647th SFS CATM hosts first shooting competition

Participants in the 647th Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Flight elementary level Excellence in Competition Pistol Match prepare to fire their weapons at the Air Force shooting range on Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, Dec. 11, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden)

12/15/14 12:00 AM

By Tech. Sgt. Terri Paden, 15th Wing Public Affairs

The 647th Security Forces Squadron Combat Arms Training and Maintenance Flight hosted an elementary level Excellence in Competition Pistol Match Dec. 11-12.

The competition was held at the Air Force shooting range on Schofield Barracks and pitted more than 100 service members against one another.

For the competition, the participants were asked to fire a 9MM one handed and two handed with variations for the best overall score.

The top 10 percent of the participants walked away with bragging rights, and the authorization to wear the Elementary Excellence in Competition Pistol Badge on their ribbon racks.

This is the first shooting competition held at the Air Force shooting range, but Staff Sgt. Derrick Koch, a 647th SFS combat arms instructor and event organizer, said it won't be the last.

"I've been a part of events like this before and I think it's a good chance for people to come out and have fun and friendly competition," he said.

Koch said the competition also provides a chance for participants to pick up extra time on the range and improve their shooting skills.

"This is an opportunity for people to walk away with a medal, bragging rights and work on their fundamental skills," he said. "So even though you're competing you're still adding to your military training skills as well."

The additional time on the range is exactly the reason why first time competitor Lt. Col. John Grimm, Pacific Air Forces chief of SFS programs and resources, said he participated in the competition.

"This was a chance to work on combat skills and build camaraderie between participants and the cadre and I didn't want to pass up the opportunity," he said.

In addition to building camaraderie amongst Airmen, the joint competition also provided an opportunity to bond with Soldiers to whom the event was also open to.

"This was a good opportunity to bring all branches together for a friendly competition," Staff Sgt. Marquis Garvin, 647th SFS combat arms instructor, said. "Having other branches involved also presents an opportunity to see how the other services learn and train."

With the success of the first completion behind him, Koch said there are two more pistol competitions and two rifle competitions scheduled in the next year.

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