South Carolina conducts international marksmanship training event

Sgt. Joseph Berendzen, 43rd Civil Support Team, watches as Sgt. Major Sven Theede, Operations Sgt. Major for the German Armed Forces Command U.S. and Canada, demonstrates the hasty firing position for the Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun during the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Training Exercise in March, 2015.

Sgt. Joseph Berendzen, 43rd Civil Support Team, watches as Sgt. Major Sven Theede, Operations Sgt. Major for the German Armed Forces Command U.S. and Canada, demonstrates the hasty firing position for the Rheinmetall MG3 machine gun during the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Training Exercise in March, 2015.

MCCRADY TRAINING CENTER, S.C. – The South Carolina National Guard partnered with the German Armed Forces Command U.S. and Canada (GEFORCOM US/CA) to conduct the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Training Exercise in March, 2015.

The exercise began as the state marksmanship match conducted annually to award the Governor’s 20 tab to Soldiers and Airmen in the South Carolina National Guard. It turned into a joint training exercise that allowed U.S. and German military to exchange training and weapons capabilities.

“There is always something new to learn and some skill to make better by being exposed to a different way of doing things,” said Master Sgt. Dominic Mueller, the maintenance chief for the German detachment. “Overall, it makes our Soldiers better thinkers, problem solvers and communicators.”

1st Lt. Matthew Hannon poses for a quick photo with his counterparts from the German Armed Forces Command U.S. and Canada during the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Excercise in March 2015.

1st Lt. Matthew Hannon poses for a quick photo with his counterparts from the German Armed Forces Command U.S. and Canada during the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Excercise in March 2015.

1st Lt. Matthew Hannon, 2nd Battalion, 263rd Air Defense Artillery, emphasized the importance of training with our allied partners.

“As we continue to evolve into a joint warfighting posture around the globe, it is important to coordinate and include our foreign partners in events other than during wartime engagements,” said Hannon.

Over the three day match, the S.C. Guardsmen trained the detachment of 15 German Soldiers on the use and capabilities of the M16 rifle, M9 pistol, and the M110 sniper rifle. In exchange, the German Soldiers trained the U.S. service members on the Rheinmetall MG 3 General Purpose Machine Gun and the Heckler & Koch G36 Assault Rifle.

904After receiving training, all 15 German Soldiers passed a weapon qualification on the M16 and M9 systems. Additionally, the German detachment offered the opportunity for U.S. service members to earn the German Armed Forces Badge of Marksmanship, or the Schützenschnur. There were 10 gold and 12 silver Schützenschnur badges awarded.

 

Sgt. Joseph Berendzen, 43rd Civil Support Team, won the Top Gun award of the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Training Exercise. He also earned the gold Schützenschnur badge.

Leadership from both organizations hopes that this will be the beginning of a partnership that will continue into the future.

Sgt. Major Sven Theede, the operations sergeant major for the German detachment, believes the event was a great start toward producing an annual tradition of marksmanship training and competition between U.S. and German forces. “I like the potential of what this can turn into and what both sides may gain from the experience,” he said.

Command Sgt. Major Robert H. Brickley, the S.C. state command sergeant major, echoes Theede’s sentiment. “It is my hope that this is just the first event in developing a long relationship between South Carolina and the German Armed Forces Command US/CA,” he said.

Hannon sums up the exercise by pointing out that the shared training value is beneficial for both military forces. “Most of all, we are training and improving basic Soldier skills: shoot, move, and communicate,” he said. “It is the life blood of ground forces around the world.”

Members of the South Carolina National Guard and the German Armed Forces Command U.S. and Canada pose for a photo after the completion of the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Training Exercise in March, 2015. The event was a joint marksmanship training exercise designed to exchange training and weapons capabilities between the allied forces.

Members of the South Carolina National Guard and the German Armed Forces Command U.S. and Canada pose for a photo after the completion of the South Carolina National Guard Warfighter Sustainment Training Exercise in March, 2015. The event was a joint marksmanship training exercise designed to exchange training and weapons capabilities between the allied forces.

2015 Winston P. Wilson

Story and Photos by Staff Sgt. Kelvin M. Green, 119th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

 

CAMP JOSEPH T. ROBINSON, Ark.– The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center hosted the 44th annual Winston P. Wilson rifle and pistol championship matches last week at Camp Joseph T. Robinson, North Little Rock, Arkansas.

DSC_0559 The Wilson Championship matches are a training exercise consisting of multiple events designed to test and improve the capabilities of individuals and teams participating from National Guard units from around the United States.

Many competing in this year’s event are returning participants who often begin training as soon as they return home from the previous Wilson matches. Each team receives a list of events expected to be a part of the overall competition approximately three to four months in advance, giving them enough time to prepare.

This year nearly 250 individuals participated in the annual event that is considered the premier military competition in the United States. The event not only tests the skills of those participating, but also sharpens their skillset by providing additional information about weaponry and marksmanship that they may not have been aware of before.

Over a five day period, the participants are tested on their ability to not only perform as marksmen but as a team. They are required to fire rifles, pistols and shotguns during the competition, which can at times be just as physically tiring.

“Yeah it’s a lot but you do it because of the love for it,” said Sgt. 1st. Class Jacob Iwanski of the Wisconsin team. “When you’re out there in the moment you’re not thinking about it, so it’s nothing.”

DSC_0688 Not only are they competing in the competition, but   most have traveled hundreds of miles away from  home to be a part of the annual event.

“It sucks being away from family but they  understand because of how much I want to be a part of it,” said Iwanski. “I’ve shot at regionals before, but this is my third year competing at Wilson and there’s nothing like it.”

Despite various challenges that many competitors face, they still do not allow it to deter them from attending. Competing amongst some of the best shooters in the country and a passion for shooting is what makes them want to come back according to Sgt. 1st Class Justin Zabinski of the Wisconsin team.

The motivation to compete comes from the love of shooting in general and the fact that we’re learning more about marksmanship, said Zabinski. “We love shooting entirely too much to not come back to next years Wilson, so we’ll definitely be back.”

2014 All Army

CAMP JOSEPH T. ROBINSON, Ark. – National Guard soldiers battled alongside soldiers Army wide last week for the top honors in the U.S. Army Small Arms Championship at Fort Benning, Ga., known to those in the marksmanship community simply as All Army.favorite 2 of 5
The All Army is an advanced combat live-fire training event. Training and skill exercises are applicable to all military small arms firing disciplines. The championship had 213 competitors this year, 63 of which were National Guard soldiers.
The California National Guard successfully defended its title and is now two-time overall team champions. California’s two teams took home the first and third place team awards.
In addition to the team awards, National Guard soldiers placed highly in the Overall Individual championships also. Staff Sgt. Timothy Barber, Joint Forces Headquarters, South Carolina Army National Guard, of Columbia, S.C., came in third place in the Pro class.
Spc. Demetrios Iannios, 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment, of Etna, Calif., came in first place in the Open class. Iannios was also on the first place team. Staff Sgt. Jose Moreno, Brigade Support Battalion, 79th Infantry Brigade, of Gardena, Calif., came in third place.
Staff Sgt. James Bruce, 1st Squadron, 297th Cavalry Regiment, of Fort Richardson, Alaska, came in third place in the Novice class.
DSC_9204 The competition is not only an opportunity for bragging rights; the experience gained through competitions is invaluable to increasing the readiness of the soldiers.
“At the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit, we use the phrase ‘competition to combat’ to describe the experience of taking lessons learned through competition to enhance the capability and lethality of the soldier in combat,” said Lt. Col. Don King Jr., commander of the USAMU and host of the event.
Sgt. 1st Class Eric Lawrence, Joint Forces Headquarters, South Carolina Army National Guard, of Columbia, S.C., says shooting at paper targets, as opposed to targets that are knocked down when hit, allows soldiers to see exactly where their rounds are impacting. “Actually knowing where you’re hitting is a great training tool for every soldier,” said Lawrence.
In addition to honing marksmanship skills, other critical lessons can be learned from competition. Equipment validation is just as vital a task as shooting. Where you’re placing your magazines, how to utilize them, and how to get to them quickly are just some of the techniques Lt. Col. Louis Millikan, California State Marksmanship Coordinator, takes home with him.favorite 5 of 5
“Making sure soldiers place their equipment in a fashion that allows them to get more bullets down range, accurately and quickly, is what we share in units,” said Millikan.
While the training is invaluable, it is still a source of pride for those in the marksmanship community to do well at All Army. “It was a great competition. I’m happy about the way our team did this year,” said Iannios. “It was fantastic to come back and be able to defend what we did last year.”

Check out the final results here: http://www.usaac.army.mil/amu/competitions/2014/2014%20allarmyresults.asp

CNGB Postal Matches wrap up; Illinois soldiers take top honors

The Chief, National Guard Bureau Postal Match Championship (CNGB) was held on 19-21 August 2013, here at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) at Camp J. T. Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Captain Jason P. Hogue, CNGB Program Manager for NGMTC, concluded the competition was a success.

“With this year’s hurdle, between budget constraints and several competitions taking place at the same time, the service members pushed through the obstacles to get here and made their presence known immediately with their fire superiority.”

The (CNGB) Postal Match Championship is a competitive training event sponsored by the NGMTC and it promotes basic individual rifle and pistol marksmanship skills at the unit level by allowing participation by as many competitors as possible.

The CNGB Postal Matches has three phases of competition: a Postal Phase, a Marksmanship Area Council (MAC) Region Phase, and a National Championship Shoulder-to-Shoulder Phase.

Phase I – Postal Phase. The postal phase gives competitors an opportunity to test their marksmanship skills against other Soldiers and Airmen in their unit and state utilizing the Laser Marksmanship Training System. Match results must be fired and forwarded to the NGMTC. Each Soldier or Airman can compete as many times as desired, but only one result can be submitted for scoring.

Phase II – MAC Region Phase. Phase II is a paper aggregate match. NGMTC will receive all Phase I results, sort them by MAC region, and publish a results bulletin. The results bulletin determines the top four competitors per MAC.

Phase III – Shoulder-to-Shoulder Phase. This phase is a three day rifle and pistol live fire competition conducted at the NGMTC at Robinson Maneuver Training Center (RMTC), North Little Rock, Arkansas. The top 4 competitors per MAC Region in Phase II will receive automatic invitations to compete. The individual winner of Phase III is the competitor earning the highest aggregate score, and is the overall CNGB Postal Match champion.

Phase III Soldiers and Airmen are also introduced to each All Guard Team Discipline firing Service Pistol, Service Rifle and Combat Courses of Fire with instruction from All Guard Members. Both individual and team matches are conducted to support teamwork and MAC Region training. Also included is conduct of the Excellence-in-Competition Match providing an opportunity to earn leg points towards becoming distinguished in both Combat Rifle and Combat Pistol culminating in an outstanding training opportunity.

“You are among the most accurate and precise shooters we have. That alone is something to be proud of,” Col. Franklin D. Powell, NGMTC Commander, told those in attendance.

“Fire superiority is number one. Regardless of your rank, regardless of the uniform you wear… at the end of the day, it comes down to the red stripe on the American flag; which represents those Soldiers that bled in battle. With the training gained at competitions such as the CNGB, we can ensure it’s not our own blood that’s shed,” he said.

CNGB TY13 Results

SERVICE PISTOL PI211:
1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 792-11

NRA MATCH RI311:

1. SGT TERRY PODY, ILLIONIS, 467-3

SERVICE RIFLE TEAM RT311:
1. HAWAII, 610-3
*SSG CHRISTOPHER HARVEY
*MSG DWAYNE LIM
*SSG TAYLOR ELLIS
*MAJ ROBERT GALINO

COMBAT PISTOL EIC PI2210:
1. TSGT SHAWN JARRELL, 170-2

ANTI-BODY ARMOR PI2250:
1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 142

ANTI-BODY ARMOR PT2350:
1. ILLIONIS, 357
*SGT TERRY PODY
*SSG TRACY MIX
*SPC NATHAN BELMONTE
*2LT DANIELLE MULLANE

CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE RI3010:
1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 140

SPECIAL ZERO RI3060:
1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 88-3

COMBAT RIFLE RI3210:
1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 161-3

TEAM PISTOL & RIFLE AGG:
1. ILLIONIS (ALPHA), 6510-55
*2LT DANIELLE MULLANE
*SGT TERRY PODY
*SSG TRACY MIX
*SPC NATHAN BELMONTE

2. NORTH DAKOTA (ALPHA), 6149-39
*CW3 JEFFERY BUCHWEITZ
*SGT JOSHUA BUCKLIN
*SGT JUSTIN JACOB
*SGT THOMAS HANSEN

3. PENNSYLVANIA (ALPHA), 6100-46
* SGT STEPHEN MOSURA
*PFC THOMAS KIDD
*SGT JOSHUA HAGER
*SPC CHRISTOPHER HALT

INDIVIDUAL PISTOL AGG:
1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 1090-14
*SERVICE PISTOL 792-11
*PISTOL EIC 156-3
*ANTI-BODY ARMOR 142

2. SSG TAYLOR ELLIS, HAWAII, 1019-11
*SERVICE PISTOL 769-6
*PISTOL EIC 167-5
*ANTI-BODY ARMOR 83

3. SPC MICHAEL GIANGREGORIO, PENNSYLVANIA, 940-5
*SERVICE PISTOL 723-3
*PISTOL EIC 148-2
*ANTI-BODY ARMOR 69

INDIVIDUAL RIFLE AGG: 1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 798-13
*SPECIAL ZERO 88-3
*SERVICE RIFLE 409-7
*RIFLE EIC 161-3
*CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE 140

2. SGT TERRY PODY, ILLIONIS, 755-3
*SPECIAL ZERO 69-0
*SERVICE RIFLE 467-3
*RIFLE EIC 107-0
*CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE 112

3. SSG TAYLOR ELLIS, HAWAII, 716-12
*SPECIAL ZERO 69-1
*SERVICE RIFLE 461-9
*RIFLE EIC 118-2
*CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE 68

INDIVIDUAL PISTOL & RIFLE AGG:
1. SSG TRACY MIX, ILLIONIS, 1888-27
*SPECIAL ZERO 88-3
*SERVICE RIFLE 409-7
*RIFLE EIC 161-3
*SERVICE PISTOL 792-11
*PISTOL EIC 156-3
*CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE 140
*ANTI-BODY ARMOR 142

2. SSG TAYLOR ELLIS, HAWAII, 1735-23
*SPECIAL ZERO 69-1
*SERVICE RIFLE 461-9
*RIFLE EIC 118-2
*SERVICE PISTOL 769-6
*PISTOL EIC 167-5
*CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE 68
*ANTI-BODY ARMOR 83

3. SGT TERRY PODY, ILLIONIS, 1735-23
*SPECIAL ZERO 69-0
*SERVICE RIFLE 467-3
*RIFLE EIC 107-0
*SERVICE PISTOL 658-4
*PISTOL EIC 145-3
*CLOSE QUARTER BATTLE 112
*ANTI-BODY ARMOR 88

Sniper school outfitted with all new, enhanced rifles

4xm 1XM

Army Sgt. Chauncey Reed

ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – After 25 years in service, the tried-and-trusted M24 sniper rifles has been retired, making way for new weapon technology:  the bolt action Remington XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle, 300 Winchester magnum (300 Win Mag).  

The Sniper school  has recently received thirty-two of the XM2010 Rifle Kits.

The value of just one full-assembled weapon system is just over $20,000, said Brandon Fraye, a Logistic Supply Specialist with the U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command.

“It’s the best of the best,” said Sgt. First Class Justin M. Hitchcock, Sniper School NCOIC. “The best chassis, best bullet, and one of the best optics; put that all together and you have a very effective weapon that is relatively easy to learn and use.”

“There is a need in Afghanistan for a weapon that would reach out further than what the M24 would, which was only about 800 meters,” said Hitchcock. “ The enemy would just back up past 800 meters, setup their RPK machines guns and spray.

“The whole idea behind adopting the XM2010 is to have a weapon that we can see and reach them before they can reach us, Hitchcock said. This weapon system gives us the ability to do this accurately and consistently.  Remington states the max effective range is 1200 meters, but with a skilled shooter we are seeing the XM2010 accurately reach out as far as 1600meters. This doubles the capable engagement distance from the M24, Hitchcock added.

The Bullet, 300 Win Mag is essentially a .375 H&H magnum shortened and necked down to accept a 190grn .30 caliber (7.62mm) bullet, and they are working on a 220grn bullet.  The result of this is a heavier bullet and a higher velocity round than the old M24.

“We have chronographed the 190grn 300 Win Mag at a velocity of 3000fps; faster means shorter flight time,” said Hitchcock, “This combined with the heavier bullet equals less effect wind has on the trajectory.”   To put that in perspective the M24 round (175grn 7.62) has a velocity of  just 2600fps.

A large part of the XM2010 capabilities can be attributed to the new Leupold Mark 4 ERT 6.5-20x 50mm optic, and the Knights’s Armament 32AN/PVS-30 Sniper Night Sight (SNS), both standard in the XM2010 kit.  This Leupold optic comes with the Horus H58 reticle, which is a high point for this weapon system.  The H58 is broke up in .2mil sub-tensions to allow for more accurate hold off.  It is definitely a step up from the old mil dot reticles the M24 possessed. 

The NGMTC Sniper School initially started training students in January with only a limited number of XM2010 systems, but they now have enough for a full class set.  “Having these new kits is a big deal,” Hitchcock said, “we need to be able to train soldiers on weapons currently in use, and this shipment gives us the capability now.”

A new way to keep up with marksmanship

We are constantly trying to figure out ways to make the NGMTC better. One question we ask is, “How do we make the marksmanship community stronger?”  That is essentially the bottom line to everything we do; it’s what we’ve been tasked with, within the framework of the states’ National Guards.

So how do we make the marksmanship community stronger? That is a question we’ll be extending to you, the marksmen, in the coming months. We’ll welcome your comments and ideas for better marksmanship programs. We want to hear directly from the new shooters, the experienced shooters, and the state and regional planners all year long.

But before we can hear from you, before we can work together, before you can network among yourselves and help each other, we have to establish a constant communication flow. That is what this blog is about.

With this blog you can expect the following updates:

  • news, directly from the source 
  • photos and videos from competitions and schools, as they happen
  • bulletins and match programs, as you need them for reference prior to training
  • question-and-answer sessions, to allow your direct feedback to be heard
  • scores and results, posted same-day

This blog will work hand-in-hand with our other communication efforts such as Facebook and GKO:

  • If you’ve “liked” us on Facebook, your news feed there will alert you to new posts here on the blog.
  • For information that posed an OP-SEC risk, we’ll alert you to it here first, then redirect you to the secure GKO site for more information. 

We are a network of marksmen. The better we communicate, the tighter and stronger that network becomes.

 

2013 All Army

Here are a few stories from this year’s All Army competition at Fort Benning, Georgia…

Applegate sweeps All Army
A California National Guardsman ends the reign of the four-year defending champion

Novice learns ropes of All Army
One of NGMTC’s journalists takes a stab at All Army and describes what he learned along the way

http://www.usaac.army.mil/amu/news/2013/allarmy2013.asp
More competition results from AMU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u0PZOQEMQk&feature=share&list=UUQTIeayP9N1xG8r3TsVBg9g
A short video from the competition