CAMP BUTNER, N.C. - The North Carolina National Guard's Camp Butner training center hosted the 2018 Eastern Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) Games and Matches, April 26 to May 6.

Camp Butner provides training facilities and small arms firing ranges for NCNG service members and opens its doors to other Defense Department agencies.

The CMP is a national organization dedicated to training and educating U.S. citizens in the responsible use of firearms and air guns through safety training, marksmanship training and competitions.

"Our main purpose for keeping the CMP Games and Matches going is to stay true to our mission statement by providing those resources to individuals who want to learn about gun safety and marksmanship competitions," said Steve Cooper, the general manager of the CMP Games and Matches.

New to the Eastern Games in 2018 was the addition of the CMP Cup Matches. The cup matches competitions use of different weapons including three CMP 800 Aggregate Matches followed by a 4-man Team Match and an Excellence in Competition (EIC) Service Rifle Match.

The CMP Cup Matches were followed by the CMP Games Matches which include Small Arms Firing School (SAFS), Garand, Springfield, Vintage, Modern Military Matches, Carbine Match, Rimfire Sporter Match and Vintage Sniper Issued 1911 Pistol Match, Military and Police Service Pistol Match, 40 Shot Pistol Match, (EIC) Service Pistol Match, CMP . 22 Rimfire Pistol EIC Match and Pistol 2- Man Team Match.

Camp Butner has been home to the Eastern Games for 12 years with 1,800 competitor entries for the 2018 competition.

The CMP attracts competitors from all walks of life including telephone workers, prior service members, and Soldiers with the Army Marksmanship unit out of Fort Benning, Georgia, all of whom expressed how great the event was for personal growth.

"I have been participating in this competition since 2009 prior to joining the Army," said Army Sgt. Lane Ichord, a Soldier from the Army Marksmanship Unit. "The competition is a great way to work on consistent fundamentals which in turn helps me go back to my unit to provide Soldiers that I train a better training experience."

The long-standing relationship between Camp Butner and the CMP was demonstrated by the resources provided to competitors, communication during competition registration and the facilities provided. Many participants showed their satisfaction in the organization of the competition.

"The CMP and Camp Butner have done a great job working together to make sure matches run smoothly so that competitors are able to have a great match," said Winfield Stacey, a prior service Soldier and current civilian contractor at Arnold Air Force Base in Tennessee.

The CMP and Camp Butner plan to continue their partnership in order to help promote fire arm safety and provide an environment for friendly competition.