WINSTON P. WILSON NATIONAL GUARD
SFC Pete Carpentier
NCOIC SART Section
Texas National Guard
The 29th annual Winston P. Wilson National Guard Rifle, Pistol, Sniper, and Light Machinegun Championship was held on 14-21 October 2000 at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in North Little Rock Arkansas. The match is put on by the National Guard Marksmanship Training Unit, which is also based at Camp Robinson. As the premier competitive shooting training event for the Army and Air National Guard, the WPW annually attracts over 700 of the Guards very best shooters from nearly every state, territory, and the District of Columbia. The match is put on every year to recognize the best marksman’s in the National Guard.
In this article we will be covering the 00-sniper match. The National Guard Scout Sniper School put on the sniper match and the NCOIC of the match was SFC B. Dolan, who is also the NCOIC of the school. Sgt. Dolan and his staff did a great job on the match. Again this year there was a 24-hour FTX.
In this match all snipers must use either the M24 SWS or the M-21. The M24 is the current sniper weapon systems issued to sniper teams. It has a Leupold M3A sniper scope that has a Mil Dot Reticle used for ranging. It fires M118 Special Ball in 7.62 caliber. This year there was one team that did use the M-21.
DAY ONE. The sniper teams shot Match 606 Cold Barrel Engagement. In this match the sniper is brought up to the line. Down range there is several targets at unknown distances. The targets are E type Iron Maidens and they are 20 x 40. The targets are either numbered or have a letter. The sniper is given two rounds and then he must identify the target in which he is going to engage. He is then given three minutes to range and engage the target. If the sniper hits the target with the first round, he will get 100 points. If he misses he still has one more round. If he hits it with the second round he gets 50 points. If he misses with both rounds, he gets a zero. The sniper must do this with out the help of an observer. He must range the target, figure the wind and fire. This year there was several first round hits. They had to have a shot off to decide the winner.
The next match shot that day was Match 601 Field Fire Scope. In this match again the sniper team are brought up to the line, down range there is 10 targets at Unknown Distances. They are given 40 rounds to engage 20 targets with. The scorer will designate the targets to the observer, in order of engagement, from near too far. The sniper will engage targets in the order designated by the scorer. The sniper will have two shots to obtain 1 hit on each target going from near to far, then repeating the process from far to near for a total of 20 separate target engagements. A first round hit is worth 10 points and a second round hit is worth 5 points. The sniper has 30 minutes in which to fire this match. There are 8 E type targets and 2 F targets. The E types are 20x40 and the F types are 20x20. In this match the observer plays a very important role. He must be able to find the targets; help with the wind calling, see trace in case there is a miss and can help the sniper get on target and should keep a good range card. This year the closet target was at 250 meters and the farthest target was 785 meters.
Day Two. The sniper teams fired Match 601 Field Fire Scope (MOVERS). In this match the sniper teams will engage one stationary target and four moving targets. This match is fired on a Known Distance range. The sniper teams will engage targets at 300,400,500. And 600 yards. The sniper team is given 40 rounds. 20 rounds are fired in this match. The sniper will fire 20 rounds and the observer will fire 20 rounds. The target is a 12x40 silhouette. At the 300-yard line the sniper will load with five rounds. From the pits the target will come up for five seconds. The sniper will engage the target with one round. After five seconds the target will go down. Then the target will come up and move from left to right. The sniper will engage the target with one round. The target will then return in the opposite direction and again the sniper will engage the target with one round. This will happen two more times. A total of five rounds are fired at this yard line. A hit anywhere on the target is worth 10 points and a miss is worth zero. After the sniper has fired the observer will fire and do the same thing. They both will do the same thing at 400,500 and 600 yard line. 20 rounds for 20 targets. This is an observer match. If you do not have a good observer that can see trace and call hits on the targets, your team will not have a good score. This year there was a perfect score on this match.
The next match the sniper teams fired that day was Match 604 Field Fire (iron sight). In this match the sniper teams will engage 5 targets at unknown distances, but with iron sights. The M-24 SWS comes with a pair of iron sights. The sights are used in case your scope goes down. Again the sniper team is brought up to the line. Down range there is 5 targets at unknown distances. They are given 20 rounds to engage 10 targets with. The scorer will designate the target to the observer, in order of engagement, from the nearest to the furthest. The sniper will engage targets in the order designated by the scorer. The sniper will have two shots to obtain 1 hit on each target going from near to far, and then repeating the process from far to near for a total of 10 separate target engagements. A first round hit is worth 20 points and a second round hit is worth 10 points. The sniper has 20 minutes in which to fire this match. There are 2 F Type Targets and 3 E Type targets. The closes target was at 235 meters and the farthest target was at 610 meters. Again you need to have a good observer. In this match the observer must locate the targets for the sniper and also must be able to range the targets and read the wind. The observer must use M22 binos to range the targets. These Binos have a Mil Reticle scale for ranging.
Day Three. This would be the start of the 24-hour FTX. The sniper teams meet in a classroom at the sniper school. Here the sniper teams were given a packet that had an OP Order, photos of the AO (area of operation) and the Objective and a map. Also in the packet were 4 points you had to plot on the map for the Day Land Nav course. The teams had to find all four points in three hours. The teams had one hour to plan and plot the points on the map. After that the team road march to an open field. From here the sniper teams were air lifted by UH-1 Helicopters to the Area of Operations. As soon as the choppers lifted off, this started the time for the land nav course. Once the teams were inserted, they started to locate their points. At there last point was where the next part of the mission would start. Here again the teams were given an OP Order. They had to move from the location they were at now to another location and engage a mortar team. They had to stalk in and engage. At the same time they had to do a target detection exercise. All this while under observation. The teams were given the grid location for the Mortar team and also the grid for the rally point. The teams had 6 hours to go to the target area, stalk, observer, make a shot and exfiltrate to the rally point. At the rally point the sniper teams did a Range Estimation Exercise. The target was 20x40 E type silhouette. By this time it was dark. The lights of a vehicle lighted up the target. The teams had to range the target at 10 different distances. It had to be done with the Naked Eye, with M22 Binos and the M3A scope on the M24. Again you did not know the distance to the target. This exercise would prove helpfully later in the night. After that the teams were given a sheet that had five grid locations. The teams had to plot the five points on the map. That started the Night Land Nav Course. The teams had 4 hours to find 5 points. At the last point was where the next mission would start. At this location each sniper team had to make a cold bore shot. The sniper team moved to a sniper hide. After the sniper was in the hide, the lights of a truck lighted up a target down range. The sniper had three minutes to range the targets and engage. The target was at 400 meters and there was a lot of first round hits. This was where that range estimation at night helped. After all the teams made there cold bore shot, they moved to another location. At that location was the start point for the 6-mile road march. The teams had 2and half-hours to complete the road march. Also each member of the teams rucksack had to weigh 50 pounds. Each person had their rucksack weighed and it had to weigh 50 pounds. Also at the end of the road march they weighed it again and it had to weigh 50 pounds. Also each team had to finish as a whole. If your team did not complete the road march, you would get a zero for the whole FTX. At the finish point was the classroom where the teams started. Here they did a KIMs exercise. They asked 10 questions from the Op Order they first gave out. If you did not read the Op Order you did not do well. This is where the FTX ended.
Each exercise for the FTX was worth 100 points, for a total of 700 points.
As you can see each sniper team was tested on different tasks. The teams had to be proficient at both marksmanship and fieldcraft to do well in this match. Also this was good sustainment training. This match or training should help sniper teams identify their strong and weak points and what to work on when they get back to there units and also what to work on for next year.