30 May 2013
Private Ben Clutterbuck Prepares to Shoot.
Two members of the New Zealand Army Combat Shooting Team (NZACST) have shown they are amongst the world’s best by scooping four of seven gold medals at the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (AASAM) held in Puckapunyal, Victoria last week.
Lance Corporal Mark Lupi (5/7 Battalion) from Wellington and Private Ben Clutterbuck (1st Battalion) from Linton were the team snipers and proved their superior marksmanship in winning their gold medals. Their significant achievement was in the “field” aspects of the sniper competition, proving their ability to perform to the highest standard in realistic conditions.
Team captain, Major (MAJ) Thomas McEntyre praised his team’s efforts.
"The results achieved by these soldiers shows that we have some very talented individuals within our organisation who can compete on a global stage."
"The competitive spirit and professionalism shown by Lance Corporal Lupi and Private Clutterbuck really showcases to the rest of the world the ability and attitudes of well trained Kiwi soldiers," said MAJ McEntyre.
The NZACST competed against 17 other nations, many of whom have full time shooting teams and compete regularly. The team achieved sixth place overall based on the aggregate team scores across all the team shoots, a significant achievement for the young team.
"Throughout the tournament the Kiwi team was recognised as having a strong standard of marksmanship and soldiering skills by the other nations attending.
"This result, in a field dominated by teams representing far larger militaries, reinforces the New Zealand Army’s reputation as a world-class Army," said MAJ McEntyre.
Through its intensive training regime and relentless competitive spirit, the NZACST is the vanguard for Army's development of excellence in small arms marksmanship.
The NZACST provides an advanced small arms training and development model that leads wider Army marksmanship and combat shooting excellence. As well as representing the New Zealand Army at the highest international level, the NZACST’s purpose is to develop shooting experts who then return to their units and develop other soldiers in their shooting.
One of the highlights of the competition is the ANZAC Trophy, which is hotly contested between the NZACST and the Australian Army Combat Shooting Team (AACST). This hard-fought battle between old allies saw victories on both sides, however the Australian team eventually prevailed as overall winners. Congratulations were offered, but the NZACST knew they would be back next year to ensure the trophy comes back to where it rightfully belongs… New Zealand!
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