Colorado, California National Guard win sniper championships
1 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. Demetrios H. Iannios and Staff Sgt. Eric J. Vargas, National Guard All Guard Team – California Army National Guard, earned the title Overall Champions of the 30th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships December 10, 2020. The championships were hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, with the help of the U.S. National Guard Sniper School, and were held at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center December 4-10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Israel Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Colorado, California National Guard win sniper championships
2 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Sgt. Tristan J. Ivkov and Spc. Max A. Miller, Colorado Army National Guard, earned the title Overall Champions of the 50th Winston P. Wilson National Championships and the prestigious Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge during an awards ceremony on December 10, 2020, at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center. The overall champions earn the Chief Warrant Officer David R. Logan Sniper Team Trophy. Thirty-five sniper teams participated in the championships that were hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, with the help of the U.S. National Guard Sniper School, and were held December 4-10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Israel Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Colorado, California National Guard win sniper championships
3 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spc. Aaron M. McAndrews and Spc. Kyle R. Thies, Iowa Army National Guard, earned 2nd place Overall Sniper Champions at the 50th Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championships, 1st place WPW Silent Hunter, and the prestigious Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge December 10, 2020. The matches were hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, with the help of the U.S. National Guard Sniper School, which were held at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center December 4-10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Israel Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Colorado, California National Guard win sniper championships
4 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Spotter, Sgt. Triston Ivkov, Colorado National Guard, assists his fellow shooter and statesman, Spc. Max Miller, to engage the targets by calling out distance and directions of each one's location as they emerge during the “Rock the Boat” event on December 5, 2020, during the 50th Winston P. Wilson and 30th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships. The championships were hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, with the help of the U.S. National Guard Sniper School, and were held at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center December 4-10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Israel Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Colorado, California National Guard win sniper championships
5 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Staff Sgt. Demetrios Iannios, All Guard Sniper Team-California National Guard, leans down to tighten his gear and double-check all of his equipment as his partner Staff Sgt. Erik Vargas adjusts his ghillie suit before they transform into the stealthiest hunters you never saw coming during the Stalk event on December 9, 2020, of the 50th Winston P. Wilson and 30th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships on ranges at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center. The championships were hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center with the help of the U.S. National Guard Sniper School and were held December 4-10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Israel Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Colorado, California National Guard win sniper championships
6 / 6 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Grabbing his weapon Staff Sgt. Jared Ramey, Ohio National Guard, prepares his equipment before stepping off toward his objective during the Stalk event December 9, 2020, at the 50th Winston P. Wilson and 30th Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, with the help of the U.S. National Guard Sniper School, which were held at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center December 4-10, 2020. (Photo Credit: Sgt. Israel Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL

BARLING, Ark. – Twenty-three two-person sniper teams from across the National Guard and 12 interservice teams competed in the 50th Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship and the 30th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Dec. 4-10.

"We are truly honored to have teams from across the nation and other military services at the 2020 WPW and AFSAM Sniper Championship," said Col. Andy Bussell, commander of the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, which hosted the event at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center.

Out of the 70 sniper competitors, six walked away with the highest honors.

This year's overall AFSAM Sniper Team Champions are California National Guard Staff Sgts. Demetrios H. Iannios and Eric J. Vargas, representing the National Guard on the All Guard Sniper Team. Their score of 625.5 was first overall out of 35 sniper teams. The Special Warfare Training Group Team finished second and the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Raider Training Center Team was third.

The overall WPW Sniper Team Champions and recipients of the Chief's 50 Marksmanship Badge are Sgt. Triston Ivkov and Spc. Max Miller, Colorado National Guard. They scored 546.5 points to place second overall out of 35 sniper teams.

Iowa National Guard Spcs. Aaron M. McAndrews and Kyle R. Thies won the prestigious Chief's 50 Marksmanship Badge with a score of 504, placing third overall out of 35 sniper teams and second place overall in the WPW. The Utah National Guard team is the third place WPW champion, finishing fifth overall out of the 35 teams.

Bragging rights are great, but readiness is the key priority for the NGMTC.

"The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, as the home to the chief of the National Guard Bureau's marksmanship program, tries to ensure that each member of his Army and Air National Guard is fully capable of employing his/her assigned weapon," said Bussell.

Although this is a competition, it is also a cleverly disguised training event.

"The matches consist of shooting, fieldcraft, and basically all sniper related tasks, all the way down to the call for fire trainer," said Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Carver, one of the competition cadre and a sniper instructor from the U.S. National Guard Sniper School.

Attendees learn how to maneuver and shoot in a carefully orchestrated chaos that mimics a battle-like environment. This allows participating teams to hone in on their skills and develop new skills.

"This is the best sniper sustainment training in the country, hands down," said Miller. "... It's critical that we host competitions like this to make us better snipers."

To these warriors, the competitions are not just about seeing who is the best and walking away with a prize. It's about improving each other.

"We're all just trying to be the best that we can be and make everyone all around us better," said Vargas. "We all wear the same flag on our right shoulder, and that's what it's all about. Coming together. Doing what we need to do. Being masters at our craft, shooting well, and just getting the mission accomplished the best way we can."

National Guard teams from Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Vermont participated in the competition.

National Guard Sniper Competition Results:

WPW Sniper Team Champions:

  1. Colorado Team, Sgt. Tristan J. Ivkov and Spc. Max A. Miller
  2. Iowa Team, Spc. Aaron M. McAndrews and Spc. Kyle R. Thies
  3. Utah Team, Staff Sgt. Nick D. Hardin and Master Sgt. Richard T. Weems

WPW Precision Engagement Team Champions:

Utah Team, Staff Sgt. Nick D. Hardin and Master Sgt. Richard T. Weems

WPW Silent Hunter Team Champions:

Iowa Team, Spc. Aaron M. McAndrews and Spc. Kyle R. Thies

AFSAM Sniper Team Champions:

All Guard Team, California National Guard, Staff Sgts. Demetrios H. Iannios and Eric J. Vargas

Special Warfare Training Group Team, Sgt. 1st Class Jeff D. and Staff Sgt. Bj J.

U.S. Marine Corps Marine Raider Training Center Team, Staff Sgt. Dylan P. Deano and Gunnery Sgt. Eduardo L. Ocampo

AFSAM Precision Engagement Team Champions:

Georgia National Guard AFSAM Team, Sgt. 1st Class Josh S. Cavalier and Sgt. 1st Class Johnathan W. Ward

AFSAM Silent Hunter Team Champions:

National Guard Warrior Training Center Team, Spc. Johnathan N. Hjelle and Robert T. Hull

50th WPW & 30th AFSAM Championships General BRoll

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