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2012 Long Range Sniper Competition

By Len Lucas, Manager - Technical Customer service and Training (LE/DoD) at Beretta

For the past few years Beretta has hosted the Long Range Precision Sniper Competition held at Fort George G. Meade in Maryland and co-hosted by the Baltimore Washington Metropolitan Areas, Local, State and Federal Law Enforcement Agencies; where elite two-man teams compete to earn the coveted title of  “Top Sniper”. In this grueling competition, the participants’ precision, camouflage, stalking and observational skills are put to the ultimate test.

Ten challenging events examine the teams’ expertise in long-range shooting, urban combat and covert maneuvering through realistic conflicts and environments. Bringing together the most elite snipers from around the world, the competition is made up of thirty teams from branches of the U.S. Army, Marines, Air Force and Law Enforcement SWAT teams.

Competitors test their long-range marksmanship and participate in events that push their weapons and combat skills to the extreme, including:

• Poker “Run” Shoot - competitors will run a mile course to get their hearts racing and then engage on the poker card target, best 5 card poker hand. A straight royal flush of any suit being the best hand.
• Observation Exercise - This phase of the competition will test the individual sniper teams’ communication capabilities under difficult conditions. The team will wear gas mask during the first 15 minutes of the observation and shooting phase. The team will scan and memorize as much information about the objects during the 30 minute observation time. This will test the individual teams’ knowledge of judging various distances of different objects that will be randomly placed in designated area from 50 meters to 1000 meters.
• Moving Target Phase - Each competitor fires a cold bore shot on a 1 moa target for a possible 100 points, Then will engage moving targets at 200 and 300 meters.
• Stationary Phase 300 meters and 500 meters - This phase of firing tests the individuals’ and each teams’ stationary marksmanship ability as well as their expertise in dealing with weather effects, operational position shooting, reloading techniques, and overall cohesiveness as a Counter Sniper Team.
• Cold Bore Shot, 200 meter and 500 meter - This will test the Counter Sniper Teams’ ability to accurately engage limited sized targets on a cold bore.
• Obstacle Course - One hurdle after the other, competitors get their hearts racing by running a quarter mile while carrying mission-essential equipment, sniper rifle and a 30 pound equipment pack.
• Range Estimation - This phase of the competition test the individual teams’ knowledge of judging various distances of different objects that will be randomly placed from 50 meters out to 1000 meters.
• Counter Sniper - Navigate in high risk environment and engage enemy targets with mixed non-threat targets.
• Unknown Distance Phase - Test the Counter Sniper Teams’ ability to engage steel type targets at various distances ranging from 100 meters out to a 1000 meters in seven minutes or less.
• Stalking Event - This is the most famous sniper event, competitors are judged on their ability to go undetected in open terrain during broad daylight. In full camouflage, snipers have to move toward their target, while going unseen by spotters, and place an accurate shot.

Beretta’s Law Enforcement / Defense Team was on hand displaying military and law enforcement products
The Total Solution”, sharing information and providing products and training which will aid the
sniper in accomplishing his mission.

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

American Heroes

By Matteo Recanatini

The Range Safety Officer calls out to the three shooters. "Barrels up, actions open, rotate!"

JB, a 21-year old Marines Corps veteran, adjusts his A400 Xcel and walks carefully to the next station. His uneasy steps betray the courage and steadfastness of his character. As he makes himself comfortable at Station #2, I catch a glance of his tattoos: a set of dog tags seems to have been pinned to his right shoulder. A Holy Cross, on his chest. The phrase "May the Lord have mercy on my enemies, for I shall not" on the side of his chest. But the tattoo that most stands out to me is on his belly. It reads "American Made" JB is indeed an American-made hero.

For a moment, I forget that JB is a triple amputee. Both of his legs and his right arm were blown away by an IED during conflict in Afghanistan. He is one of over fifty wounded veterans from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan who came, guests of NASCAR star Ward Burton and his "Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation," for a day dedicated to them: our American Heroes.

I had the fortune to spend a day with these incredible individuals, thanks to Ward and his staff, fishing, shooting Beretta guns and bows. Regardless of their injuries, every one of these great men partook in the celebration. Some were seasoned shooters, others had never powdered a clay in their lives.
JB was there with his mother, but don't get the wrong idea: the proud Marines does not let anyone feel sorry for him. He'll get right up and show you that he's capable of more than you in no-time-flat. Bantering with an Army veteran, a 6-foot-3, 300 pound gentle giant, JB was ready to defend the honor of the USMC, when his fellow soldier made a snide comment.

JB: a true American Hero
During my 4-hour drive home, last night, I had ample opportunity to think about what I had witnessed: true American spirit. I had been lucky enough to talk to men who decided that serving their country was the most important thing they could do. They paid a price, as did their families: some were missing limbs, while others' wounds were not as-readily visible, but deep and lasting, nonetheless. Some were able to walk on their own, others had to be helped out a golf cart or a wheelchair.

You look at these young men, and you focus on their wounds, on the hand that is supposed to be at the end of their arm, and has been replaced with a prosthetic device. You see the scars they bear, and you forget the reason why that scar is there in the first place. It's easy to empathize with how hard it must be to carry on life without legs. What we tend not to do, however, is to take the next step: to remember that the only reason they are in that condition is, truth be told, us.

The missing arm, the scar that runs from the hip to the shoulder, the impaired vision. They are all currencies used to pay for our freedom, and for the freedom of towns and villages in the Helmand Province, or in An-Najaf.

When was the last time I gave up something I considered "vital" to me, for the better good of someone I don't even know? Cowardly, never.

As I walked through these men, at the fishing pond or at the range, I heard their conversations: often, they discussed of the problems they face now that they are back in the arms of Lady Liberty: readjusting to life without combat, physical therapy, finding a job. Some offer their advice, discussing how you start calling the Human Resources office, letting a few days go by and then calling the General Manager. "Let them know you're a veteran." advises one.

Life continues, for JB, with the ups and downs, and all the challenges they have to face, all-too-often alone.

And I think "Why is America not doing more?"

I wonder how it is possible that someone is willing to die for us, but we're not able to find him a job. How it is possible that every man and woman in America doesn't drop what they're doing to ensure that every JB who comes back from a war theater is honored beyond a ticker-tape parade.
Why are not all organizations like the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation?

As I think of each of the dozens of men I met, of their stories, of their truly selfless acts, I feel so lucky that Beretta can help organizations like the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation and Ward himself, who invests his time and money to tirelessly ensure that our American Heroes receive the honor and recognition that they deserve and - as tears well in my eyes - I pray that every family in America, every man and woman, will take  a moment, whenever possible, to take care of our veterans.

You may be reading this and promise yourself you'll do something, to help even out a score that is so great, it sometimes scares us. But tomorrow we'll be dealing with the usual hum-drum, made of mortgages, bosses telling us that our report is late, kids who need braces, drivers cutting us off and who knows what else.

And JB may be forgotten.

You know what's amazing? That, not matter what, he won't stop loving his country and - through his prostheses - loving you every day, for the rest of his life.

Will you help?

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This post and its contents are the views and opinions of the author only, and do not necessarily represent Beretta.

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