McChord's first shooting competition hits the mark

By Tech. Sgt. Timothy Chacon, 62nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs on June 16, 2016

For the first time ever at McChord Field an M9 pistol Excellence-In-Competition event was sponsored by the 627th Security Forces Squadron June 2, 2016.

The marksmanship competition open to all airmen, had 109 competitors and awarded badges to the top 10% of shooters.

Although the EIC is a competition, that is not the sole purpose for the event.

"The EIC is not just about the competition portion," said Staff Sgt. James Kirk, 627th SFS combat arms instructor. "It's also to get the base more involved in shooting and improve their familiarization with the weapons."

The EIC allowed any airmen interested the opportunity to get some hands on time with weapons.

"The majority of the base populace doesn't fire (weapons) on a regular basis," said Kirk. "Some fire more than others, but this allows airmen to come out and get practice while engaging in a friendly competition."

The competition portion consisted of 30 total rounds, with an additional 10 rounds for warm up and familiarization firing. Airmen fired single handed-single action, double handed-single action and double handed-double action.

Airmen shot from a distance of 25 meters and were scored based of proximity to the center of the target. The center ring being worth 10 points and descending in points the further out from center the shot hit.  A perfect score for the course-of-fire was 300 points

Even though the event had been talked about for nearly two years and planned for months there was still some uncertainty about how the day's events would unfold.

"We didn't know how it was going to go because it was the first time it's been held here, but it went well," said Kirk. "People showed up ready to compete and with a lot of energy. You could tell they enjoyed it."

The low score for the top 10% cut off was 265 and the high score was a two way tie of 281.

Maj. William Booth, 62nd Operations Group Standards and Evaluation deputy chief, was one of the two shooters to score 281. As a former competitive shooter with the U.S Air Force Academy shooting team Booth had experience in this situation.

"Things like the timing, breathing and pacing I use is not what most people use when shooting, so I think that helped," said Booth. "CATM did an outstanding job putting this together. Whether you are a first time shooter or an expert it's fun to put some rounds down range."   

Do in part to the success and positive response from this year's competition a plan to conduct the rifle EIC next year is already in the works. More information will be released when a timetable is set.