August 21, 2010
While the event is built up around a shooting contest, the event is more about camaraderie between the Troopers and Mounties. Shortly after Alaska became a state in 1959, Inspector Joe Vachon, commanding officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, wanted to find a way for the Mounties and Troopers to get to know each other better on a personal basis as well as strengthen their working partnership. It is the longest standing international shooting competition in the world. Some of the troopers competing this weekend have had to reach across the border and work with Mounties. The Shoot gives them an opportunity to establish and strengthen those long-standing relationships with RCMP.
The 50th Anniversary of the longest standing international shooting competition, known as "The Shoot", was celebrated with a formal dinner on Friday, Aug. 13th. Mounties attended wearing their Red Surge uniforms and Troopers donned the AST blue tunics. RCMP Commissioner Bill Elliot traveled from Ottawa, Ontario to attend the anniversary celebration and watch some of the competition.
This year, The Shoot was held at the Grey Mountain shooting range in Whitehorse, Yukon. There, a team of Schoenberg, Commissioner Masters, Hall, AWT Sgt. Brent Johnson of King Salmon, Trooper Andrew Neason of Fairbanks, Trooper Steve Lantz of Fairbanks and alternate Sgt. Chad Goeden of Fairbanks shot side by side with their RCMP partners standing behind them. This included shooting at targets with the RCMP's standard issue 9 mm Smith and Wesson. Similarly, the Mounties shot a course using their Trooper partner's standard issue pistol, the Fourth Generation .40-caliber Glock. They took turns running through the AST and RCMP shooting courses with the respective guns. This relates to a case years ago where the Mounties and Troopers were working together to track down a suspect near Hyder, a border community in Southeastern Alaska with a neighboring Canadian community just across the international line. Policy prevented the trooper from using his service weapon in Canada when the trooper crossed the border. The Mounties had to provide him with one of their weapons to use during the apprehension.
The Spall tactical portion of the competition involved firing not only pistols, but also a variety of other firearms and then running to the next station all after beginning the course by doing 15 jumping jacks to get the heart rate going.
Next year, the event will return to Alaska. The date and location will be determined at a latter time
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