Military Matters: Ft. Benning's International Sniper Competition

Military Matters: Ft. Benning’s International Sniper Competition

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - Get ready for some top notch shooting at Fort Benning next week.

The International Sniper Competition will be held on post, bringing in shooters from around the world.

Soldiers are wrapping up seven weeks of rigorous training at the U.S. Army Sniper Course at Fort Benning, leaving them steps away from becoming elite members of the military.

"I wanted to be known as an asset to the Army,” said Sergeant Michael Turner, a sniper student. “It's a great opportunity to learn an extension of your war fighting trait, and so it's a great opportunity to come here and learn a specialized skill."

All of these students know that being a good shot is a requirement, but creative thinking is just as important.

"Some of these guys have backgrounds as Army Rangers, in Special Operations,” said Captain Nicholas Privette. “Some of them are conventional Infantrymen, but all of them are trained to use their mind first."

It's a make or break for the students in what's known as Final Shot Day. If you hit the target, you're in.

The Army doesn't allow just anyone to watch live fire exercises, but everybody is invited to the competition, which will be held Monday Oct. 20-24.

Thirty-six teams of two men each will be trying to become the world's best. Most are from the U.S., but several allies from overseas are sending teams.

Sergeant First Class Tyler Hanson says he can hardly wait.

"When you're shooting a 12-inch piece of steel at 800-meters plus with a gun, it's pretty remarkable if you can make all the calculations, tie it all in and the bottom line up front, put the round where you want it to go, that's impressive," Sgt. 1st Class Hanson said.

Parking and admission are free, and you'll see some of the best marksmen on the planet.

The lineup includes all of the service branches, the Army Reserve, the National Guard and a handful of law enforcement snipers.

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