Nineteen of the New Zealand Defence Force’s best combat marksmen are competing in the Australian Army Skills at Arms Meeting this month.
The annual combat-focused competition helps prepare soldiers for success on the battlefield.
About 500 personnel from 15 countries are taking part in AASAM at Puckapunyal Military Area, in central Victoria, from May 5-26.
Captain Matthew Singleton, Team Captain of the New Zealand Army Combat Shooting Team, says the NZDF personnel were competing at individual and team levels in three categories: the Sniper Competition, the International Competition and the Champion Shot.
Fifteen members of the NZDF are taking part as individuals and the other four have joined forces with four Australian Defence Force personnel to form an Anzac team to compete against 20 other international teams.
“The training we gain by participating in AASAM helps to enhance the operational shooting capability of our army. The competition is one of the few opportunities for our marksmen to test their skills against those of our colleagues in other militaries.
“Although the ultimate prize is to be recognised as the top shot, the event also offers us an opportunity to assess our combat shooting techniques.”
The NZDF has been participating in AASAM since 1987. To prepare for this year’s competition, the NZDF participants practised daily throughout April, including during weekends, at Waiouru’s shooting range.
The Australian Army’s Combined Arms Training Centre says the annual competition tests the marksmanship ability of participants. It provides a benchmark to validate standards, equipment and training.