News: Top guns compete in Adder
Story by Jerad Alexander
By Pvt. Andrew Slovensky
U.S. Division - Center
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq – The sounds coming from the John Wayne Lightning Range, Sept. 11, on Contingency Operating Base Adder were anything but thunder. Service members with U.S. Division-Center took part in a shooting competition that tested their skill and speed with rifles and pistols.
Soldiers and airmen competed in one of two categories: using just a rifle, or using both a rifle and M9 handgun. Competitors were required to fire from behind cover at targets set up at various distances, incorporating magazine changes, all while wearing full body armor.
They were scored on accuracy and time, and deducted points for any safety violations. The top firers will be announced when the competition concludes, Sept. 25, after a second round of shooters take their shot at the competition.
Capt. James Richard, a physician assistant with the 20th Engineer Brigade, said that the competition creates a realistic training experience because firing against the clock created stress similar to that found in combat operations.
“By using practical shooting the way we are here, I think it brings a different skillset for Soldiers to use and develop,” said Richard, who planned the event. “It is a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun to see how they match against their peers.”
Richard said that in addition to demonstrating the service members’ marksmanship skills, the event was good for morale and welfare, and honed soldier skills using assets already in theater.
“It’s just a good time for guys to come out, to do some practicing and a little competition,” said Spc. Jeffery Patteson, with the 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment, Virginia Army National Guard.
When the last spent-brass casing hit the ground, soldiers and airmen walked away with a day’s training and a fun experience. After the second round of competitors get a chance to showcase their skills, COB Adder might know who is the sharpest shot around.