2020 WPW and AFSAM Sniper Championships

49th WPW and 29th AFSAM Sniper Championships

BY SPC. MELODY DANIEL, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST, NATIONAL GUARD MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING CENTER

BARLING, Arkansas – Twenty-seven, two-person teams of military snipers from around across the U.S. National Guard, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Poland competed in the 49th Winston P. Wilson (WPW) Sniper Championship (National Guard) and the 29th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (International and Inter-Service) February 15 through 20, 2019, at Fort Chaffee in Barling, Arkansas. The event was hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center. These championships offered service members an opportunity to test sniper skills and weapon systems in a battle-focused environment.

This year’s tournament included many unique teams, including a team from South Carolina comprised of twin brothers Staff Sgt. Brandon Sloan and Staff Sgt. Cory Sloan.

“We’ve always loved shooting. Cory was offered a sniper position first,” said Brandon Sloan.  “Eventually we both ended up on the team. This is actually the first time we have competed together as a sniper team.”

“The training value is one of the most valuable benefits of being here,” said Cory Sloan. “We don’t have the resources, personnel or ranges to get this type of training value in South Carolina.”

2020 Winston P. Wilson and Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships
Twin brothers, Staff Sgt. Brandon Sloan, left, and Staff Sgt. Cory Sloan prepare to compete in a pistol match during the 49th Annual Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center in Barling, Arkansas February 19, 2020.  The 54 competitors include soldiers from various state National Guards across the United States and snipers from Denmark, the Netherlands, and Poland.   (U.S. National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Melody Daniel, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center)

Beginning in 1971, the WPW sniper competition has been held annually to determine the best shooters in the United States National Guard. This year’s winner was from the Kansas National Guard, represented by Sgt. Caleb Ash and Sgt. Ryan Marsh. The winners are recipients of the prestigious Chiefs 50 Marksmanship Badge. The Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge was established to provide evidence and public recognition of outstanding marksmanship abilities as demonstrated at the National Guard Championships.

The Spc. Christopher Horton Memorial Award, given for WPW first place in Precision Engagement, was awarded to a team from the Alabama National Guard comprised of Sgt. Tyler Gray and Staff Sgt. Adam Batten. The CWO David R. Logan Sniper Trophy, awarded to the WPW team who places first in the Best Field Craft series, was presented to Spc. Matthew Fitzgerald and Sgt. Alexander Kallenbach of the Michigan National Guard.

2020 Winston P. Wilson and Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Champtionships
Rounding out the 49th Annual Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship award’s ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Billy Ward presented the overall team winners a plaque and Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badges to Sergeants Caleb Ash (center) and Ryan Marsh of the 2nd Combined Arms Battalion, 137th Infantry Regiment of the Kansas National Guard, with a team score of 403. The matches concluded February 20, 2020 with an awards ceremony at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center in Barling, Arkansas. (U.S. National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Melody Daniel)

Established in 1991, the Armed Forces Skills at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) is a multi-national competition that was created to promote marksmanship training and competition between United States military forces and allied nations. This year’s winner for the AFSAM sniper championship was the team from Denmark, represented by Lance Cpl. Steven Baunsgaard and Lance Cpl. Christopher Franch. This team also placed first overall in points for the combined competitions. The AFSAM event ran concurrently with the Winston P. Wilson Championship and incorporates the same courses of fire.

“We wanted to make our country proud,” said Baunsgaard. “We talked about it and we felt really good about our chances.”

Franch followed by saying, “When we heard our names called, the stone fell from our hearts.  You know, all the pressure went away and we had won.”

2020 Winston P. Wilson and Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Champtionships
Lance corporals Steven Baunsgaard and Christoffer Franch, a sniper team from Denmark, received the international overall sniper team title and were presented a team plaque and individual medallions by Col. Marty Curtright, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center commander, during last night’s Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championship Award Ceremony at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center in Barling, Arkansas, February 20, 2020. (U.S. National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Melody Daniel)

2020 National Guard Sniper Competition Scores

WPW Sniper Team Champions

  1. Kansas Team, Sgt. Caleb Ash and Sgt. Ryan Marsh (Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge)
  2. Colorado Team, Spc. Max Miller and Sgt. Triston Ivkov (Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge)
  3. Vermont Team, Spc. Michael Kerr and Sgt. Connor Norton

WPW Precision Engagement Team Champions:

Alabama Team 2, Sgt. Tyler Gray and Staff Sgt. Adam Batten

WPW Silent Hunter Team Champions:

Michigan Team, Spc. Matthew Fitzgerald and Sgt. Alexander Kallenbach

AFSAM Sniper Team Champions

  1. Royal Danish Army, Lance Cpl. Steven Baunsgaard and Christopher Franch
  2. California All Guard Team, Staff Sgt. Erik Vargas and Staff Sgt. Demetrios Iannios
  3. Michigan All Guard Team, Spc. Ivan Wolshlager and Sgt. Nicholas Peters

AFSAM Precision Engagement Team Champions:

California All Guard Team, Staff Sgt. Erik Vargas and Staff Sgt. Demetrios Iannios

AFSAM Silent Hunter Team Champions:

Michigan All Guard Team, Spc. Ivan Woslhlager and Sgt. Nicholas Peters

 

For all results click this link then Sniper 2020 at the top: 2020 Results

For photos click here: 2020 WPW/AFSAM Sniper Ceremony and Banquet

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