Sniper Championship draws top military shooters to compete in Arkansas

National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
Story by Sgt. Sara Yoke

Date: 04.19.2018
Posted: 04.19.2018 11:58
News ID: 273693

ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – The Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) is preparing for an international competition at Fort Chaffee to test the skills of snipers from all over the world from April 21-26.
Service members will execute sniper tasks in the 47th Annual Winston P. Wilson (WPW) Sniper Championship Match at Fort Chaffee Maneuver Training Center, Ark. Concurrently, the Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) will be held for international and interservice competitors. These championships offer the Army, National Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force, and foreign allies the opportunity to test sniper skills and weapon systems in a battle-focused environment.
This year’s match is attracting National Guard teams from eighteen states, and teams from four countries, including Denmark, Canada, Poland and Italy. Interservice teams participating include those from the U.S. Army Sniper School, 7th Group Special Forces (Airborne), Warrior Training Center, 442nd Infantry Regiment (U.S. Army Reserves) and All Guard.
These matches are designed to promote marksmanship training through competition between service members that is battle-focused, using a controlled stressful environment. The matches offer a rare opportunity for members of varied uniformed services to come together and learn from each other through experience and team interaction.
“Participation in these events can provide opportunities to expose traditional Guardsmen to advanced tactics, techniques and procedures used by allied foreign military forces and active duty units,” said Maj. David Stapp, Chief of Operations for the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, which hosts the events.
Throughout the week, there will be 14 marksmanship events, five weapon systems utilized, and each marksman will fire more than 360 rounds during the match. They will be evaluated on field firing, advanced marksmanship, field craft, shooter and spotter communication, and target engagement with a sidearm
In addition to the marksmanship aspect of these competitions, the snipers will be expected to employ numerous other skills that are critical to a sniper’s combat mission.
“Ninety-nine percent of the sniper’s job is observing and reporting battlefield information for the commander,” said Sgt. 1st Class Jon Plummer, Noncommissioned Officer in charge of the matches.
“The teams will be doing field craft events such as: stalking, target detections, land navigation and range estimation,” said Plummer.
Those additional skills are highly effective in limiting collateral damage on the battlefield, said Stapp.
Matches are scheduled to begin April 21 and will close out with an award ceremony on April 26, celebrating the winners of three categories for the WPW and AFSAM competitions. These include the Precision Engagement, Silent Hunter, and Overall Best Sniper Team.
With national teams going head-to-head with one another and foreign allied teams from as far away as Italy, it promises to be a memorable experience for all who attend. Perhaps most importantly, competitors are certain to come
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