NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. - --
The Air Force Action Shooting Team competed in the United States Practical Shooting Association’s Multigun National Championship April 20 to 22 in Boulder City, Nevada.
The event provided participants an opportunity to sharpen individual skills and build relationships within communities.
“The multigun competition is a rifle, pistol and shotgun course in which teams will be shooting 14 stages over three days,” Master Sgt. Mark Ziebart, section chief assigned to the 27th Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico, said prior to the competition.
Each stage was uniquely challenging, said Ziebart. Teams began on rifle-and-shotgun targets, firing from 10 yards away to 360 yards while moving and reloading. From this mobile stage the team moved on to the next, in which the competitor stayed stationary and cycled through a pistol, rifle and shotgun, hitting multiple targets at varying distances in the shortest amount of time possible.
Members of the team, managed by the Air Force Services Activity's Air Force Sports Program, used these stages to test individual skills and use the experience to benefit their own professions.
“Being a combat arms instructor, this adds a certain level of credibility in my job,” said Staff Sgt. Nicolas Fralick, combat arms instructor assigned to the 3rd Detachment of the Security Forces Center at Desert Defender Regional Training Center at Fort Bliss, Texas. “If people have questions about something that I am trying to teach them, I can relate it to something I did here and call on different scenarios I’ve been put through. It’s a chance for me to test myself, and see improvement in a metric that most people don’t get to see outside of the sport.”
The team uses the sport in order to not only gain personal experience but strengthen alliances within the surrounding communities.
“Participating in events such as this enables us to talk with people,” said Ziebart. “A stage can be shot in around 40 seconds, but we’re going to be out on the range for six hours.”
The sport gives Airmen the opportunity to interact with people while on the range, said Ziebart. Others ask about our normal Air Force jobs, and it’s enjoyable to talk and share those stories, he said.
“If we can show the Air Force in a positive light, if we’re out here resetting stages, then we want to make sure that were the hardest working ones on this range,” said Fralick. “Doing the work and being an ambassador for the Air Force becomes more important than the shooting.”
In the Multigun National Championship, members of the Air Force team finished 4th and 12th out of 63 competitors in the Open Division, and 18th, 28th, 55th and 81st out of 166 competitors in the Tactical Division.