Written by Staff Sgt. Joel Salgado
3rd Brigade Combat Team
Fort Campbell, KY – Teams from 101st Airborne Division units and Fort Campbell competed in a series of marksmanship events on Tuesday during the 101st Airborne Division’s Week of the Eagles.
“Competition breeds Excellence,” said 1st Lt. Jonathan Pickens, the planner for the Week of the Eagles Marksmanship Competition. “It also helps build that competitive edge that we need to take to the enemy when we’re deployed overseas.”
Each brigade combat team, combat aviation brigade, the 101st Sustainment Brigade, 5th Special Forces Group, and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment entered four teams in the series of marksmanship challenges.
The first event placed a single Soldier team in a combat stress shoot that had the Soldier engage a series of targets with pistols, rifles and machine guns. The Soldier’s score was based on their total amount of hits scored and the time it took them to traverse the course. The winner of the combat stress shoot event was a Soldier from 3rd BCT.
The next scenario placed an eight-man team in a squad battle position event. The squad was given a task to execute a movement to a pick up point. While in route, the squad receives an order to reinforce a nearby position that is under attack. The squad leader must establish a defensive position and direct his Soldiers to clear the area of enemy forces. The winning team was from 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT “Bastogne.”
A four-man sniper team event had snipers and their spotters conduct a foot patrol to their firing positions before engaging targets. Following the first engagement, the team transitioned to another firing area where the spotters engaged targets. After the elimination of all targets, the team finished their foot patrol. The sniper competition was scored on the number of hits with a minimum score of five hits out of 10 targets needed to pass. Hits were deducted as well based on total time taken to traverse the course. The winning sniper team was a team from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Bn. 187th Inf. Regt.
The awards were given to the top three teams of each event in a ceremony by Brig. Gen. Andrew Poppas, the deputy commanding general (operations). Poppas spoke to the winning teams about the importance of leadership not just in competitions such as this, but in the day-to-day training of Soldiers.
Sergeant Austin Kelly, a sniper section leader with HHC, 3rd Bn., 187th Inf. Regt. said he understands that need.
“Hopefully our Soldiers will try to follow our example and we’ll just continue to reinforce what we’re doing,” he said.