German Bundeswehr, Garmishc MPs host weapons competition
Sgt. First Class Christopher Allison, NCOIC of the U.S. Army Garrison Garmisch, Germany, Provost Marshal office, awards Luftwaffe (German air force) Hauptfeldwebel Michael Meyer and Bundeswehr (German army) soldiers Stabsgefreiter Robert Hüste, left, and Hauptgefreiter Eric Zuther with U.S. Army Weapons Qualification Badges for M-16 rifle and M-9 pistol. Meyer, school sergeant major for the NATO School in Oberammergau, then presented four U.S. Soldiers with the German Schutzenschnur for qualifying with the 7.62 MG3 and 9mm pistol.

GARMISCH, Germany - The U.S. Army Garrison Garmisch Military Police and the Bundeswehr (German armed forces) hosted two shooting competitions here in July.

The first event - hosted by the MPs - was held for an international group of 18 students attending the NATO School in nearby Oberammergau, the second one by German Soldiers for their American counterparts.

The international group - representing Germany, Romania, Poland, Croatia and the United States and ranging in rank from specialist to colonel - spent the first of two long and hot range days firing American M-16 rifles and M-9 Barettas. Some of the Soldiers had not touched a weapon in more than 10 years, while others are pilots who had never fired a rifle. Accordingly, patience and courtesy overcame language barriers to yield positive results.

The Bundeswehr hosted a Schutzenschnur (German army marksman award) range, using the 7.62 MG3 and 9mm pistol for the Garmisch MPs and a small group of Soldiers from USAG Grafenwoehr, giving the American a shot at the prestigious and coveted award.

These ranges are held to demonstrate cooperation between NATO countries and to boost morale for Soldiers of all ranks, while allowing realistic hands-on weapons training for those who had never picked up such NATO weaponry.

On their assigned days of range operations, the U.S. and German Soldiers kept a constant rotation of ammunition and supplied steady firing lines. The sunny weather made the going sweaty, but the language barrier didn't hinder the participants' enthusiasm; everyone was there for the same reasons: to learn from each other, have a good time and shoot bullets.

The U.S. Soldiers who qualified for the German Schutzenschnur on the second were:

Gold - Sgt. Jerame Stoffer;
Silver - First Sgt. John Alam, Sgt. First Class Christopher Allison, Sgt. Christopher Fimpel, Sgt. Marco Garced and Spc. Jonathan L. Watson;
Bronze - Staff Sgt. Kenneth Banks and Spc. Marcus T. Cosby.

Page last updated Tue August 12th, 2008 at 08:27