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Army May 27, 2010
SPECIALIST personnel from the European engine
manufacturer Turbomeca and Rolls Royce have
been brought to Australia to assist with the ongoing
investigation into a technical incident with an ADF
MRH 90 last month.
The multi-role helicopter suffered an engine fail-
ure in one of its two main engines on April 20, about
30 minutes north-east of Adelaide. The helicopter
returned to RAAF Base Edinburgh without further
incident. DSTO is also assisting with the forensic anal-
ysis of engine components with flying operations sus-
pended while the cause of the engine failure remains
Experts brought in
for MRH90 inquiry
By Maj Ian Toohill
IT WAS a case of three times lucky
as WO2 Peter Richards, 9FSB,
claimed the 2010 Army Champion
Shot medal for the third time at
the Australian Army Skill at Arms
Meeting (AASAM), proving that rank
and corps have little to do with excel-
lence in combat shooting.
WO2 Richards started shooting with
an air rifle when he was 12 while grow-
ing up in Coffs Harbour.
"I used to practice by shooting cica-
das out of trees and then I joined the
in 1978 and got
"In order to maintain my skills I
shoot most weekends with a rifle club
using a World War I bolt action rifle."
WO2 Richards was not able to com-
pete in 2009 and has spent two years
training for this year's AASAM and
it paid off in a tightly contested event
under demanding shooting conditions.
"At the elite level, success is 80 per
cent mental and 20 per cent physical,"
WO2 Richards believes one of the
important aspects of AASAM is the
interaction between armies of the region
and individuals. "I think more empha-
sis should be placed on marksmanship
across the ADF," he said.
He also highlighted the requirement
to master the basics before advancing to
the next level.
"If you cannot group or apply fire
from basic firing positions, you will
not be able to advance to a level where
you can accurately engage targets in
demanding, combat related matches."
Held from May 10-20 at
Puckapunyal, more than 200 Australian
and international soldiers competed for
the title of champion shot. Out of a
total of 52 matches in the Australian
and international categories, there could
only be one winner for each of the
Australian Army, Navy and the interna-
This year, for the first time, the
competition combined the original
champion shot matches, which lasted
three days, with the full spectrum of
combat-focused matches from 450m to
25m. The standard deployment test LF6
practice, the applied marksmanship
practice and the close-quarter battle
match practice were used to determine
the Champion Shot of the Army.
Overall, competitors participated in
five demanding range practices which
required high levels of concentration,
fitness and proficiency.
This innovation more closely aligns
AASAM with the skill-sets required of
the soldier in the modern battle space.
CA Lt-Gen Gillespie, on hand to
present the Champion Shot Medal, said
he was happy with the event.
"AASAM is the quintessential skill-
at-arms event in our Army. My thanks
go to the nine international teams for
attending this competition and helping
to make it a success."
Competition director Lt-Col Wally
Jensen was delighted with the new
focus of the event. "While AASAM has
influenced the conduct of range practic-
es, doctrine and training across Defence
for the past 25 years, it is now critical
we continue to evolve and develop rel-
evant and effective range practices that
reflect the current operational environ-
ment," Lt-Col Jensen said.
"In order for us to be most effective,
we need more competitors from across
ADF to compete and assist us to vali-
date doctrine and training systems."
Navy Champion Shot was PO Peter Edwards
with Sgt Habdi from Indonesia winning the
International Champion Shot.
Thrice a champion shot
On target: WO2 Peter Richards shoots from the 300m mound at AASAM.
Photo by Sgt John Waddell
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