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The Army Reserve Marksmanship Program sent a team of 14 Soldiers to compete in the Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) held 31 March-13 April at Camp Robinson. AFSAM is an International Combat/Service Conditions small arms event that included teams from the British Army Reserve, Royal Air Force, Canadian Armed Forces, Royal Netherlands Army, U.S. National Guard, and U.S. Marine Corps.
“Our goal at AFSAM 2019 was to win or place in the top three while learning and testing world-class shooting techniques to be the premier marksmanship trainers in the Army Reserve,” said Lt. Col. Scott Klawon, the Team officer in charge. “We brought five new shooters to AFSAM and sharpened our small arms skills on the M9, M16A4, and M4A1 using Elcan and ACOG optics from close quarters distances out to 500 yards.”
The Army Reserve Team consisted of 14 shooter-instructors. In addition to being members of the Army Reserve and serving in their assigned units, each of these team members also assists with Mobile Training Team missions as an additional duty to train other Army Reserve Soldiers as the Army Reserve does not currently have a permanently-assigned organization and staff dedicated to small arms training.
At this year’s AFSAM, the Army Reserve Team took first place in four team matches, two individual matches, and an additional top three finishes in 22 other team and individual matches at the event.
“The team improved from last year increasing the number of top three place finishes greatly,” Klawon said. “Our top performance among some of the best Combat/Service Conditions shooters in the world validates our training techniques and we’re better prepared to conduct MTTs (Mobile Training Teams missions) to help other Army Reserve Soldiers as the Army Reserve’s premier marksmanship instructors.”
Individual wins for the Army Reserve team included a first place in RI 3060, Special Zero (Sgt. 1st Class Cheryl Morris, ARCD) and RT3600, International Team Match High Individual (Staff Sgt. Sean Morris, 200th MP Command). First place team wins included RT 3350, Combat Rifleman Team Match; PT 2340, Rapid Pistol CQB Team; PT 2330, Pistol Barricade Team Match; and RT 3195, Know Your Limits Barricade. In addition to these first places finishes, the Army Reserve team placed in the top three of 22 other team and individual matches.
“We have great new talent and the scores are reflecting that,” Klawon said. “One of our experienced shooters confessed this may be his last year competing with our team because he sees the high level of new talent we now have. This will motivate people to train harder and further increase competition scores.”