~ Missouri Army National Guard Soldier wins at 2018 Canadian Armed Forces Skill at Arms Concentration
ROBINSON MANEUVER TRAINING CENTER, North Little Rock, Arkansas – Adrenaline pumping, a Soldier stands behind a black wall, anxiously waiting to begin an assault into the unknown while trying not to be killed. Once inside there is no turning back.
The Soldier goes numb, shutting off all feelings, becoming highly aware, intensely focused on the mission ahead; kill all the enemy, save all the hostages, and find the code to defuse the bomb inside. Hoping that all the training up to this point has been good enough, thoughts fill the Soldier’s mind. “How many enemy targets are in there? how many hostages? where is the code? can I make it in time?”
The Soldier is ready and focused on the mission. Rushing in, pistol drawn and cocked, the Soldier sees someone. “Shoot!” thought the Soldier, “two in the chest; one in the head.” And the enemy is down. “Where is the code?”
The Soldier swiftly moves down the hall and sees another. “Two in the chest; one in the head. Got him. There’s a door,” thought the Soldier.
A rush of adrenaline surges, as the Soldier sees a door. Quickly approaching, the Soldier kicks it in. “Shoot or don’t shoot?” the Soldier instantly thought. The enemy falls. “Where is the code?”
The Soldier continues on, moving swiftly, through the labyrinth of doors, corridors and corners facing the same dilemma time and again thinking, “Enemy, hostage, shoot; don’t shoot; where is the code?”
Turning the corner there are two. “Two in the chest; one in the head.” and
Hostage saved, enemy dead, but “where is the code?
A look of panic crosses the Soldier’s face. Second-guessing, “Oh no, did I miss something?” The Soldier turns to survey the area, thinking, “is there an enemy target I may have missed through that window?” Thankfully no, and the Soldier quickly refocuses back on the mission and moves forward and takes out a few more enemy targets.
Kicking in yet another door the Soldier pauses slightly. This time is different. There’s blood. Written in blood on the hostage’s head is the code 731, and in a split-second: “POW-POW…POW.”
The enemy captor is dead and the hostage was saved. “731.”
Now that the code was found the Soldier pressed forward even faster running down the corridor, taking out enemy targets through windows and around corners, saving more hostages, and then dives under a fallen wall. “What if the enemy is through there? I hope I don’t get shot. 731.”
Moving through the tunnel, on the other side appears a door and someone in a nearby window. “Two in the chest; one in the head. 731.” Another enemy down. The Soldier kicks open the door.
“Shoo,” the Soldier let out a sigh of relief. There is the bomb; “Just in time.”
Reminiscent of combat environments, this was just one of over 20 different operational “combat style” shooting matches conducted at the 2018 Canadian Armed Forces Skill at Arms Concentration (CAFSAC) held September 2018 at the Connaught Ranges in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
During CAFSAC, the National Guard All Guard International Combat Team displayed the expert marksmanship skills of the National Guard by winning several awards, but most notably was Staff Sgt. David Ball, who won the Combined Arms Overall Individual Category.
Representing the U.S. National Guard All Guard International Combat Team were 12 members and two team managers who included:
Capt. Adam Moore, team OIC, Arkansas National Guard
Master Sgt. Greg Neiderhiser, team NCOIC, Pennsylvania National Guard
Maj. Kirk Freeman, team member, Arkansas National Guard
Maj. Glen Jackson, team member, Tennessee National Guard
1stLt. Garrett Miller, team member, Pennsylvania National Guard
Sgt. 1stClass Christopher Catlin, team member, Colorado National Guard
Sgt. 1stClass Paul Deugan, team member, Iowa National Guard
Sgt. 1stClass David Keenom, team member, Tennessee National Guard
Sgt. 1stClass Justin Holmes, team member, Maine National Guard
Sgt. David Ball, team member, Missouri National Guard
Sgt. Maxim Nickerson, team member, Maine National Guard
Spc. Jeremy McCombs, team member, Colorado National Guard
In addition to Sgt. Ball winning Combined Arms Overall Individual, there were several other wins by the team and individual members:
Top four in Service Pistol (Colt Canada Trophy) – Ball and McCombs
Top four in Service Rifle (Colt Canada Trophy) – Freeman and Miller
Pursuit to Mons – Freeman
Military Biathlon – Team (Ball, Freeman, McCombs and Nickerson)
Falaise Pocket – Jackson
Ortona – Freeman
Top four member Service Pistol Team (The Allard Trophy) – Team (Ball, Catlin, Freeman and Miller)
Top Falling Plates Team (The Fire Team Trophy) – Holmes, Jackson, McCombs and Nickerson
To find out more about how to participate contact the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at 501-212-4420/4517/4520 or visit us on Facebook.