Sniper Teams Compete After Overnight Events

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FORT CHAFFEE (KFSM) – Thursday (April 23) was the fourth day of the 44th annual Winston P. Wilson championship and the 24th annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting at Fort Chaffee.

“It's pretty tough but it's all in the mind -- just got to keep moving forward,” U.S. Army Specialist Austin Furumoto, from Hawaii, said.

"A lot of the missions that we're giving them, they don't know what to expect. And when they get up to the line to shoot, there it is -- they have to think on their feet, “Jon Plummer said. Plummer is the Senior Sniper Instructor at Camp Robinson in Little Rock.

One of Thursday’s events involves shooting from short, medium and long distances.

Each of the 23 teams are judged on how many targets they can hit with the least amount of ammunition, and if it came down to a tie, time mattered.

“I like the stress shoots where you're running and you’re moving. I'm better when I move, when I'm under pressure like that,” Taylor Ellis, who is a Staff Sargent in the U.S. Army, said after an event.

The men have been competing almost non-stop since 6:45 Tuesday (April 21) morning.

The entire competition is designed to be as realistic as possible, so they can be better prepared for combat. That means overnight events, no showers, and only eating food they can carry.

"Some granola bars, beef jerky,” Furumoto said.

"Pretty much any opportunity you take to sleep. You're going to find a way to curl up in your poncho, get out of the wind get out of the cold and try to get comfortable," Ellis said.

"They're tired. Their feet are hurting,” Plummer said.

The competitors don't know what events are ahead of them, they just know it all ends Friday.

They will have a pistol competition in the morning and the awards ceremony later in the day -- where both individuals and teams will win awards.