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B Company 2/4 Battalion Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment, comprised of soldiers from Otago and Southland, participates in an annual weapons qualification (AWQ) at a military rifle range.
This year the rifle-range exercise was based at the New Zealand Army’s West Melton range, near Christchurch, over the weekend. Captain Duncan McEwan said the purpose of the weekend was to develop "shooting skills and test shooting capability".
"People can see where they are at," he said.
"There’s always a little bit of friendly competition to see who’s the top shot."
The 47 B Company soldiers at the AWQ came from all walks of life,
and ranged from farmers and students to tradesmen and business leaders.
"It’s really neat."
A large part of shooting was preparation, and being familiar with different weapons, as well as marksmanship.
The soldiers tested their skills on four types of weapon, including pistols and light machine guns, at different distances. The weekend was a prerequisite for B Company’s live field exercise in Central Otago next month, Capt McEwan said.
"It gives them the competence and confidence with a new weapons system," he said.
"It’s been an excellent weekend, we’ve got a lot done and we’re very happy with the outcome."
The exercise was for B Company soldiers, but a few from other companies also joined in.