by Theresa Austin, Maj. National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – Last year, 53 states and territories confirmed to participate in the 47th Annual Winston P. Wilson (WPW) National Championships prior to moving the matches due to the possibility of a government shutdown, and we are now half way to the goal of all participating this year.
As of Mar. 22, 2018, the National Guard is half way towards the goal with 30 states and territories confirmed participation out of all 54. Not only do we host the national matches, but also concurrently, a multi-national competition drawing in competitors from across the globe.
WPW is a training opportunity, hosted by the NGMTC each year, which is held concurrently with NGB’s multi-national competition the Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM). AFSAM currently has Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, and Poland competing as well as other military components such as the U.S. Army Reserve, and U.S. Army 7th Infantry Division.
Change your state from red to green by contacting us. All you need is a four-man team, which NGMTC will pay to attend.
The intent behind these competitions is learning to be a better marksmen, and with the additional focus of WPW being that these competitors take this knowledge and share it with others in their home units. Every competition is a training opportunity, with the ultimate goal of increasing weapons familiarization and skill for increased battlefield survivability and combat readiness.
The Official Match Programs are linked above for release (Machine Gun posted 2/26/18). RFO (request for orders) has been updated; see link below. Click each competition above for the OMP.
We are now accepting Letters of Intent (LOI) for team participation; the dead-lines are below:
WPW Sniper & AFSAM – LOI due 1 March 2018 Pre-registration 20 March 2018 WPW & AFSAM Small Arms – LOI due 1 March 2018 Pre-registration 1 April 2018 WPW Machine Gun – LOI due 20 March 2018 Pre-registration 1 April 2018 CNGB – match scores and targets be submitted until 1 April 2018
Contact your State Marksmanship Coordinator for more information on attending these National Guard premier marksmanship competitions.
By Sgt. Garrett L. Dipuma, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas – More than 300 U.S. Army and Air National Guard marksmen from 47 states and territories competed in the 46th annual Winston P. Wilson Small Arms Championship at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at the Robinson Maneuver Training Center in North Little Rock, Arkansas, July 23-27.
“The WPW matches test the full range of shooting skills, from precise long range shots that demand discipline and patience to rapid reaction engagements at close range that demand quick, decisive action,” said Col. Dennis Humphrey, the officer in charge of NGMTC. “This is not a competition for specialists in a single event. The teams that compete and hope to win here must excel from one end of that spectrum to the other.”
Iowa’s A team, comprised of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, Staff Sgt. Karl John, Tech. Sgt. Matthew Waechter and Sgt. Brent Smith, took the all-state trophy with a total rank score of 50. Wisconsin’s A team followed in 2nd place with 69 points, and Illinois’ A team took third with 73 points
Although Iowa’s team came in 1st place among all of the states, two shooters distinguished themselves from all of the individual marksmen who competed.
Deugan, a veteran in these competitions, and Smith, who competed in the novice category, both made several trips to the stage during the awards ceremony to accept multiple first place trophies in individual events. Deugan has only missed four of these matches over the past 11 years, due to deployments.
“I’ve shot on the All Guard Combat Team for about a year and a half now,” said Deugan. “With the experience I’ve gained from going to England and Canada last year, I had a lot more time behind a gun practicing and training with the best marksmen in the National Guard.”
Smith said that he started his Army marksmanship career last year and that he was glad that he was able to progress to a national match so quickly. “The key to being successful is to watch the old guys,” he said. “I just watch them to pick up on any tips or tricks they can give me.”
The WPW, usually held in April, was held in July this year. The three-month delay brought on much hotter weather than usual. Temperatures soared over 100 degrees at the peak of every day, but the competitors slogged through the hot, muggy weather to continue with the match.
The NGMTC holds four other national competitions every year, including the Armed Forces Skills at Arms Meeting (a multi-national competition), a sniper competition, the Chief National Guard Bureau Postal Match and a light machine gun match.
“Although highly competitive, the WPW matches are not games. They are an objective assessment of the top products of our marksmanship training throughout the force,” said Humphrey. “They validate what works and they identify what does not work. With that information, we can optimize the effectiveness and efficiency of our training throughout the total force.”
In addition to holding competitions, the NGMTC also teaches several marksmanship courses to National Guardsmen from around the country. These courses include Squad Designated Marksman, Sniper School and the Small Arms Weapons Course.
Deugan, who is the state marksman coordinator for Iowa, and Humphrey both stressed the need for proper training to be a good marksman whether a Troop plans to compete or not.
“There’s always been a mystique, this myth of the American Soldier as this magical marksmen,” said Humphrey. “Natural talent for shooting only goes so far. It takes the education piece of it as well.”
For nearly half of a century, the WPW matches have shown that the National Guard is a formidable force when it comes to deadly accurate marksmanship. Most of the top competitors have attended at least one of the courses offered at NGMTC, and some of those marksmen are members of the prestigious President’s 100, which is made up of the top 100 shooters in the country and is open to military personnel and civilians.
“The key to success is focusing on the details and getting proper instruction, because you don’t know what you don’t know,” said Deugan. “Day one of SDM, the first thing I heard was to forget what I’ve been taught about about marksmanship.” He said that even though he was stubborn when it came to changing his technique when he began training as an Army marksman, the advice from the NGMTC instructors ultimately made him the decorated marksman he is today.
*In a previous release, we reported that Vermont won first place in the state championship. Due to computer errors, this was incorrect and has been rectified.
By Staff Sgt. Adrian Borunda, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. —Sixty-four soldiers and airmen from across the country and from allied nations took aim at being the top shot at the 26th annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) here April 23-28.
Top marksmen from the United States, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom competed shoulder-to-shoulder on four-man teams testing their skills with multiple matches and different weapons systems to include pistols, rifles and shotguns.
The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center hosts the annual training competition to continue emphasis on basic and advanced marksmanship at all levels of the armed forces. The AFSAM, also, helps build working relationships with our allied nations.
“It’s not every day that we get to train with internationals in an International competition,” said Lieutenant Matthew Clancey a marksman from the Canadian Armed Forces shooting team. “So, it’s a great opportunity for us to come to a different environment, see different match conditions, and the way that you handle and use the weapons.”
The range of knowledge found at this high level of competition is as vast and teeming to be tapped into.
“It’s out here that the marksmanship training center pits those top-notch shooters from all the states, military branches and other countries,” said Col. Dennis Humphrey, Director of the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center.
“It’s a privilege,” Clancey said. “They get an an opportunity to train at a level that they otherwise wouldn’t otherwise get to train in their homelands.”
Opportunities to train with our allies is rare, however critical when in a combat situation.
“We operate in a joint environment when we are down range,” Humphrey said. “It’s important that these branches and partner nations get together to build relationships, so you can trust the soldier or airmen to the left and right of you.”
Competitors from other nations also appreciated this opportunity to train in a joint environment.
“Working together gives us exposure to them,” said Clancey. “Talking about the way we use our tactics, the way we use our firearms, and and the different ways that we operate in a combat environment. The cross training and working with other countries at such a professional level allows us to up our game.”
Competitors and coaches worked their way through a variety of matches that challenged every shooter from veteran to newcomer.
“When you see the level of competitors out here, the Americans and Canadian, they are taking it proper seriously, it does get a little nerve racking,” Daniel Jenkins, a marksman with the United Kingdom Royal Air Force Regiment shooting team, and first time competitor in the AFSAM.
Long days on the range and thousands of rounds expended, all the marksmen came together to find out who were the top shooters.
Champion: Senior Master Sgt. Edward Altmeyer, U.S. All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 1375 17x’s
Overall 2nd place: Sgt. Justus Densmore, U.S. All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 1371 13 x’s
Overall 3rd place: Sgt. Brandon Swanson, U.S. All Guard Team Bravo, combined score 1350 18 x’s
Champion: Corporal Michael Aube, Canadian Armed Forces, combined score of 837 with 8x’s
2nd place: Corporal Jean Fancois Doucet, Canadian Armed Forces, combined score of 818 with 5 x’s
3rd place: Sgt. David Fenwick, British Army Reserve Operational Shooting Team, combined score of 815 5x’s
Champion: Senior Master Sgt. Edward Altmeyer, U.S. All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 767 13 x’s
2nd place: Sgt. Justus Densmore, U.S. All Guard Team Alpha, combined score of 759 11 x’s
3rd place: Sgt. Brandon Swanson, U.S. All Guard Team Bravo, combined score of 739, 10 x’s
Overall Team Rifle
Champion: Canadian Armed Forces Team Alpha (Cpl. Michael Aube, Cpl. Jean-Francois Doucet, Cpl. Jonathan Palmer, Cpl. Matheu Valcour) combined score of 2444
2nd place: Canadian Armed Forces Team Bravo (Warrant Officer Luke Foster, Sgt. Jesse Hall, Cpl. John Herriot, Cpl. William Rayment) combined score of 2213
3rd place: U.K. British Army Reserve Operational Shooting Team Red (Maj. Michael Oliver, Sgt. David Fenwick, Cpl. James Deville, Cpl. Lisa Ingram) combined score of 2204
Overall Team Pistol
Champion: U.S. All Guard Team Alpha (Sr. Master Sgt. Edward Altmeyer, Pennsylvania. NG; Staff Sgt. Michael Richey, Missouri NG; Staff Sgt. Jacob Blount, Illinois NG; Sgt. Justus Densmore, Texas NG) combined score of 3031
2nd place: U.S. All Guard Team Bravo (1st Lt. Garrett Miller, Pennsylvania. NG; Sgt. 1st Class Paul Deugan, Iowa NG; Sgt. 1st Class David Keenom, Tennessee NG; Sgt. Brandon Swanson, Wisconsin NG) combined score of 2981
3rd place: U.S. Army Reserve Team Blue (Lt. Col. Scott Klawon, New York; Master Sgt. Lance Espinosa, Washington; Staff Sgt. Chris Kizanis, Idaho; Sgt. Benjamin Mercer, Arkansas) combined score of 2728
For the full results, and more information about AFSAM and the NGMTC visit ngmtc.wordpress.com.
Take a look at the video link below to view some of the training conducted at this year’s AFSAM Championships. Also, for more information about getting involved, contact Maj. Dwayne Page 501-212-4531 or visit us on the web at https://ngmtc.wordpress.com.
Article by Capt. Theresa L. Walker, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center and Photos by Master Sgt. Jonathan Brizendine, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, Ark. – 15 National Guard sniper teams from across the U.S. gathered, along with four foreign ally nation’s sniper teams and six interservice sniper teams to train through competition in this year’s 46th Annual Winston P. Wilson (WPW) and 26th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meet (AFSAM) Sniper Championships hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center, Ark. April 21-27, 2017.
The results were a fairly tight a shot group as riflemen say, which is quite a surprise considering this training competition is a blind shoot. Meaning competitors do not know what each course of fire is until they show up at each match, and they do not know the scores of each of their events until the very last day.
This year’s 2017 AFSAM matches resulted in the U.S. Army Sniper School, with 336 points, taking first place as well as Overall Sniper Champions. Taking second place, with 318 points, is U.S. Marine Corps School of Infantry-West and third is the Army Warrior Training Center, with 312 points.
The WPW 2017 Champion Sniper Team is from Michigan National Guard, with 316 points. Taking second place is Iowa National Guard with 275 points, and third place is Arizona National Guard with 273 points.
Trophies, awards and winning is nice, however these competitions are so much more for these guys.
“This is a good opportunity to come to and hone those skills and see what you are proficient in and what you need to work on,” said Staff Sgt. Kenny Witt, NGMTC sniper instructor. “We have four different countries here this year, and they feel that it is good enough that they come over here as well.”
At the WPW and the AFSAM Sniper Championships, snipers from across the nation and the world have an excellent opportunity to train in those critical sniper skills, that they may not be able to train in at their home station.
“In the National Guard, due to the training one weekend a month and 2 weeks a year, training and getting the gun time they need to hone their skills and be proficient at marksmanship is not as much as you think it would be,” said Witt. “So, a competition like this gives them the ability to come get a lot of gun time, work on their skill craft, stalking, land nav, and high elevation shooting, which is something back at their home station they may not get to accomplish.”
Going to sniper school and passing doesn’t make a good sniper; it’s skills.
“Even though you go to the sniper school, doesn’t mean that you are a fully qualified skilled sniper,” Witt said. “Yeah, you have the identifier, but you are always continuing to learn and improve on those skills through out your career.”
Using training opportunities in competitions like this helps improve accuracy which is most important.
“The end goal is increased accuracy resulting in more troops coming home from deployments in one piece,” said Lt. Col. Todd Stuff, NGMTC administrative officer. “When that happens, we’re all winners.”
Take a look at the video link below to view some of the training conducted at this year’s Sniper Championships. Also, for more information about getting involved, contact Maj. Dwayne Page 501-212-4531 or visit us on the web at https://ngmtc.wordpress.com.