Special Forces Association Chapter 54

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Foreign Weapons
Familiarization Course

The 4th Annual Foreign Weapons Familiarization Course hosted by Chapter 54 took place September 15-16, 2018 in Fryeburg, Maine. This two-day course was offered by Vinny Pestilli and Associates, Inc. of Brownfield, Maine. The event held this year follows the successful foreign weapons training event held in June 2017 by Chapter 54. Saturday was an informational session in a classroom environment and Sunday was live firing on the Fryeburg Fish & Game Range (to include automatic weapons).

Chapter 54 member firing SMG during Foreign Weapons familiarization course
A Chapter 54 member firing a SMG at the range. Each firing point had
an instructor provided by Vinny Pestlli and Associates, Inc.

There were 75 different weapons on display. Many different weapons were fired on the range. The cost per person was $135.00. The fee included ammunition, use of weapons, instruction, food, and other expenses. Some of the weapons fired on the range included the Russian SVD sniper rifle, AK47, AK74, AK100, PKM, PPSH41 SMG, H&K MP5, and many other rifles and pistols.



Fryeburg Fire Department Garage
520 Main Street
Fryeburg, Maine 04037

0700 - 0800 Registration and light breakfast
0830 - 1200 Class
1200 - 1300 Lunch. Pizza, sub sandwiches, chips, soda, water, ice tea
1300 - 1600 Class
1700 - TBD  Cookout at Pestilli's Guest House Beach


Fryeburg Fish & Game Range
Route 5 & 113
Fryeburg, Maine 04037

0830 - 0900 Light breakfast and safety brief.
0900 - 1200 Range firing
1200 - 1300 Lunch
1300 - 1600 Range firing

Classroom Instruction - Saturday

Classroom provided by Fryeburg, Maine fire department.
On Saturday the presentations took place in the Fryeburg, Maine fire department.

Vinnie and his very capable instructors provided a detailed overview of the many types of weapons on display. The class took place at Fryeburg Fire Department with seating at tables to accommodate everyone. There was plenty of time for hands-on with the weapons to include dissembly and assembly.

Weapons display during 2018 Foreign Weapons Course.
Over 75 weapons were on display during the classroom instruction.

War memorabilia
Numerous displays were on hand to view during breaks
between the classroom instructional periods.

Instructional charts for foreign weapons firing
Charts providing info on the various weapons were on hand.

Tommy gun - Foreign Weapons Course
Tommy Gun with carrying case.

Steve Nilan won the raffle for the model helicopter
A model UH-1 Bell Huey Helicopter was raffled off on Sat and the winner was
Steve Nilan. Presenting the chopper is Chapter 54 President Ken Gingras.

Cookout - Saturday Evening

Pond - cookout

Vinnie hosted a cookout on his grounds in Brownfield, Maine (next town over from Fryeburg). The site of the picnic was on the shores of his private pond. Excellent food and beverages were on hand at the cookout. The evening meal included hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato & pasta salad, chips, pickles, cookies, brownies, Bud & Bud Light, Coke, and water.

Almost all participants stayed overnight in the area. Some took accomodations at local hotels in nearby North Conway, New Hampshire. Others stayed at Vinnie's guesthouse or camped on the grounds.

The cooks that prepared the food for the cookout. Bob Perchard pretended to be
in charge. One of the culinary delights was some 'bear chili' that Bob cooked up,
a result of an encounter Bob and Vinnie had with a bear just a few weeks prior.

Remember when we . . .
As always . . . whenever retired Green Berets get together with a few beers . . .
there are the "Remember when we . . ." stories that bubble to the surface.

Range Firing - Sunday

Chapter 54 member firing AK
Chapter 54 member firing AK

The range firing took place at the Fryeburg Fish & Game Range on Sunday. Over 30 weapons were on hand to shoot to include pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, submachine guns, and machine guns.

Firing a sniper rifle
Firing one of the sniper rifles at a target downrange.

Former Special Forces weapons man firing the AKM.
A former SF weapons man becomes re-familiar with the AKM.

Russian PKM foreign weapons course
The Russian PKM machinegun was a favorite at the range.

Retired SF colonel loading up belt for PKM machinegun as he fondly looks back on his days on an A-team.
A retired SF colonel loads up the belt for PKM machinegun. As he prepares to fire
the PKM next his thinks to himself . . . "I really shouldn't have accepted my commission,
my days on a Combat Dive team as a commo man were the highlight of my career"

Firing the PKM machinegun
Chapter 54 member firing PKM


LTC William F. Buckley
Memorial Chapter

Serving Green Berets
in Massachusetts
and Beyond

Special Forces Shoulder Patch


Special Forces Crest

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