Photo Information

From across the U.S. Military and International Armies, two-man teams compete during the 2015 International Sniper Competition, Oct. 21, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga. The competition was hosted by the United States Army and consisted of 37 two-man sniper teams from around the world.

Photo by Markeith Horace

EOTG Marines participate in International Sniper Competition

4 Nov 2015 | Lance Cpl. Chris Garcia The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

Two Marines representing Expeditionary Operations Training Group, II Marine Expeditionary Force, participated in the 2015 annual International Sniper Competition in Fort Benning, Georgia, Oct. 19 through 23, 2015.

Staff Sgt. James Stroope and Sgt. Jordan Davis, reconnaissance and surveillance instructors as well as infantry snipers, participated in the competition in order to test their marksmanship skills against both American and international teams.

The competition was hosted by the United States Army and consisted of 37 two-man sniper teams from around the world. Each team went through 17 physically challenging events to become recognized as the best team.

The competition tested the competitors on their ability to perform basic marksmanship fundamentals, advanced marksmanship fundamentals, firing at known and unknown distance targets, and providing cover for field craft in the form of stalking exercises designed to tests the team’s ability to perform undetected.

“The purpose of the competition was to gather teams from national, international and foreign agencies to test and evaluate them on their tactics, techniques and procedures in order to create a friendly competition to crown the top sniper team this year,” said Stroope. “It also opens up opportunities for cross training between the competitors and helps build a cohesive relationship across the sniper community.”

Participants must have graduated from a recognized sniper school in order to enter the competition.

The competitors were required to shoot an M4 carbine, M40 A5 sniper rifle and 9mm pistol at close distances in order to test their weapons manipulation ability to hit standing and moving targets, and night known and unknown distances. Shooters used a formula called the “mill-relation” to measure an unknown distance and size of a target.

“It was challenging,” said Davis. “It really opens your eyes to the new stuff that’s out there, like the new moving targets that the army is using. They are phenomenal because they give real world feedback, it’s almost life like.”

Prior to the start of various events in the competition the teams performed different exercises that physically exhausted them, such as performing sprints and deadlifting 225 pounds. 20 times as a team, in order to make the event more challenging as well as testing their ability to perform under stress.

When the competition ended, the Marines finished in fourth place and are eager to return next year, if given the opportunity.

“Absolutely, I would compete again,” said Stroope. “Understanding now about what the competition entails and looking at the deficiencies of finding distances between targets, good shooter-spotter dialogue and shooting under stress, not just shooting and being in a good and comfortable atmosphere and actually putting yourself in a rigorous setting would help out a lot in preparing for next year.”