2019 WPW and AFSAM Sniper Championships

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Soldiers from both the United States and abroad participate in live fire sniper missions as part of a sniper competition. The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center is hosting the 48th Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship and the 28th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center near Barling, Arkansas, March 29 through April 3. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott D. Longstreet, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center)

48th WPW and 28th AFSAM Sniper Championships

BY SPC. JEREMIAH N. SMITH, PUBLIC AFFAIRS SPECIALIST, NATIONAL GUARD MARKSMANSHIP TRAINING CENTER

FORT SMITH, Arkansas – Twenty-three, two-person teams of military snipers from around the nation and world competed in the 48th Winston P. Wilson (WPW) Sniper Championship (National Guard) and the 28th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (International and Inter-Service) March 29 through April 3, 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.

Sgt. Allen Smith and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Cotton, members of the Louisiana National Guard and winners of the 2019 WPW Sniper Championship and the 1st place Precision Engagement Team pose for a picture with BG Kirk Van Pelt and their awards, the CWO David R. Logan Sniper Team Trophy, Chief’s 50 Badges, and gold medallions.  The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center hosted the 48th Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship and the 28th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center near Barling, Arkansas, March 29 through April 3. (U.S. Army National Guard photos by Specialist Jeremiah N. Smith, 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 Louisiana National Guard, represented by Staff Sgt. Benjamin Cotton and Sgt. Allen Smith. 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.

In addition to earning the Chief’s 50 Badge, they took home the Overall Championship Team Trophy, CWO David R. Logan Sniper Team Trophy. They, also, took home the SPC Christopher Horton Memorial Trophy for 1st place in Precision Engagement.

Sgt. Trent Devos and Sgt. Daniel Rilett, members of the Michigan National Guard and winners of the 2019 AFSAM Sniper Championship and the 1st Place Silent Hunter Team, pose for a picture with BG Kirk Van Pelt and their AFSAM McMillian Sniper Team Championship award. The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center hosted the 48th Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship and the 28th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center near Barling, Arkansas, March 29 through April 3. (U.S. Army National Guard photos by Specialist Jeremiah N. Smith, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center)

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 the Michigan National Guard, represented by Sgt. Trent Devos and Sgt. Daniel Rillett. This team also placed second 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.

2019 National Guard Sniper Competition Scores

WPW Sniper Team Champions

  1. Louisiana Team, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Cotton and Sgt. Allen Smith
  2. California Team, Staff Sgt. Erik Vargas and Spc. Austin Smith
  3. Minnesota Team, Sgt. Micheal Graff and Sgt. Christopher Jackson

WPW Precision Engagement Team Champions:

Louisiana Team, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Cotton and Sgt. Allen Smith

WPW Silent Hunter Team Champions:

New York Team, Sgt. Andres Diaz and Sgt. Jonathan Patton

AFSAM Sniper Team Champions

  1. Michigan All Guard Team, Sgt. Trent Devos and Sgt. Daniel Rilett
  2. Colorado All Guard Team, Staff Sgt. Micah Fulmer and Sgt. Tristan Ivkov
  3. Wisconsin All Guard Team, Sgt. Max Henrickson and Sgt. Joseph Prokop

AFSAM Precision Engagement Team Champions:

Denmark 1st BN Royal Guards, Pfc. Jesper Persson and Pfc. Thomas Svensson

AFSAM Silent Hunter Team Champions:

Michigan All Guard Team, Sgt. Trent Devos and Sgt. Daniel Rilett

National Guard Champions 1st Place Overall:

Louisiana Team, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Cotton and Sgt. Allen Smith

International Champions 1st Place Overall:

Denmark 1st BN Royal Guard, Pfc. Jesper Persson and Pfc. Thomas Svensson

 

For photos click here: Day 1  Day 2   Day 3   Day 4   Day 5   Teams   Ceremony and Banquet

For videos click here: Day 1 & 2   Day 3   Day 4   Hooah Video

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Tight shot group at 2017 National Guard Sniper Championships

~ Results 46th WPW & 26th AFSAM Sniper Championship

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.

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“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.

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“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.

 

2017 WPW & AFSAM Sniper Comp in Review Video