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Rifle Team to compete in military shooting comp.


New Zealand Army Rifle Team to compete in international military shooting competition

As all eyes are on the All Blacks another Kiwi team has its sights set on “conquering the world” in Australia later this month.

The New Zealand Army Rifle Team will compete in an international military shooting competition in Brisbane from November 16-29.

And just like All Blacks the 20-man team has some scores to settle. It’s the first time in three years a New Zealand team had been fielded, due to the Army’s commitments in East Timor.

Team captain Hayden Dempsey said the team had performed “very credibly” in past years, particularly in 1999. “This year we’ve got a fresh look with 14 new firers competing.”

The event will involve individual and team events including sniper shooting, close quarter battle engagement, night firing, and machine gun matches.

Ten countries would compete including the United States, Australia, Britain, Fiji, Singapore, and Malaysia.

The team, made up of Regular and Territorial Force soldiers from all over the country, has spent four weeks intensive training at Burnham Military Camp.

Staff Sergeant Robbie Tiffin, of Christchurch, a veteran of five events, said training involved early starts and long days. “We’ve been shooting in rain, wind, and nor’westers.”

He is a Territorial Force soldier and gunsmith.

Private George Pringle, of Cambridge, who has been in the Army for four and ½ years, said he was “pretty happy” to be in the team. “I’m proud to do it.”

Captain Dempsey said the event would enable the Army to gauge the standard of its small arms shooting standards and gain exposure to other military small arms shooting techniques.

“The experience gained will assist in the further development of the Army’s small arms shooting skills and techniques.”

It would also foster links with other countries, he said.


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