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Skill targeted in shooting competition

Chief Master Sgt. Shadd McKee, 10th Security Forces Squadron security force manager, walks out to place his target at the combat arms firing range at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. Nearly 100 shooters from area Air Force installations gathered to participate in the Front Range Competition in Excellence Match. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Shadd McKee, 10th Security Forces Squadron security force manager, walks out to place his target at the combat arms firing range at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. Nearly 100 shooters from area Air Force installations gathered to participate in the Front Range Competition in Excellence Match. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Chief Master Sgt. Shadd McKee, 10th Security Forces Squadron security force manager, loads the M9 pistol used in the competition at the combat arms firing range at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. The competition was open to all Front Range active duty and reserve Air Force personnel, regardless of Air Force specialty code. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Chief Master Sgt. Shadd McKee, 10th Security Forces Squadron security force manager, loads the M9 pistol used in the competition at the combat arms firing range at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. The competition was open to all Front Range active duty and reserve Air Force personnel, regardless of Air Force specialty code. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Staff Sgt. Montie Butler, 50th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, looks out to the target area before the competition at the combat arms firing range at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. The match is an Air Force-level competition and competitors could qualify for the Elementary or Bronze Excellence in Competition Pistol Shot and Rifleman Badges (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Staff Sgt. Montie Butler, 50th Security Forces Squadron combat arms instructor, looks out to the target area before the competition at the combat arms firing range at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. The match is an Air Force-level competition and competitors could qualify for the Elementary or Bronze Excellence in Competition Pistol Shot and Rifleman Badges (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Airmen from the local Colorado area fire down range during the Front Range Competition in Excellence Match at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. Shooters could take part in either the pistol event, using an M9 pistol, or the rifle event, firing an M16A2. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Airmen from the local Colorado area fire down range during the Front Range Competition in Excellence Match at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. Shooters could take part in either the pistol event, using an M9 pistol, or the rifle event, firing an M16A2. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

Airmen from the local Colorado area investigate the targets and record their scores with the range safety officials during the Front Range Competition in Excellence Match at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. The top 10 percent of competitors are eligible for the badges, as well as earning four points toward the Distinguished Rifleman or Distinguished Pistol awards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. – Airmen from the local Colorado area investigate the targets and record their scores with the range safety officials during the Front Range Competition in Excellence Match at the United States Air Force Academy, Colo., Aug. 22, 2016. The top 10 percent of competitors are eligible for the badges, as well as earning four points toward the Distinguished Rifleman or Distinguished Pistol awards. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Dennis Hoffman)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It was a peaceful morning under a clear blue Colorado sky when shots rang out, a lot of them. In a few moments it was silent, only the echo of brass casings hitting the ground and the distinct odor of gunpowder hanging in the air were left of the abrupt incident.

Nearly 100 shooters from area Air Force installations gathered August 22-23, at the United States Air Force Academy to participate in the Front Range Competition in Excellence Match. The event was co-sponsored by the 10th Security Forces Squadron, USAFA, and the 50th SFS, Schriever Air Force Base, combat arms sections.

The competition was open to all Front Range active duty and reserve Air Force personnel, regardless of Air Force specialty code. Participants came from Peterson Air Force Base, Buckley AFB, Schriever AFB, Fort Carson and the USAFA in Colorado, and F. E. Warren AFB, Wyoming. Six squadrons from the 21st Space Wing were represented.

The match is an Air Force-level competition, said Keith Turbitt, 10th SFS Combat Arms supervisor. Competitors could qualify for the Elementary or Bronze Excellence in Competition Pistol Shot and Rifleman Badges.

Shooters could take part in either the pistol event, using an M9 pistol, or the rifle event, firing an M16A2. The top 10 percent of competitors are eligible for the badges, as well as earning four points toward the Distinguished Rifleman or Distinguished Pistol awards.

For Tech Sgt. Guillermo Mejia, 21st Aerospace Medicine Squadron, it was an opportunity to get out and do something he enjoys. He competed in the pistol event, but until this year he had never heard of the match.

“It’s just one of those fun things to do,” said Mejia. “Because I work in the Medical Group I don’t always get to do the fun, sexy stuff.”

Senior Airman Jordan Taylor, 21st AMDS, was there to test his pistol shooting abilities against other Airmen.

“I wanted to compete,” he said. “I want to sharpen my skills.”

The pistol shot portion of the match consisted of shooting a total of 30 rounds in various configurations, one and two-handed firing positions and single or double action settings. All pistol targets were shot from a distance of 25 yards.

The rifle portion had competitors shooting from standing, sitting, kneeling and prone positions. After zeroing sights at 25 yards, the competition shots were made at 100 yards. All courses in both weapon systems were timed.

Senior Airman Jordan Steggerda, 302nd Airlift Wing reservist on active duty orders with the 50th SFS, was shooting in the rifle competition for the experience.

“I heard about it through the 50th SFS,” he said. “I never did any competition before so I thought I would try it. It’s good experience and you get to see how you compare with other people.”

Each round is scored immediately by official score keepers, but overall results will be supplied later. Staff Sgt. Cody Fiecke, 10th SFS assistant NCOIC Combat Arms, said results must be sent to an outside organization for final scoring.

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