Private Ashley Evans
Ashley has been learning woodworking skills making targets for use on the firing ranges. It is her first experience of a military activity other than recruit training.
“I joined in November 2010 because apart from one day hoping to have the honour of serving my country overseas, I did not want to live a predictable life that I would look back on and say, ‘I wish I had done that’. So now I am doing it! Already I have experienced great things and met some amazing people, that I never would have if I had just stayed at home,” she said. “I think it’s great having soldiers from all over the world, come together to show off their shooting skills. It has been a stand out experience for my short career, so far.”
When Ashley returns home she is looking forward to catching up with family and friends.
AASAM, conducted at Puckapunyal Military Range in Central Victoria, is designed to pitch the best soldiers against each other in a tough combat-like environment. This focus ensures the contest is more representative of the skills required of a modern fighting soldier.
Since 1984, AASAM has been Australia's premier military shooting tournament, with a growing reputation worldwide. The activity is open to all ADF members and also attracts champions from 12 international defence forces.
This year the competition includes teams from Australian, Canada, France (FFNC), Indonesia, Timor Leste, Brunei, Netherlands, US Marines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and contingent of Japanese observers.
Irrespective of nationality, the common language is marksmanship. The competition will be judged through a series of team and individual events encompassing both day and night shooting from a bayonet assault course simulating close quarter fighting to deliberate shooting out to 400 metres. Snipers will engage targets out to 800 meters. Contestants will fire the pistol, rifle, sniper rifle and machine gun on standard issue to their defence force.
The competition decides the champion shot of the ADF, as well as providing a venue to determine who is the best shooting unit or formation team in the Australian Army. The international aspect of the competition determines the best individual shooter and competing nation.
This year sees the introduction of computer simulation into a military shooting competition as well as advanced moving targetry for snipers to engage. This is a first for the ADF.
Matches are designed to replicate some of the conditions and stressors of current operational environments and are an excellent means of validating current doctrine and marksmanship training standards.