pact and WWII Allied small arms captured by U.S. Marines of the 22nd MAU from Cuban stores of the Grenadan People’s Revolutionary Army in that briefly-Marxist British Commonwealth nation in October 1983:
Note the Marine in the top left corner in ERDL camo with a slung M16A1, M1 helmet, smoke grenade, and early PASGIT kevlar vest. Notably, the Army’s 82nd Airborne and Ranger units in the same op had kevlar helmets. DOD Photo 330-CFD-DN-ST-85-0202 by PH2 D. Wujcik, USN, via the National Archives. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/6395935
Official caption: Seized weapons on display are: (clockwise from the back) Soviet-made 82 mm M-36 mortars, 5 Soviet 7.62 mm PK general-purpose machine guns, two Bren light machine guns, 7.62 mm ammunition, two AK-47 assault rifles, an RPG-2 portable rocket launcher, a 7.62 mm Mosin-Nagant rifle, a Czechoslovakian made Model-52 7.62 mm rifle and a US-made .45 cal. M-3A1 submarine gun
In a modern version of Operation Market Time, the storied and long-lasting effort to prevent seaborne infiltration of supplies from North Vietnam into the south, U.S. and allied forces have been stopping guns from getting from rogue states (let us just say, “maybe” Iran) to Yemen, a country that has been enmeshed in a brutal civil war for years. While the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) alone picked up 1,000 AKs last year, other countries like Australia and France have picked up their fair share as well.
In 2016, the French Navy destroyer FS Provence stopped a stateless dhow that contained 2,000 AK-47s, 64 Dragunov SVD sniper rifles, nine anti-tank missiles, and other munitions.
Guns seized by the French Navy on March 20, 2016 (Photo Combined Maritime Forces)
Ever wonder what happens to them?
Well, I guess to the victors goes the spoils of when it comes to spare Kalash, and the French government just recently gifted 1,400 of those same AKs to the Central African Republic (formerly the colony of French Equatorial Africa) in an effort to strengthen the country’s military.
France has long had a thumb in the CARs affairs and has maintained a sizable military force there since 2013, its 7th such deployment since the country gained nominal independence in 1960.
Hey buddy, got some 7.62×39?
In a 31-day period between 27 Feb and 28 March this year, the Royal Australian Navy Adelaide-class frigate HMAS Darwin (FFG-04), French Navy FREMM-class destroyer FS Provence (D652), and the Cyclone-class patrol craft USS Sirocco (PC-6) impounded the following from three separate stateless dhows:
-5,500 AK-47 assault rifles,
-309 rocket-propelled grenade launchers,
-49 PKM general purpose machine guns,
-39 PKM spare barrels
-64 Dragunov SVD sniper rifles
-21 DShK and KPV type heavy machine guns
-20 60mm mortars
It was determined that the munitions originated in Iran and were likely bound for Houthi insurgents in Yemen, where U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are leading an 11-nation coalition against the Houthi, which are supported by Iran and Hezbollah.
More photos and details in my column at Guns.com