NEWS | Dec. 16, 2020

50th WPW and 30th AFSAM Sniper Championships ~ Colorado, California National Guard Win Sniper Championships

By Maj. Theresa Austin, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center Utah National Guard

BARLING, Arkansas – Twenty-three two-person sniper teams from across the National Guard and 12 interservice teams competed in the 50th Winston P. Wilson Sniper Championship and the 30th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting hosted by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center December 4-10, 2020, at Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center in Barling, Arkansas.

“We are truly honored to have teams from across the nation and other military services at the 2020 WPW and AFSAM Sniper Championship,” said Col. Andy Bussell, commander of the NGMTC. Out of the 70 sniper competitors in attendance this year, six walked away with the highest honors.

This year’s Overall AFSAM Sniper Team Champions, are Sgt. Demetrios H. Iannios and Sgt. Eric J. Vargas, representing the National Guard on the All Guard Sniper Team and hailing from the California National Guard, with a score of 625.5 placing first overall out of 35 sniper teams. Second place is the Special Warfare Training Group Team and third is the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Raider Training Center Team.

The Overall WPW Sniper Team Champions and recipients of the Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge are Sgt. Triston Ivkov and Spc. Max Miller, Colorado National Guard, scoring 546.5 points placing second overall out of 35 sniper teams.

Also, receiving the prestigious Chief’s 50 Marksmanship Badge are Spc. Aaron M. McAndrews and Spc. Kyle R. Thies, Iowa National Guard, with a score of 504 placing third overall out of 35 sniper teams and second place overall in the WPW. The Utah National Guard team is the third place WPW champions and earned fifth place overall out of the 35 teams competing.

Bragging rights are great, but readiness is the key priority for the NGMTC that is why they are the National Guard’s proponent for organizing and conducting marksmanship competitions across the nation.

“The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, as the home to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau’s marksmanship program, tries to ensure that each member of his Army and Air National Guard is fully capable of employing his/her assigned weapon,” said Bussell.

The although this is a competition, it is, also, a cleverly disguised training event.

“The matches consist of shooting, fieldcraft, and basically all sniper related tasks, all the way down to the call for fire trainer,” said Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Carver, one of the competition cadre and a sniper instructor from the U.S. National Guard Sniper School.

Attendees learn how to maneuver and shoot in a carefully orchestrated chaos that mimics a battle-like environment. This allows participating teams to become honed in on their current skills and develop new skills in the process.

“This is the best sniper sustainment training in the country hands down,” said Miller. “It’s kinds of ranges and events that just aren’t possible for you to just put on, so it’s critical that we host competitions like this to make us better snipers.”

To these warriors, the competitions are not just about seeing who is the best and walking away with a prize. It’s about improving each other.

“At the end of the day, we're all just trying to be the best that we can be and make everyone all around us better,” said Vargas, “We all wear the same flag on our right shoulder and that's what it's all about. Coming together. Doing what we need to do. Being masters at our craft, shooting well, and just getting the mission accomplished the best way we can.”

 

National Guard Sniper Competition Results:

WPW Sniper Team Champions

  1. Colorado Team, Sgt. Tristan J. Ivkov and Spc. Max A. Miller
  2. Iowa Team, Spc. Aaron M. McAndrews and Spc. Kyle R. Thies
  3. Utah Team, Staff Sgt. Nick D. Hardin and Master Sgt. Richard T. Weems

WPW Precision Engagement Team Champions:

  • Utah Team, Staff Sgt. Nick D. Hardin and Master Sgt. Richard T. Weems

WPW Silent Hunter Team Champions:

  • Iowa Team, Spc. Aaron M. McAndrews and Spc. Kyle R. Thies

AFSAM Sniper Team Champions

  • All Guard Team- California National Guard, Staff Sgt. Demetrios H. Iannios and Staff Sgt. Eric J. Vargas
  • Special Warfare Training Group Team, Sgt. 1st Class Jeff D. and Staff Sgt. Bj J.
  • U.S. Marine Corps Marine Raider Training Center Team, Staff Sgt. Dylan P. Deano and Gunnery Sgt. Eduardo L. Ocampo

AFSAM Precision Engagement Team Champions:

  • Georgia National Guard AFSAM Team, Sgt. 1st Class Josh S. Cavalier and Sgt. 1st Class Johnathan W. Ward

AFSAM Silent Hunter Team Champions:

  • National Guard Warrior Training Center Team, Spc. Johnathan N. Hjelle and Robert T. Hull

 

 

 

Your Career Starts Here

U.S. Army Cpl. Spencer Fayles with Utah’s 144th Area Support Medical Company, receives a certificate of participation during the Region VII Best Warrior Competition award ceremony on the island of Guam, May 26, 2022. This annual competition featured the best noncommissioned officer and Soldier from eight different states and territories including Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah. Testing competitors’ skills and knowledge and pushing them to their limits, the competition graded each participant in key areas such as basic Soldier skills, marksmanship under stress, land-navigation, and physical fitness. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack)
Two Utah Soldiers awaken "Warrior Spirit" at Region VII Best Warrior Competition
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | June 4, 2022
A Soldier’s transformation into a warrior is difficult to describe. Hand-picked by leadership, proving themselves with every drop of sweat, every sore muscle, and every labored breath; Soldiers who compete naturally don the...

Brig. Gen. Frank Gräfe, the defense attaché from the Federation of Germany to the United States, (left) and Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Boyack, Commander of the Utah Air National Guard & Assistant Adjutant General-Air, (right) pose using the iconic “thumbs up” that Gail Halvorsen was known for on May 20th at the Provo City Cemetary. The Utah Air National Guard was in attendance to show support and honor the heroic efforts of Gail Halvorsen. (Utah Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt Nicholas Perez)
Honoring a war hero who delivered hope
By Staff Sgt. Nicholas Perez | May 31, 2022
Ret. U.S. Air Force Col. Gail Halvorsen, known as the “Candy Bomber”, was honored by top leadership from the Utah Air National Guard, Utah National Guard, and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany with the laying of two...

The Utah National Guard FEMA Region VIII Homeland Response Force held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Collapsed Structure Venue Site which included a demonstration and static display of capabilities May 10, 2022 at Camp Williams, Utah. The CSVS is one of only three military owned Urban Search and Rescue training venues west of the Rocky Mountains. This CSVS will allow both military search and extract and civilian search and rescue teams the opportunity to train together and build those necessary partnerships needed in an “all hazards” response. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
Camp Williams adds a Premiere Search and Extraction Training Site to Benefit the Homeland Response Force, State, Region, and Nation.
By Lt. Col. Robert Ramage Warden | May 11, 2022
The Utah National Guard has a new training site for the Region VIII Homeland Response Force’s search and extraction team, as well as partner civilian urban search and rescue teams. Lt. Col. Erick R. Wiedmeier, commander of...

Members of the Combined Veterans Honor Guard joined members from the Utah National Guard Honor Guard in conducting military funeral honors for the remains of Cpl. David Milano April 29, 2022 in Ogden, Utah. Milano went missing in action Dec. 2, 1950, during the Korean War. After 71 years, his remains have been repatriated to the United States and have been laid to rest on U.S. soil. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
A Family's Faith: Chosin Soldier Comes Home
By Staff Sgt. Jordan Hack | May 3, 2022
Often referred to as “the Forgotten War,” the Korean War’s significance tends to be overshadowed by World War II and the Vietnam War. Even in that light, it’s nothing short of a miracle that Korean War service members are...

Chief Warrant Officer4 Deena Haag
The Utah National Guard Celebrates Women’s History Month in March 2022
By (Courtesy article) | March 31, 2022
During the month of March, the Utah National Guard celebrates Women’s History and honors and acknowledges the struggles and achievements of American women throughout the history of the United States. Women have played a vital...

The 2-222nd Field Artillery Battalion, “Triple Deuce,” held a reunion for all current and former members of the unit March 19, 2022, at the Stanley A. Staheli Readiness Center in St. George, Utah. This event marks the fifth time in the last eight years that the group has rallied to reunite and reflect on their time spent in service to the nation, state, and community of Southern Utah.
2-222 Field Artillery Battalion “Triple Deuce” holds reunion for former and current members
By Maj. Emilio Suazo | March 19, 2022
The 2-222nd Field Artillery Battalion, “Triple Deuce,” held a reunion for all current and former members of the unit March 19, 2022, at the Stanley A. Staheli Readiness Center in St. George, Utah...

Brig. Gen. Tyler Smith receives his certificate of retirement from Maj. Gen. Michael Turley, adjutant general, Utah National Guard, at his retirement ceremony, March 14, 2022, at Camp Williams, Utah. Smith, whose most recent assignment was assistant adjutant general-Army, Utah National Guard, was joined by family, friends and community members to celebrate his 36-year career in the military. (U.S. Army photo by 1st Sgt. John Etheridge)
Brig. Gen. Tyler B. Smith, former assistant adjutant general-Army, retires after 35-years of service
By Staff Sgt. Ariel Solomon | March 16, 2022
Family, friends, co-workers and community members gathered to say farewell to Brig. Gen. Tyler Smith, the former assistant adjutant general-Army, Utah National Guard, at his retirement ceremony March 15, 2022, in the Lundell...

Maj. Gen Michael Turley, adjutant general, Utah National Guard, passes the organizational colors to Brig. Gen. Joseph Green during a change-of-command ceremony March 13, 2022 at Draper, Utah. During the change-of-command ceremony, Brig. Gen. Joseph Green assumed the role of assistant adjutant general-Army, Utah National Guard, from Brig. Gen. Tyler Smith. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Ariel J. Solomon)
Utah National Guard promotes and welcomes new assistant adjutant general-Army at change-of-command ceremony
By 1st Sgt. John Etheridge | March 14, 2022
The Utah National Guard welcomed its new assistant adjutant general-Army at a change-of-command ceremony March 13, 2022, at its headquarters building in Draper, Utah...

Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Brown passes the 97th Troop Command colors to Col. Tammy Manwaring during the change-of-command ceremony on Camp Williams, Utah, March 13, 2022. Manwaring will then pass the colors on to her successor, symbolically relinquishing her responsibility as the unit's commander. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Cpl. Alejandro Lucero)
97th Troop Command conducts change of responsibility
By Cpl. Alejandro Lucero | March 12, 2022
The 97th Troop Command, Utah Army National Guard, conducted a change-of-command ceremony at the Lundell Readiness Center on Camp Williams, Utah, March 13, 2022. During the ceremony, Col. Tammy Manwaring relinquished command...

Sgt. First Class Robert Conder, a soldier with the 141st Military Intelligence Battalion, Utah National Guard, and members of Boy Scout troop take a break from collecting and loading donations for the Scouting for Food drive in Draper, Utah, Feb. 12, 2022. The Utah National Guard is committed to the Scouting for Food drive as it unites Utahns from multiple counties in the fight against hunger. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Alejandro Lucero)
Utah National Guard Assists Boy Scouts to Feed Utah Families
By Sgt. James Bunn | Feb. 17, 2022
Soldiers from the Utah National Guard partnered with Boy Scouts of America to collect food donations across Utah for Scouting for Food Day Feb. 12, 2022. This year approximately 75 Utah National Guard members helped deliver...