Run, move, shoot and stay dry
October 2, 2013
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- When law enforcement officers work outside in the Pacific Northwest, they have to be prepared to deal with wet weather conditions.
The nearly 40 competitors at the Third Annual Joint Base Lewis-McChord Law Enforcement Shoot Saturday on Range 105 weren't phased by the day's monsoon-like weather. Event organizer Capt. Robert Miller didn't hear any complaints from the participants who seemed comfortable in the rain and wind of the outdoor event.
"There's times when they have to go out for traffic control or secure a crime scene and it's pouring down rain like this," Miller said.
The weather did deter about half of the participants who preregistered or were expected to attend.
Those who committed to the event were treated with a day of recreational shooting mixed with training in the pistol, rifle and shotgun competition.
The traveling "Top Dog" team trophy was relinquished by the Gig Harbor Police Department and awarded to the top team, the Milton Police Department. Dave Plummer of the Pierce County Sheriff's Department took first individually, while Chris Alexander and Kris Kidwell of the Milton Police Department finished second and third, respectively.
Miller has organized the event the past two years in which competitors combine accuracy and speed through a variety of courses set up along the ranges on DuPont-Steilacoom Road. The event's safety brief included a warning about the standing water.
"I know everyone wants to do their best and be fast when they're competing, but you might have to slow down," Miller said.
The daylong event attracted several military police units as well as federal and local police agencies. Some units used the event as a training exercise while others used the competition as sport.
For Air Force Staff Sgt. Jesus Mendez of the 627th Security Forces Squadron of McChord Field, it was both.
"With all the other guys you learn from each other," he said. "It's fun and it's training."
Mendez's two teammates attended last year's shoot, which was just a rifle and shotgun competition, but gave the staff sergeant tips for his first three-gun competition.
Soldiers with the 95th Military Police Detachment of JBLM teamed up for a day of friendly competition.
"It's nice to do some recreation shooting sometimes," Sgt. Todd Neveu said. "I figured it would be fun."
Most military personnel are accustomed to lining up and shooting at a target, where a three-gun shoot involves running, moving and shooting different weapon systems. Running also gets the heart rate going, which puts the competitor in a more real-life scenario as well.
"It's fun to do but it has a training value," Miller said. "It's more realistic training."