U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

 

U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

AASAM combines two basic tenets of the Marine Corps

By Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud | | May 15, 2011

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Sgt. Joshua Martin, competitor, Combat Shooting Team, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, runs to the firing point during a timed match May 15 at the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting.  The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19.  (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released)

Sgt. Joshua Martin, competitor, Combat Shooting Team, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, runs to the firing point during a timed match May 15 at the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting. The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud)


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Staff Sgt. Benjamin Robinson, assistant staff non-commissioned officer in charge, electrical shop, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, moves through an obstacle May 9 during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting.  The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19.  (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released)

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Robinson, assistant staff non-commissioned officer in charge, electrical shop, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, moves through an obstacle May 9 during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting. The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud)


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Lance Cpl. Pete Shea (left), rifleman, and Cpl. Duane Kamps (right) mortarman, both with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, sprint toward the firing line May 10 during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting.  The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19.  (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released)

Lance Cpl. Pete Shea (left), rifleman, and Cpl. Duane Kamps (right) mortarman, both with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, sprint toward the firing line May 10 during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting. The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud)


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Sgt. Jonathan Shue, noncommissioned officer in charge, machine shop, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, sprints to the next firing point here May 15 during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (AASAM). Shue was participating in a pistol competition that tested speed, accuracy and the ability to distinguish between hostile and non-hostile targets.  AASAM is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19.  (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released)

Sgt. Jonathan Shue, noncommissioned officer in charge, machine shop, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, sprints to the next firing point here May 15 during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (AASAM). Shue was participating in a pistol competition that tested speed, accuracy and the ability to distinguish between hostile and non-hostile targets. AASAM is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud)


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Marines with Combat Shooting Team, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, sprint towards the firing line here May 15 as onlookers from several nations look on during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting. The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19.  (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released)

Marines with Combat Shooting Team, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico, sprint towards the firing line here May 15 as onlookers from several nations look on during the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting. The meeting is an annual, international combat-marksmanship competition hosted by the Australian Army that will run through May 19. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud/Released) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Mark W. Stroud)


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PUCKAPUNYAL, Australia - U.S. Marines stationed at Quantico, Va., Kaneohe Bay, HI, and Okinawa, Japan participate in the falling plate competition during the the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (AASAM) May 15. The week-long meeting pits representatives from partner-nations in competition in a grueling series of combat marksmanship events. Represented nations include Canada, France (French Forces New Caledonia), Indonesia, Timor Leste, Brunei, Netherlands, US Marines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and a contingent of Japanese observers. The AASAM is designed to pit the best soldiers against each other in a tough combat-like environment. Since 1984, AASAM has been Australia's premier military shooting tournament.

PUCKAPUNYAL, Australia - U.S. Marines stationed at Quantico, Va., Kaneohe Bay, HI, and Okinawa, Japan participate in the falling plate competition during the the 2011 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (AASAM) May 15. The week-long meeting pits representatives from partner-nations in competition in a grueling series of combat marksmanship events. Represented nations include Canada, France (French Forces New Caledonia), Indonesia, Timor Leste, Brunei, Netherlands, US Marines, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and a contingent of Japanese observers. The AASAM is designed to pit the best soldiers against each other in a tough combat-like environment. Since 1984, AASAM has been Australia's premier military shooting tournament. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Cohen A. Young, Defense Media Activity)


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PUCKAPUNYAL, Australia -- Much of the mystique of the Corps is built around the idea of Marines who push their bodies beyond physical limits on the training field and posses an unerring dedication to marksmanship.

It is only natural that Marines would be drawn to a competition that tested them in both areas.

Marine Shooting Detachment Australia, composed of 16 Marines from around the Corps, travelled here to participate in just such an event -- the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2011 (AASAM).

“I came here to compete with and learn from some of the best marksman in the world,” said Sgt. Jonathan Shue, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge of machine shop, Marine Aviation Logistics Group 36, Marine Air Group 36, 1st Marine Air Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.

AASAM, an annual competition, attracted experts from 13 nations to test their abilities in the field of combat marksmanship over a series of more than 100 events.

Many of the events incorporated physical challenges, from timed sprints to obstacles that needed to be traversed and all events included minimum gear weight requirements to replicate a combat load.

“We were always wearing a minimum of 17 pounds of gear and a fair amount of the courses included sprints or obstacles,” said Shue. “The physical aspect of the competition was very demanding.”

Combining physical fitness with traditional aspects of an international shooting match created a melting pot of techniques and ideas.

“When you are engaging yourself in physical activity, your heart rate is up, your breathing rate is elevated so you need to learn how to adapt your marksmanship skills to control those variables,” said Shue.

The physical aspects of the courses of fire created an engaging environment for participants and field-applicable practice that one Shue felt could benefit anyone going through combat training.

“The marksmanship applications that AASAM has come up with, from the barricades to the obstacle courses, have enhanced the training aspects of the shooting,” said Shue. “This type of shooting would greatly promote interest in Marine Corps marksmanship at any experience level.”

With much of the competition left to go, the Marines already had the feeling that the physical aspect of the courses improved their combat marksmanship and were eager to bring back what they had learned to share with their fellow Marines in the fleet.

“I would like to see more physical fitness aspects be introduced into Marine marksmanship training,” said Sgt. Joshua Martin, competitor, Combat Shooting Team, Weapons Training Battalion, Marine Corps Base Quantico. “There is simply not enough of it being included presently.”