Defence has cancelled the international component of the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting which started at Greenbank Queensland today.
CAPTION: International action during the Australian Army Skills at Arms Meeting 2019 held at Puckapunyal, Victoria. Photo by Corporal Jessica de Rouw.
Yesterday, Defence issued a press release talking up the Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting 2020, which was notable for its failure to mention the international component of the competition, usually billed as a key international-engagement activity.
Defence confirmed to CONTACT today that the tournament was indeed cancelled, because of COVID-19.
Defence’s spokesman said the Australian government, like other governments around the world, was readjusting a range of plans and commitments in response to COVID-19.
“Defence has taken the decision to cancel the international component of Australian Army Skill at Arms Meet (AASAM) 2020,” he said.
“The decision to cancel the international component of AASAM was a prudent measure in the best interest of participants.
“All international participating teams have been informed.
“The domestic component AASAM20 is being held at Greenbank Training Area in south-east Queensland from 13 to 19 March 2020.
“The decision to change venues for this year’s competition from the Puckapunyal Military Area is unrelated to COVID-19 and was made with the view to give international competitors the chance to compete at one of the Australian Army’s other military shooting ranges.
“A decision is yet to be made on the location of AASAM 2021.
“Defence can confirm that both the domestic and international competitions are anticipated to occur in next year’s competition.”
More information on Defence’s response to COVID-19 is available here.