November 9th, 2012

USAMU Duo Wins 2012 International Sniper Competition

SSG Daniel Horner and SPC Tyler Payne of the USAMU outlasted 35 other teams to win the tough 72-hour International Sniper Competition at Fort Benning, GA. The 2012 field included entries from Denmark, Germany, Ireland, United Arab Emirates, plus U.S. Army Special Forces, the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Army National Guard. There were also LEO duos from Las Vegas, Chicago and Florida.

2012 International Sniper Competition

The competition is hosted by the U.S. Army Sniper School. Top shooters from across the globe travel to Fort Benning, GA to compete in the annual competition, a grueling test of marksmanship and sniper skills. The two-man teams competed in 14 events including a sniper stalk, urban shooting, and orienteering exercises, firing under stressful conditions. The 72-hour event runs virtually non-stop, with only two four-hour rest breaks in the three days of competition.

“It feels awesome to win,” SSG Horner said. “I’ve wanted to compete in this event my whole life. We didn’t have a slot to compete in the last few years so when we got in this year we trained hard the past few weeks to get prepared.” Horner’s partner, SPC Payne, added: “There were some real challenges out there. Many of the events had tight time constraints. Finding the targets was tough, especially at night.”

2012 International Sniper Competition

“Time management was a big factor in the outcome,” Horner said. “We are really good at getting a lot accomplished really quickly. There was no way you could physically get everything done in the time allotted so it was who completed the most in the time they had. In an event like this if you only know the fundamentals then you will get run over. The fundamentals are the foundation of any good marksman, but here you had to know how to read wind, calculate mover speed, shoot alternate positions, and be able to physically complete the events, such as the 4.5 mile run with all of your gear.”

SSG Daniel HornerDespite having seven shooting teams within the ranks of the USAMU, the unit doesn’t have a sniper team nor teach sniper skills at any of the marksmanship training courses. Horner is a 5-time and current USPSA Multi-Gun national champion and Payne was a finalist at last year’s 3-Gun Nation championship. As members of the action shooting team, the Soldiers must have the ability to shoot rapidly and accurately with a handgun, rifle and/or shotgun, skills they were able to adapt and use for the sniper competition.

SSG Horner and SPC Payne hope to defend their title next year. Payne explained: “We have wanted to shoot this for a long time so to win it in our first year feels amazing. I really hope we get to come back next year and defend our title.”

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