Shooters take aim at annual sniper championships in Arkansas
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – A Sniper competitor surveys the area before moving in closer during the Stalk portion of the 51st Winston P. Wilson and 31st Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Championships at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center on December 7, 2021. (Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Israel Sanchez) VIEW ORIGINAL
Shooters take aim at annual sniper championships in Arkansas
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Shooters take the line to zero their rifles at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center, Barling, Arkansas, Dec. 4, 2021. These shooters are part of the 33 sniper teams gathered at the 51st Winston P. Wilson and 31st Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Rifle Matches hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at Fort Chaffee Dec. 4-9. (Photo Credit: Sgt. 1st Class Zach Sheely) VIEW ORIGINAL

BARLING, Ark. – Top snipers from the National Guard and international community are competing in the National Guard’s 51st Winston P. Wilson Championship and 31st Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting Sniper Rifle Matches Dec. 4-9 at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center.

The annual events are hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center to promote sniper team training and test marksmanship skills in a battle-focused environment.

“The primary purpose of these events is sustainment training,” said Army Capt. Alec Baldwin, the officer in charge of the competition for the NGMTC. “We’re looking at broadening the knowledge base, the expertise and the tactics, techniques, and procedures for shooters across the Guard and military. The idea is to bring in a breadth of knowledge and spread it as best we can in a challenging setting.”

The Winston P. Wilson matches include small arms, machine gun and sniper championship events. National Guard marksmen from across 50 states, three territories and the District of Columbia are invited to compete.

“The primary job of a sniper is to provide long-range precision rifle fire to key target, select targets, and targets of opportunity,” said Baldwin. “To get there, we must put the [shooters] in tough scenarios, where they will have to adapt.”

This year, Guard teams that distinguished themselves in previous WPW events will compete in the Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting. This is the international, inter-service division of the competition.

The major difference between the competition divisions is the equipment, Baldwin said.

“The Winston P. Wilson competitors will be primarily firing the M2010 enhanced sniper rifle – or what’s available in your standard line company’s sniper section vault,” said Baldwin. “The AFSAM is less restrictive.”

It’s not all about shooting but building camaraderie as well, Baldwin said. U.S. service members from across the Department of Defense interact with international partners and compare marksmanship techniques and best practices.

This event will feature 33 sniper teams, including Guard Soldiers from 21 states, Soldiers and Marines from the active component, Special Operations Forces, and international service members from the Netherlands and Denmark, said Sgt. 1st Class Jon Jeu, the NGMTC operations sergeant.

“Our partnerships with our NATO forces like the Netherlands and Denmark really suffer when we’re not able to train together,” said Jeu. “Events like this bring us together and strengthen our relationships.”

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