Snipers compete at Schofield

| December 13, 2013 | 0 Comments
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay — Sgt. Mark Barruga (right), a senior sniper in HHC, and Sgt. Ricky Madison, a team leader from Co. A, both of 1-21st Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, zero in on a target during the high-angle shoot as part of the Best Sniper Competition, here, Dec. 4. The competition was put together by 1-21st Inf. Regt. and included teams from the Army, Marine Corps and Honolulu Police Department. Barruga and Madison finished second in the competition. (Photo by Sgt. Preston Byrd, 2nd Stryker Brigade Comabt Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay — Sgt. Mark Barruga (right), a senior sniper in HHC, and Sgt. Ricky Madison, a team leader from Co. A, both of 1-21st Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, zero in on a target during the high-angle shoot as part of the Best Sniper Competition, here, Dec. 4. The competition was put together by 1-21st Inf. Regt. and included teams from the Army, Marine Corps and Honolulu Police Department. Barruga and Madison finished second in the competition. (Photo by Sgt. Preston Byrd, 2nd Stryker Brigade Comabt Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division)

Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Fifteen sniper teams from Oahu came together at Schofield Barracks and Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, to compete for the title Best Sniper, Dec. 2-4.

The Army was well represented with teams from the 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and the 3rd BCT, 25th Infantry Division, and from the 728th Military Police Battalion, 8th MP Bde., 8th Theater Sustainment Command.

The Marine Corps and the Honolulu Police Department also fielded teams, making the event truly a joint experience.

“It consisted of three days of various shooting events to test all of the skills a sniper has,” said Pfc. Ryan Luther, sniper section, Company C, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT. “There have been various physical events, and it tested mental stamina and patience … a lot of patience.”

The Best Sniper Competition was more than just a test of skill, however. It also gave Soldiers the opportunity to work and train with other services and nonmilitary agencies.

“We’ve talked to a lot of different teams, not only from the Army, but from the Marines and HPD,” said Luther. “We’ve gained a lot of useful information from them: how they run their teams, how they actually like to shoot compared to us. There are a lot of different ideas to take away and incorporate into our own training. It’s been a great opportunity.”

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII-KANEOHE — A sniper team from the 3rd Marines evacuates a casualty as part of the Chaos Shoot during the Best Sniper Competition, here, Dec. 4. The competition was put together by 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Division, and included teams from the Army, Marine Corps and Honolulu Police Department. The Chaos Shoot was the final event of the competition, during which teams executed a target discrimination shoot and then dragged a casualty 200 meters before engaging their final targets. (Photo by Capt. Mark Wallace, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Inf. Division)

MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Kaneohe Bay — A sniper team from the 3rd Marines evacuates a casualty as part of the Chaos Shoot during the Best Sniper Competition, here, Dec. 4. The Chaos Shoot was the final event of the competition, during which teams executed a target discrimination shoot and then dragged a casualty 200 meters before engaging their final targets. (Photo by Capt. Mark Wallace, 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Inf. Division)

The competition was organized and run by Capt. Zach Baker, commander, Headquarters and Headquarters Co., 1st Bn., 21st Inf., 2nd SBCT. Baker filled the three days with eight events, including a high angle shoot, a rapid engagement against multiple targets in a short amount of time and an 8-mile ruck march for time that went right into the stalking lane.

During the stalking lane, teams were issued one round of blank ammo and then had to move across an open field, observe their target and take a shot, then withdraw, all without being detected while four people of the opposing force were actively looking for them.

The final day of the competition saw the teams inserted into the testing area via helicopter before the sun came up.

“It’s been a big challenge and definitely a huge learning event,” said Spc. Robert Gehring, sniper section, Co. C, 1-14th Inf.

“For us, we don’t have the ranges like the military has, so getting out here helps us a lot,” said Officer Quentin Apilando, HPD. “We also don’t have some of the equipment and field (training) the military has, so coming out here helps us learn some of that, too.”

Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID, awarded the Best Sniper trophy to the team of Staff Sgt. Rey Torres and Sgt. Paul Reardon, 1-27th Inf.

Best Snipers

1st — Staff Sgt. Rey Torres and Sgt. Paul Reardon, 1-27th Inf.

2nd — Sgt. Mark Barruga and Sgt. Ricky Madison, 1-21st Inf.

3rd — Spc. Taylor Jones and Pfc. Ryan Luther, 1-27th Inf.

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