By Francis Wakefield
The Philippine Army selected the best shooters during the conclusion of Philippine Army Marksmanship Assessment and Evaluation (PAMAE) at Camp O’Donnell, Capas, Tarlac on Monday, March 18, 2019.
PAMAE is an annual shooting competition among the 10 Infantry Divisions, Mechanized Infantry Division, First Scout Ranger Regiment (FSRR), Light Reaction Unit (LRR), and Special Forces Regiment (SFR).
Based on the overall team result, the FSRR was hailed as the champion, the 10th Infantry “Agila” Division was first place, and the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division was second place.
The Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) through the Marksmanship Training School (MTS) headed the execution of the 10-day PAMAE finals. During the competition, the participating Army shooters aged 26-years-old and below exhibited their marksmanship skills in the Men’s Pistol, Women’s Pistol, Rifle/Carbine, and Machine Gun categories.
The competitors are from the winning teams of the previous PAMAE qualifying rounds held in different locations all over the country.
Prior to the said event, three Training and Competition Teams from MTS, TRADOC facilitated a simultaneous PAMAE qualifying stage in an ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet format competition to assess the participating unit’s marksmanship skills.
Philippine Army Major Units (PAMUs) for the Luzon Leg qualifying round was held last Feb. 7 to 20, 2019. Participating units for this round included the 2nd Infantry “Jungle Fighter” Division, 5th Infantry “Star” Division, 7th Infantry “Kaugnáy” Division, 9th Infantry “Spear” Division, First Scout Ranger Regiment, Special Forces Regiment (Airborne), Light Reaction Regiment and the Army Artillery Regiment.
The Visayas leg that comprised the 3rd Infantry “Spearhead” Division and 8th Infantry “Stormtrooper” Division competed for the finals last Feb. 13 to 26, 2019.
The Mindanao Leg which included the 1st Infantry “Tabak” Division, 4th Infantry “Diamond” Division, 6th Infantry “Kampilan” Division, 10th Infantry “Agila” Division and 11th Infantry “Alakdan” Division was held at the 1ID Headquarters last Feb. 11 to 24, 2019.
A two-day Marksmanship Instructor – Trainer Forum (MITF) was also conducted before the PAMAE to disseminate Philippine Army’s thrust and guidance regarding marksmanship and to enhance the skills of the trainers.
“Given our profession as protectors of our people and our sovereignty, training, practicing, and improving on our marksmanship skills are imperative with the ultimate goal of achieving mastery,” Army Chief Lt. Gen. Macairog S. Alberto said.
“Through PAMAE, we are able to produce the best marksmen of the Philippine Army, as well as select better trainers in PAMU training schools and this translates to better marksmanship performance in the field of combat,” he added.
First held in 2016, PAMAE serves as the platform for the search of potential members of the Army shooting team that competes in local and international competitions. The Army shooting team has already brought home numerous awards from international competitions such as the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet in South East Asia, Australia Skills at Arms Meeting in Australia, and the International Army Games in Belarus.
“Aside from our search for best shooters, PAMAE is also in line with the TRADOC’s advocacy to improve its marksmanship training program. Our Marksmanship Training School is now developing an advance marksmanship training program which we aim to offer,” Maj. Gen. Roy T. Devesa, Commander, TRADOC, said.