Teams Prepare for Sniper Competition

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FORT CHAFFEE (KFSM) – Teams from Denmark, Germany, Canada and throughout the United States will compete in a sniper competition this week in the River Valley.

Sunday (April 19) was about getting the snipers used to Arkansas -- a different altitude for the 23 teams competing in this week's 44th annual Winston P. Wilson championship and the 24th annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting.

"It’s a required calibration and make sure all their systems and the sites are all set,” David Stapp, chief of operations with the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center, said.

He said not everyone realizes what snipers do.

“What some people forget, being a sniper is not primarily someone that shoots. Snipers are actually intelligence. They’re observes. Their mission primarily is to gather intelligence and to observe the targets in the battlefield,” Stapp said.

The National Guard Marksmanship Training Center of the Arkansas National Guard is hosting the competition taking place at Fort Chaffee.

And even though it's a competition, many said they're just here to learn.

Charstian Bierstedt is one of four men on the team from Germany.

“Basically the same thing we would do in a situation, but a different way. So we can see whether we can adjust our procedures,” he said.

"Lots of different ways to do the same things,” Jordan Norkett, a competitor from Dallas, said.

They will be competing all week, including some overnight missions -- and they're ready to face the elements.

“With the exception of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, they’re prepared to operate,” Stapp said.

The competition wraps up on Friday with a pistol competition in the morning, and the awards ceremony later in the day.