The 2010 Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) is now in the history books and the US Army Reserve Team was the dominating presence!
Hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center in Camp Robinson, Arkansas, AFSAM is an International shooting competition open to all NATO countries that began in 1991 with three countries and 49 participants. AFSAM 2010 consisted of 18 formal teams, with several more shooting for honors, and competitors hailing from seven countries. In addition to US Army Reserve and National Guard teams from the United States, shooters from Canada, Australia, England, Netherlands, Denmark and Norway competed in this year’s events.
Here is an AAR from Team OIC, LTC Sperlongano.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone that participated in this year’s Armed Forces Skill At Arms Meet, in LR. Your performance was simply outstanding! While the team has performed well every year since I have been the team captain, what you did this year was absolutely spectacular, and I thank you for making my last AFSAM the most memorable team event.
I have to admit; I was a bit concerned about the state of our equipment and after all the rounds we put down range at Ft Devens during the training session I really didn’t know if our guns had enough life left in them to compete at AFSAM. At the start of the events the NG did not seem to be too concerned about our team as they thought that I had only brought pistol shooters to AFSAM since the USAR dominated the pistol events by taking 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th in match 303 and 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th in the overall Individual Pistol Aggregate. Then MSG Espinosa finished 1st in pistol overall, 1st in rifle overall and 1st in rifle and pistol combined overall. They still were not too concerned as it was only and individual who got lucky…so they thought! Well luck had nothing to do with it; what Lance did was the result of aggressive regimented training from the start of the training session at Ft Devens and continued through home station training and finally at AFSAM. Outstanding job Lance, I know that our departed brother Brent Lantagne is as proud of you as we all are!
I also would like to recognize SFC Sanderson for winning pistol match 303; thus far no one has been able to beat him in that match! Keith, looking at the scores and performance from last week, I say you better be training hard for next year’s AFSAM as a few of our team members such as SFC Moore, SFC Buol, and MSG Espinosa are creeping up to you and at this pace I will not be surprise to see that one of them actually beat you. And if that happens you owe me a bottle of good Cognac! (that bet will still be in place even after I’m gone)
One last individual recognition needs to go to our three new members, MAJ Scandrett, SPC Shewalter (AKA Sheman) and SPC Willis; gentlemen for your first appearance at an international competition, your performance was outstanding. Welcome on board and I know that you will have a great future with our team! CSM Slee, thank you for recruiting those two young men and SGM Payne thank you for recruiting MAJ Scandrett.
While individuals win matches, we all know that unless they come together and mold into a team that becomes one entity, they will have no chance of winning a championship. That is exactly the reason why the USAR Combat Team was so successful last week, we were the only team on the line! Everyone else had a group of good shooters on the line representing their organizations! We were a true team with one goal in mind: work as a team to accomplish the mission! With that you achieved and surpassed incredible odds, specially with equipment that is totally worn out. That became evident during the Infantry Trophy Match, since the bulk of the rounds are fired from 500 yrds, we were not able to win that match. It’s hard to compete in that match with our current guns, but you made it all up from there on.
While there were so many incredible achievements; I would like to point out the last day of the events while competing for the three most prestigious international matches; We started neck and neck and fell behind after a couple of stages, arriving at the 500 yrd line with 12 points behind the leaders. I have to admit I was concern as I know the shape of our equipment was not where it needs to be. But by the time of the last run-down from 500 to 100 yrs, the USAR team finished with an impressive 28 points in the lead!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The same team then went on to compete in the most physically demanding event of AFSAM and finished and amazing 93 points ahead of the next closest team!!!!!! That gave us a total overall lead of 120 points from the next team and winning the most prestigious award; The Lexington Green Trophy!! Outstanding!!!
Of the 10 team events we took 5 first places, 2 second places, and 4 third places. Of the 9 individual events we took 7 first places, 5 second places and 5 third places. Pretty impressive considering the shape of our equipment! I have attached the spreadsheet of the match results so everyone can see your stellar performance during AFSAM 2010. The team performed above my wildest expectation and I know that you all pushed your selves to make that happen for me. I am honored and proud of each and every one of you for what you did. You are true champions in more ways that you can imagine. Thank you for all you did!