The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center (NGMTC) hosted the 48th Winston P. Wilson (WPW) Sniper Championship (National Guard) competition and 28th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) — (International & Inter-service), at the Fort Chaffee Joint Maneuver Training Center (FCJMTC) near Barling, Arkansas, from March 29 – April 3, 2019. This competition is designed to provide a battle-focused event, as well as validate and sustain key marksmanship skills essential to mobilization, readiness and success.

The competition is full of battle-focused exercises intended to bring together some of the best marksman in the nation in order to test their skill, share their expertise and promote marksmanship training within their units.

“Although the WPW is considered a competition, the true value of the matches is the cross learning between teams,” said Col. Marty Curtright, National Guard Marksmanship Training Center commander. “WPW is the largest weapons competition/training event in the Army. The only ones who loose after this competition are those who refused to learn from their fellow competitors.

“Events like this are established as a means of heightening the level of marksmanship proficiency throughout the military and increasing our battlefield lethality. Marksmanship is a perishable skill. The National Guard has moved from being a strategic reserve into an operational force, so our need for continually increased readiness has never been stronger. We have to remain ready, and marksmanship is at the forefront of our combat readiness.”

“Out here we get to shoot in different ways that we have never shot before,” said Spc. Kevin Meyer, from the Wisconsin National Guard. “We use ranges that are different and with longer range than we use at our home stations.”

The National Guard Marksmanship Training provides soldiers with the capability of becoming lethal with their marksmanship and taking it back to their unit. With the way battles are fought now it is very important to the army as whole to become uncomfortable in situations that they must use their marksmanship skills and this competition and training center provides soldiers with that exposure.