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Shooting team aims for win

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Lou Burton
  • 178th Public Affairs
Members of the 178th Wing Security Forces placed third in the Adjutant General's 2014 Combat Marksmanship Championship at Camp Perry, Ohio, Aug. 23 -24.

Three security forces members and a security forces individual augmentee participated in the competition.

"Two days of competition were divided into individual matches the first day and team matches the second day," said Senior Airman Aaron Easterling, security forces team member.

Easterling placed second and third in individual pistol matches and Tech Sgt. Shannon Willhelm placed third in an individual pistol match.

The team placed third for the overall championship, third place in the combat pistol team match, and fourth place overall in the infantry team match.

Also participating on the team were Staff Sgt. David Glass and Staff Sgt. Robert Speakman.

The competition, which is open to all Ohio Army and Air National Guard members, had 22 teams participate with a total of 91 shooters.

Prior to the competition, the team faced a major hurdle; time.

"Usually teams have a year to prepare and practice, however we put our team together without training within three weeks," said Easterling.

After the team was established and registered, they received a dossier that outlined the competition matches with specific rules and parameters.

"Part of the challenge when going to the competition is that each team must be comprised of at least 50 percent of members who have never competed," said Easterling.

The written scenarios dictate the distribution of the ammunition to the team captain who has to distribute it amongst the team to accomplish the mission.

"This takes some planning and tactic," said Easterling. "You have to consider the challenge and what your team member's strengths are and distribute your ammunition accordingly. You also have to consider how much ammunition you will need to get through the entire scenario."

Adding to the realistic aspect of the competition are the uncontrollable elements.

"These are very realistic scenarios because weapons qualification for the Air Force is inside a controlled shooting range at 25 yards," said Easterling. "One event has a maximum range of 500 yards firing a riffle in an environment that is susceptible to outside factors like wind speed and direction."

"Kudos to all of these troops and a special thanks to Senior Airman Aaron Easterling for coordinating logistics and leading the team," said Lt. Col. Bernard Willis, 178th Security Forces commander. "I will let the results attest to the individual achievements of each of them."

The team is gearing up for next year's competition and they are looking for new members. While they wait for an official base shooting team operating instruction, opportunity to join exists.