Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration

Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration (CAFSAC)

 

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The aim of the Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration (CAFSAC) is to improve marksmanship and small arms proficiency thereby increasing the operational effectiveness of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). This is achieved by providing a training platform in a national level concentration that enables the development of a cadre of credible marksmanship experts. Upon returning to their units, CAFSAC participants use their expertise to develop other members’ marksmanship skills, thereby increasing the unit’s overall operational readiness.

If members of the CAF are interested in participating in CAFSAC, they should let their chain of command know. Teams are selected by the Divisions/Formations to represent them. Once the Warning Order has been released, usually in December or January, the Divisions/Formations put the word out to their units. Units and Brigades then run shoots to determine who will be on their team.

Operationalization of Shooting

To keep CAFSAC relevant to the current operational environments and needs of the CAF:

  • Matches are updated annually and all have an operational focus;
  • Participants wear environmental uniforms and full fighting order (FFO). This includes tactical vests or approved load carriage systems, fragmentation vests, training plates, ballistic eyewear and helmets; and
  • Three dynamic ranges test shooting accuracy, tactical acumen and cognitive ability under stressful conditions (speed).
Professional Development

An important aspect of CAFSAC is professional development. All competitors attend training sessions to further develop their knowledge of marksmanship and enhance their coaching abilities. The sessions this year will focus on advanced coaching techniques. Past sessions have included:

  • The psychology of shooting;
  • Motivation techniques by Jody Mitic, author of Unflinching: The Making of a Canadian Sniper;
  • Presentations by the top female military rifle shooter in Canada;
  • Presentations by previous Queen’s Medalists;
  • International military teams and Canadian police forces sharing best practices for shooting and coaching techniques;
  • Presentations by Canadian Rangers and the introduction of the new Ranger rifle (C19); and
  • A presentation about the 2nd Canadian Division mobile small arms trainer.
Match Summary - CAFSAC 2017

 

Match

Name

Explanation

Practice

Controlled Practice - Service Rifle

Review safety protocols and practice of firing positions, movements and other requirements to ensure shooters understand match requirements. Starts at the 300 m mark, rundown to 50 m, firing weapon from various firing positions and at targets exposed for varying duration.

Practice

Controlled Practice - Service Pistol

Starts at the 25 m mark, move to 10 m, and firing weapon from various firing positions, changing magazines and firing at multiple target types.

Practice

Controlled Practice -Light Machine Gun

Starts at the 200 m mark, rundown to 50 m, firing weapon from various firing positions and firing at multiple target types.

M11

Normandy - Service Rifle

Starts at the 200 m mark, rundown to 100 m, firing weapon while changing firing position, and firing at multiple moving targets.

M12

Defence of Canada -Service Rifle

Starts at the 100 m mark, rundown to 50 m, firing weapon from various firing positions at moving targets exposed for short durations.

M13

Vimy - Service Rifle

Starts at the 300 m mark, rundown to 100 m, firing weapon from various firing positions at targets exposed for varying durations.

M14

Pursuit to Mons - Service Rifle

Starts at the 500 m mark, rundown to 100 m, and firing weapon from various firing positions at static and moving targets, exposed for varying duration.

M15

Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot - Service Rifle

Starts at the 500 m mark, rundown to 100 m, and firing weapon from various firing positions at static and moving targets, exposed for varying duration.

M16

Canadian Ranger Open - Service Rifle

Match designed by Canadian Rangers National Authority to meet Ranger-specific training. Starts at the 100 m mark, move to 25 m, various firing positions, at operationally relevant moving targets.

M17

International Match (Stage I) - Service Rifle

Team starts at the 400 m mark, rundown to 100 m, firing weapon from various firing positions and target.

M18

International Match (Stage II) - Service Rifle

Team starts at the 500 m mark, rundown to 100 m, firing weapon from various firing positions and targets.

M19

Military Biathlon -Service Rifle and Service Pistol

Approx. 7 km course with various activity stations (jerry can carry, casualty drag, etc.). Service Rifle and Service Pistol engagement on various targets exposed for varying duration. 

M20

Barricade engagement - Service Rifle

Starts at the 100 m mark, move to 75 m, firing at targets from various firing positions with multiple types of barricades.

M21

Falaise Pocket - Service Pistol

Starts at the 25 m mark, move to 10 m, firing weapon from various firing positions, changing magazines and firing at targets exposed for varying duration.

M22

Ortona - Service Pistol

Starts at the 30 m mark, move to 10 m, firing weapon from various firing positions, alternating between dominant and weak hands, at targets exposed for varying durations.

M24 - M26

Dynamic Matches - Service Pistol

Three separate operationally relevant matches, occurring in a mock building.  Scenario and layout change annually.

M31

Soldier’s Cup - Service Rifle and Light Machine Gun

March approximately 3 km, complete obstacle course and live fire section attack.

M32

Assault Group & Casualty Evacuation

From 100 m mark to 300 m Casualty Evacuation. 300 m – 200 m obstacle run down, with multiple targets at 200 m.

M33

Assault Group  & Counter Attack - Light Machine Gun and Service Rifle

March 1 km, from 300 m mark, rundown to 100 m, firing weapon from various firing positions at various targets.

M34

Section CQB - Service Rifle and Service Pistol

Starts at the 25 m mark, move to 10 m, transition from Service Rifle to Service Pistol, firing weapon from various firing positions, at multiple targets.

M37

Falling Plates - Service Rifle

Teams are divided into heats. Starting at the 300 m mark, rundown to 200 m, teams must drop all team targets as quickly as possible.

M38

Falling Plates - Service Pistol

Teams are divided into heats. Starting at the 50 m mark, rundown to 15m, teams must drop all team targets as quickly as possible.

M41

Mont de Cats - Light Machine Gun

Starts at the 200 m mark, rundown to 50 m, firing at multiple target types.

M42

The Somme - Light Machine Gun

Starts at the 400 m mark, rundown to 100 m firing at multiple target types.

M43

The Scheldt - Light Machine Gun

Starts at the 500 m mark, rundown to 25 m, firing at multiple exposure types.

M50

Night Shoot - Service Rifle

Starts at the 100 m mark, moving to 50 m, firing weapon from various firing positions at various types of targets using night vision equipment.

 

Quick facts about the matches

Military Biathlon
This is a test of skill, stamina and teamwork. The fully kitted participants move between ranges and activity stations along a 7 km course, engaging targets at various distances, using both service rifle and service pistol. Activities include moving full ammunition cans and dragging a casualty. This challenge is hard core!

Barricade Engagement
In combat, shooting positions are never ideal. The barricade consists of a wooden “door” with slots and circles cut in at various heights - not quite high enough for one position; not quite low enough for another. The shooters must adapt their position to engage various targets. It feels awkward and takes focus to get the rounds on the target.

The Canadian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (CASAM)
These four shoots belong to the Army Commander. Eight- and four-person teams take part in a grueling series of challenges based on operational skills. Only the best trained and fittest soldiers need apply!

The Night Shoot
CAFSAC tests shooters in various light conditions. The night shoot gets participants out of their comfort zone and replicates night operations.

The Queen’s Medal for Champion Shot and Captain Shannon Wills Trophy

The Queen’s Medal is awarded to the member of the Regular Force and the member of the Reserve Force or Royal Canadian Mounted Police who has shot the highest score in the qualifying matches at CAFSAC.

The Captain Shannon Wills Trophy is awarded to the member of the Canadian Rangers with the highest score in the Canadian Ranger Open Match. Commencing in 2017, the recipient of this trophy will be presented with a newly designed shooting medal.

 

New Bear Targets
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The Canadian Rangers are armed to deal with wild animals. New for 2017, they will be shooting at bear targets at one of their matches to simulate realistic conditions.

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