7th CSC supports international shooting competition
May 17, 2012
WACKERNHEIM, Germany -- In partnership with the Reservistenkameradshaft
(Association of Reservist of the German Armed Forces - RK Geisel), U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the 7th Civil Support Command based in Kaiserslautern, Germany, supported the 29th Annual Monte Kali Pokal shooting competition here May 10-12.
The event was open to military units throughout NATO and other Partnership for Peace nations in the European community.
"This is one of the premier marksmanship competitions in Europe," said Brig. Gen. Mark Hendrix, the commander of the 7th CSC.
The contest had more than 2,000 competitors and offered members a chance to fire different weapons from several different nations.
"Only here can these Soldiers have a real chance to pick up other weapons from other countries and, learn their operation," said Andreas Kern, the president and coordinator of the event. "The only other way would be in a wartime environment, and that may not be enough time to really learn how each weapon works."
The 7th CSC was asked by U.S. Army Europe to support the event after the U.S. Army's 1st Armored Division, who recently sponsored the event the past several years, relocated to the U.S.
"It was previously hosted by the 1st Armored Division, so it's great that we can help continue this strong tradition," Hendrix added.
"We have invited Army members from all over Europe to participate in this yearly event," Kern said. "We are proud to have the 7th Civil Support Command assisting us for the first time this year."
The 7th CSC assisted with the event by providing the range along with the medical and range safety personnel.
"These Soldiers are doing a great job," said Maj. Timothy D. Bostick, the commander of Company C, 457th Civil Affairs Battalion, 361st Civil Affairs Brigade, 7th CSC.
The 7th CSC lent their organic U.S. partnership presence to work with and support all the countries that participated.
"We brought a small group of top caliber Soldiers with us to help out here," said Master Sgt. Greg Doles, the noncommissioned officer in charge of brigade operations for the 361st CA Bde. "We hope to bring calm to this friendly competition by offering our knowledge and experience of range safety."
The gorgeous weather during the three days led to a county fair type atmosphere with several tents set up displaying various weapons from several different countries, along with a military DJ playing music next to the simulated grenade range.
"This is a great event and we are enjoying our day out here," Staff Sgt. David Barracks, a rifleman with the 177th Field Artillery Battalion, Schweinfurt, Germany, said on Friday, the first day of the event.
Barracks along with three other members of his unit participated in the Monte Kali competition.
Rounds flew downrange as participants awaited their turn to fire the various kinds of weapons that were available.
"Although there are some really long lines to fire some of these weapons here, it is going very smoothly," Barracks said. "We hope that we can place within the top five firing the Glock 17 from the Netherlands. But we will have to wait and see what happens."
Some military members used the opportunity to familiarize themselves with NATO and other partner countries' weapons they might experience on future joint deployments or operations.
"The partnerships that we are forming with other countries are really important," said Italian Army Sgt. Marcello Erbaggio, an airborne specialist with the Folgore Parachute Brigade, 186th Regiment. "I remember that I was deployed with the Spanish Army as well as the Americans, and I did not know anything about their weapons at the time…now I do."
"I want to thank the 7th CSC for being here to take over for the 1st AD and offering their support and camaraderie for the Monte Kali here," Kern said. "A special thanks also must go to the 457th Civil Affairs Battalion for their effort and support."
Soldiers from several countries could be seen mingling not only amongst themselves, but also with servicemembers from other partner nations. This highlighted the esprit de corps that the event generates every year.
"Besides being a great training opportunity, it's a chance to show our NATO partners and others here that our commitment to Europe is as strong as ever," Hendrix said.
For more information, the media may contact the 7th Civil Support Command public affairs office by email at email@example.com, or by phone at German local: 0631 411 4725, German cell: 0162 270 4936.