101st Snipers Compete with the Best
Story by Spc. Kelvin Johnson Jr., 40th Public Affairs Detachment
FT. BENNING, Ga. — Staff Sgt. Kyle Hoggarth, Sgt. Bristol Fitch and Sgt. Anthony Doran with 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment “War Rakkasans,” 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), participated in the International Sniper Competition on April 4-7, 2022, at Fort Benning, Ga.
The International Sniper Competition sets sniper teams made up of three individuals, from both the U.S. Military and its NATO allies, against each other to see which team can best execute the challenges presented to them.
“Competing against our NATO allies was great,” said Doran. “We got to build cohesion across the world and see how they train.”
Regardless of where the teams are from, they have all spent rigorous hours training and perfecting their skills to compete amongst the best.
“We trained hard for this, and we want to come out here and give it our all,” said Fitch. “We spent a lot of our time preparing for the events, focusing on things like marksmanship, physical fitness and land navigation.”
Not knowing exactly what to expect, the War Rakkasans took on each challenge as they came.
“The key to facing these challenges is communication and knowing we are here for a reason,” said Fitch. “Just having an understanding of what is expected from one another and being able to trust each other and communicate in a timely manner helps.”
The competitors faced many challenges with all sorts of events, such as 360-degree stalk, infiltration, evasion, spawn camping, mystery box and many more.
“My favorite part of the competition would have to be the mystery box and the chaos movers,” said Doran. “That is where we had a shooter and a spotter, out of a connex, shooting from the second floor while the team leader fired the pistol on the pistol range.”
The competition ran on a very strict schedule, only allowing the 1–33 CAV Soldiers a small amount of time to complete their tasks and their competitors no room for mistakes.
“We knew time was not on our side and we were limited to ammunition, so forcing bad shots is something we stayed away from,” said Doran. “Remembering the fundamentals of shooting to actually hit our targets was key.”
However, unpredictable issues can occur at any time, as the team found out.
“We did have two weapon malfunctions during an event, but luckily we did not panic, and recovered to the best of our abilities,” said Fitch.
Having an experienced team helped them quickly recover in situations that were undesirable.
“We were relatively prepared, since the two other team members had prior experience with the best sniper competition, and that definitely gave us the upper hand,” said Sgt. Fitch. “There was nothing that really blindsided us. We did what we could to our best ability. There’s always room for improvement and we will just have to continue to work hard and get better.”