Third annual combat shooting exchange with Vietnam People's Army

14 April 2023

Instructors from the Army School of Infantry Singleton, NSW have travelled to Vietnam for the third annual Combat Shooting Exchange with the Vietnam People’s Army (VPA).

The VPA first participated in the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting in 2019 and in the following year, Defence conducted the inaugural Combat Shooting Exchange between the VPA and the Australian Army in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Commanding Officer of the School of Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Thapthimthong, CSC, said the activity helped forge closer ties with the VPA.

“The Army School of Infantry instructors are in Hanoi to teach contemporary combat shooting techniques to VPA soldiers,” LTCOL Thapthimthong said.

“We are providing theoretical and practical training focusing on range safety, marksmanship principles, combat shooting drills, observation and concealment, and long-range shooting. It is a great opportunity for my soldiers to forge important working relationships with our VPA colleagues.”

The lessons delivered to the VPA Combat Shooting Team build upon those from previous years which develop VPA marksmanship principles into close combat shooting skills.

The Australian Army instructors are now well versed to overcome language barriers and instruct VPA soldiers across a wide range of weapon platforms.

Commander Headquarters Forces Command, Major General Susan Coyle, AM, CSC, DSM, said the Shooting Exchange was an example of the strengthening relationship between the Australian Army and Vietnam People’s Army.

“Australia and Vietnam are marking the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year,” Major General Coyle said.

“The Shooting Exchange’s ongoing success is a great demonstration of the close Army-to Army relationship enjoyed by our two countries. We are building upon our practical cooperation, personal connections, and sharing and developing core Army skills.”

Media note 

Commanding Officer of the School of Infantry, Lieutenant Colonel Richard Thapthimthong, CSC, is available for media interview to discuss the activity. 

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