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Army April 14, 2011
Shooting for modern combat
By John Wellfare
IMPROVING long-range marksman-
ship and large-calibre proficiency will
be crucial to enhancing combat effec-
tiveness in Afghanistan, according to
a discussion paper recently posted by
WO2 Anthony Pratt, School of Inf.
In Combat Shooting, A New
Perspective, WO2 Pratt says the Army's
recent enthusiasm for close-quarter battle
shooting techniques (CQBST) is encour-
aging, but warns against abandoning
"The overwhelming majority of con-
tacts with which the [Afghanistan] com-
bat team has been involved have been
initiated at ranges well in excess of
400m, with the average being approxi-
mately 600m," he says in the discussion
He argues that specific training must
be introduced to complement range-
enhancing weapons systems such as the
MAG 58 machine gun and sometimes-
available SR25 sniper rifle.
In order to land a projectile in the
centre mass at 600m, a shooter must
be capable of consistently achieving a
75mm group at 100m. With that in mind,
WO2 Pratt argues soldiers who dem-
onstrate such aptitude during standard
range practices should be singled out
to undertake long-range training and
employed as section marksmen.
He says more focused and consistent
marksmanship training at the unit level is
required to improve marksmanship skills
among all soldiers and identify the most
capable individuals for further training.
"Shooting training needs to occur in
shorter sessions with higher frequency
-- a similar frequency to what would be
considered for physical training," he
"All these sessions are not necessarily
live fire but also include basic weapon
handling drills and dry practice ... [how-
ever] live fire should take place once a
fortnight as a minimum.
"Training for shorter periods more
frequently in smaller groups means that
firers with poor technique can be given
appropriate coaching attention, every-
body is in some way involved and range
space is not tied up for long periods of
RSM-A WO Stephen Ward welcomed
the discussion paper and said he was
keen for other soldiers to contribute their
own experiences to the debate on marks-
"The training development system is
set up to consult widely among soldiers
with experience," he said. "I encourage
all our soldiers, particularly those from
combat roles with combat experience, to
read this discussion paper and offer their
"The debate about weapon calibres
and CQB versus long-range training is
nothing new, but it's important that we
continue the discussion in the context of
the current operational environment."
A combat shooting discussion topic has been
opened on the official Australian Army Facebook
page. Soldiers can also contact the RSM-A
directly with suggestions.
Fire at will: Markmanship training should be overhauled to better suit current operational requirements
and develop gifted shooters, according to a School of Inf discussion paper.
Photo by LS Paul Berry
ARMY Headquarters has issued a
policy reminder for the employment of
reservists on Anzac Day.
Official ARes participation in Anzac
Day is normally limited to formed bod-
ies of troops, guards, catafalque parties,
or other support tasks, and reviewing
officers where units have received a
Units may choose to participate in
Anzac Day activities on a voluntary
unpaid attendance basis, where person-
nel are not obligated or directed to ren-
der such service.
Lt-Col Andrew Behan said the pay-
ment of ARes training salaries may be
authorised for official ceremonial ele-
ments of Anzac Day activities.
"As a guide, it's anticipated that not
more than one half-day's pay could be
justified by most members participating
in Anzac Day activities," he said.
"Members undertaking a voluntary
unpaid attendance are ineligible for
the payment of salary or allowances,
but they are deemed to be on duty and
therefore subject to relevant Defence
Army personnel, whether regular or
reserve, can attend Anzac Day activities
in a private capacity, but are normally
permitted to wear uniform only when
participating in directed official duties.
Further information is available in DI(A) Admin
9-1, Policy for Participation in ANZAC Day
Activities by Army Reserve Members and DI(A)
Pers 116-12, Voluntary Unpaid Attendance by
Members of the Army Reserve.
Anzac Day pay limited
to official functions
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