By Sgt. Jason RossAugust 16, 2012
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (Aug. 16, 2012) -- Knowing how to shoot and engage a target is a must for an effective Soldier and accomplishing such must be done under stressful conditions. Enter Fort Campbell's Week of the Eagles 2012 Marksmanship Competition; held at the Market Garden Rd. ranges, Aug. 14.
The competition was made up of four events. The first being the 3-Gun Stress Shoot consisting of an M9 pistol range, an M4 rifle range and an M249 machine gun range. The competition required shooters to carrying a 185-pound "Rescue Randy Training Dummy" on a medical litter from range to range, for a total distance of about a mile.
The second event placed teams at the Long Range Stress Shoot, which required sniper teams to move to positions from over a mile away and engage targets up to 700-meters away.
The third event was a Squad Battle Position, which had Soldiers defend a perimeter that was under simulated attack.
The final event being the M240B Combat Stress Shoot, which forced Soldiers to negotiate obstacles and establish a support-by-fire position to suppress enemy fire within the range. Finishing on top of the brackets was the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), with winning both the Long Range Stress Shoot and the Squad Battle Position, who found the competition to be an important part of the week.
"The importance of this exercise is that it brings some realism to the training," said Spc. Arturo Hernandez, a member of the winning Squad Battle Position team and a team leader from Strike's Troop A, 1st Squadron, 75th Cavalry Regiment. "It helps get you ready for future deployments."
To be successful in this competition, Soldiers worked together as a team, understanding how each person operated was essential to functioning together as one unit. Strike had teams in each of the four events and some of the teams worked together for weeks prior to the competition to ensure peak performance. Soldiers and Leader promote such team building exercises.
"Competitions like this allow Soldiers to test their skills in competition," said Maj. Diogo Tavares, the deputy squadron commander for 1st Squadron 75th Cavalry Regiment. "It shows other Soldiers what they can do in combat."
Awarded for their accomplishments, the Soldiers received Week of Eagles medals, presented by Command Sgt. Maj. Alonzo J. Smith, the division and Fort Campbell command sergeant major.
"Everybody is a winner, because everybody worked hard to get here," said Smith. "I am proud to be here and hand out medals for an event that shows the importance of putting bullets down range."