During October 2017, the SANDF Army Reserves once again participated in the 25th annual Netherlands International Shooting Competition for Reserves (NISC). The competition was hosted by the Reservists Shooting Committee (Reservisten Schiet Commissie - RSC) of the Netherlands Armed Forces Federation of Reserves (Nederlandse Reservisten Federatie Krijgsmacht - NRFK). The event was held at the Harskamp Army infantry shooting ranges (Infanterie Schietkamp Harskamp) from 6 to 8 October.
NISC this year attracted over 150 participants from around the world, with countries contributing shottists that compete in teams of three. South Africa joined participants hailing from Albania, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Teams enter three separate categories with different weapons. These are the pistol class, using the 9x19mm Parabellum chambered Glock-17 and Walther P99, and rifle classes with the 5.56mm chambered (M-16 based) Diemaco/Colt Canada C7 and (M-4 based) Diemaco/Colt Canada C8.
As with previous years, the South African team attending the NISC event was drawn from the top performing shottists who competed at the Chief of the SA Army Combat Shooting Competition, held in Bloemfontein from 20 to 22 April 2017. The three top-scoring shottists from each of the open, development and ladies’ categories were selected out of approximately four hundred participants.
The Reserve Force Council and SA Army collaborate in sending Reserve Force shottists to the annual NISC event, with the RFC making annual budgetary provision for the cost of airfares, overseas allowances, entry fees, accommodation and meals. The SA Army makes wages, training equipment and ammunition available to members preparing in South Africa for the overseas competition.
While some of South Africa’s participants had been to NISC events in the past, it was also a time of discovery for others, for whom it was their first long haul international flight and travel abroad. Those selected were:
Colonel Ray van Zanten - SA Army Infantry Formation
Second Lieutenant S.T. Podile - Regiment Mooirivier
Master Warrant Officer Pedro Dias Lobo - Fort iKapa
Corporal A. de Bruin - Cape Town Rifles [female]
Corporal T. Viti - Cape Town Rifles [female]
Trooper E.L. Verwey - Regiment President Steyn [female]
Trooper T.M. Ramatla - Regiment President Steyn
Bombardier D.M. Rossouw - Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment
Bombardier W.J. de Wet - Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment
Gunner M.V. Ntsoeu - Vrystaatse Artillerie Regiment [female]
Trooper H.S. Nophetjhe - Regiment Mooirivier
Private R.E. Fortmann - Natal Carbineers
From left to right: 2Lt Podile, Tpr Verwey, Col van Zanten, Bdr de Wet, Tpr Nophetjhe, Cpl Viti, Bdr Rossouw, Maj Gen Keith Mokoape (Ret), Pvt Fortmann, Gnr Ntsoeu, Tpr Ramatla, Cpl de Bruin, MWO Dias Lobo
The Glock-17 and Walther P99 exercises commenced with sighting practices of 5 rounds standing in 60 seconds followed by Practice 1 with 10 rounds fired from the standing position in 30 seconds on an Olympic Target. Practice 2 entailed 10 rounds fired while kneeling in 40 seconds on an Olympic Target. Targets were set at a distance of 40 meters.
The Diemaco/Colt Canada rifle C-8 exercise starts with a sighting practice of 6 rounds in 30 seconds at distances of 100, 200 and 300 meters. Practice 1 sees 10 rounds fired in 35 seconds at one target at 100 meters while Practice 2 sees 2 x 4 rounds fired in 35 seconds from the sitting position at one target 100 meters distant. In Practice 3, shottists fire 2 x 4 rounds in 8 sequential 3 second exposures at 1 target at 200 meters. Practice 4 is in prone position with 2 x 4 rounds fired in 8 sequential 3 seconds at 1 target 300 meters away.
The Diemaco/Colt Canada C-7 rifle exercise likewise started with a sighting practice, this time of 10 rounds in 30 seconds at targets set at 100, 200 and 300 meters. This was followed by Practice 1 which entailed firing 2x5 rounds from the prone position in 30 seconds on 1 target at 300 meters. Practice 2 required firing 2x5 rounds from the kneeling position in ten 2 second exposures on 1 target at 200 meters. Finally, Practice 3 saw 2x5 round volleys sent down range in 25 seconds from the standing position at 1 target 100 meters distant.
Some of the South African team together with an officer of the Netherlands Reservists Shooting Committee – Colonel G. Lettinga
Competition at the 2017 event was fierce, with South Africa acquitting itself well. The following results mark the Reserve team’s overall performance out of the some 150 participants.
While the event has marksmanship and skill at arms as the order of the day, there was plenty of time for competitors to socialise with their fellows while transiting between the respective ranges. This camaraderie would culminate in the gala evening hosted on Saturday 7 October by the organisers to give credit to participants, range officers and facilitating staff. The Gala's dinner and prize giving provided a platform upon which just reward could be placed upon the best that reserve forces from Europe and around the world had to put forward. SA Army Reserve Team A came first in the Rifle Team Category: Diemaco/Colt Canada C8, while MWO P.M. Dias Lobo placed in the top five in the Individual Rifle Category: Diemaco/Colt Canada: C8.
Team members were afforded the opportunity to visit the Netherlands’ National Military Museum situated at Amersfoort on the former air base at Soesterberg. The museum’s holdings and displays are constituted from the combined collections of the former Military Aviation Museum in Soesterberg and the Army Museum in Delft. Members were able to visit and appreciate the numerous armoured vehicles, rotary and fixed wing aircraft, weapons and military equipment.
As had been the case in previous years, the team paid a visit to South Africa’s diplomatic mission to the Netherlands in Amsterdam to have lunch with the Republic’s Ambassador, His Excellency, Mr Bruce Koloane. Members were most conscious of the notion that they are representatives of South Africa during their time abroad just as their diplomatic counterparts are. The visit marked the conclusion of the team’s time in the Netherlands before their return to South Africa. The experiences and insights gained on the journey will without a doubt be of great value to both the old hands and the newcomers.
The team expresses its sincere thanks for the support rendered by the Reserve Force Council and the SA Army so as to make attendance at the 2017 NISC possible.