New Zealand Defence Force’s top combat marksmen performed well at the annual combat-focussed competition organised recently by the Australian Army.
31 May 2017
The New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) top combat marksmen were among the best performers at the annual combat-focussed competition organised recently by the Australian Army.
Captain Matthew Singleton, captain of the New Zealand Army Combat Shooting Team, said the team won the silver medal in the section match of the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (AASAM), after being narrowly beaten by the Japanese Self-Defense Forces.
Four of the 19 NZDF members joined four Australian Defence Force personnel to form an Anzac team, which won the Anzac Challenge match against 17 other international teams to bag the gold medal.
Lance Corporal Caleb Amner, a Light Armoured Vehicle Commander from the Queen Alexandra’s Mounted Rifles, was fifth in the Individual Champion Shot category.
A pair of NZDF snipers consistently made it to the top 10 in nearly all matches and won a bronze medal in the International Competition.
Captain Singleton said the NZDF placed fifth overall, compared to 10th place last year. The Indonesian National Armed Forces was the overall winner, with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces second.
“The NZDF team did their best and we are happy with results,” he said.
“The rigour and the combat focus of the arms competition provided an opportunity for our marksmen to test their skills against those of our colleagues in other militaries.”
Brigadier Mike Shapland, the Land Component Commander, said AASAM provided a benchmark to assess training and equipment.
“I am very proud of the achievements of this team. Participating in activities like AASAM enables us to assess our combat shooting techniques and enhance the operational shooting capability of our Army. The training helps prepare our soldiers for success on the battlefield,” Brigadier Shapland said.
The NZDF has been participating in AASAM since 1987. About 250 personnel from 19 countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Tonga, the United Kingdom and the United States took part in the competition at Puckapunyal Military Area in southeast Australia from 5-26 May.