Irish Special Forces are first international team to win U.S Sniper Competition
The Irish Defence Forces Special Forces unit the Army Ranger Wing have become the first international team to win both the International and overall categories in the United States Sniper Competition in Fort Benning Georgia.
Facing competition from 36 other teams drawn from the U.S military, international military and U.S state and federal law enforcement, this is the first time that an International team has won both the overall and International competition categories.
The Chief of Staff of the Defence Forces Vice Admiral Mark Mellett DSM congratulated the Rangers, stating;
“The Army Ranger Wing have long been regarded as one of the finest Special Forces Units in the world. This victory is testament to their hard training and resolve.”
The winner of the domestic Defence Forces Sniper Concentration is automatically selected to represent the Irish Defence Forces at this competition.
The team is a sniper pair (shooter and spotter) and a team coach.
Our man visited the Irish Sniper Instruction course, read about it here.
Other teams entered included the U.S Rangers, Airborne, Marine Corps and Mountain Divisions, the F.B.I Swat Team as well as teams from Britain, Canada, Germany and Denmark.
The competition takes place over 4 arduous days in the Deep South marsh and bush lands, encompassing 16 individual challenges with very little rest between.
Tests include a sniper stalk, movement shoots by day and night, obstacles courses, pistol shoots, stress shoots and unknown distance shoots.
Last year the previous Defence Forces sniper champions, the 27th Infantry Battalion from Aiken Barracks, Dundalk, came second in the International Category and placed 21st overall.
The Army Ranger Wing previously placed second in both 2011 and 2012.