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26th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting

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Sixty-four soldiers and airmen from across the U.S. and allied nations took aim at being the top shot at the 26th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM), held this past April at the Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, AR.

Top marksmen from the United States, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom competed shoulder-to-shoulder on four-man teams testing their skills with multiple matches and different firearms systems including pistols, rifles and shotguns. 

The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) hosts the annual training competition to continue emphasis on marksmanship at all levels of the armed forces. The AFSAM also helps build working relationships with our allied nations by encouraging international camaraderie with U.S. allies.

"It's not every day that we get to train with internationals at an actual International competition," said Lt. Matthew Clancey, a marksman from the Canadian Armed Forces shooting team. “It's a great opportunity for us to come to a different environment, see different match conditions, and the way that you handle and use the firearms.” Clancey added, "It's a privilege—to train at this level with such great people."

The range of useful marksmanship knowledge found at this international competition is vast, and the sharing of it is a key aspect.

"It’s here at the marksmanship training center where top-notch shooters from all 50 states, multiple military branches and other countries get a great chance to compete together." said Col. Dennis Humphrey, director of the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center. "We operate in a joint environment when we are down range. It’s important that these branches and partner nations get together to build relationships, so you can trust the soldier or airmen to the left and right of you."

Competitors from other nations also appreciated this rare opportunity for interoperational training at a common location. 

Clancey elaborated: "Working together gives us exposure to them. Talking about the way we use our tactics, the way we use our firearms, and the different ways that we operate in a combat environment. The cross training and working with other countries at such a professional level allows us to up our game."

The high level of competition at this match can be an eye-opener to newcomers.

"When you see the level of competitors out here, the Americans and Canadian, they are taking it proper seriously, it does get a little nerve racking," said first-time competitor Daniel Jenkins, a marksman with the United Kingdom Royal Air Force Regiment shooting team.

For the full results, and more information about AFSAM and the NGMTC visit ngmtc.wordpress.com.

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