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Skilled at arms

The Combined Arms Training Centre at Puckapunyal has hosted some of the best combat marksmen from the Army, Navy and Air Force for the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meet (AASAM).

The ADF’s premier service weapons shooting competition has occurred annually since 1984.

Director AASAM Lieutenant Colonel Craig Burn said the competition had evolved from a traditional sports shooting activity into a more operationally based approach.

“We’ve turned more into a capability based shooting competition,” he said.

“If you as a soldier want to be recognised, this is where you will be recognised.”

“Our primary reason for pulling it together is focused on Army, so we can determine a champion shot, test our skill at arms and validate elements of doctrine.

“We can look at it, if you will, as a litmus test of shooting skills across the Army.

“If you as a soldier want to be recognised, this is where you will be recognised.”

Lance Corporal Scott Clark, of 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, was awarded the Champion Shot of the Army.

“It was a very competitive year. It came down to myself and another competitor and who’s in the same boat – he comes here every year,” he said.

“Thankfully I’m part of a unit that takes training for these types of competitions very seriously, so I started training about a month out from competition.

“We’ll do maybe two weeks at the marksmanship training range, we’ll do a week at the 25-metre range perfecting our close quarters shoots, so we are well prepared when we get here and that’s why as a team we are so competitive.”

The best competitors drawn from the Army top 20 shots will now form the Australian Army Combat Shooting Team for the international component of AASAM.

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