Army Spc. Lawrence England, a sniper with the 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, looks over his rifle downrange at his target during the 10th Annual International Sniper Competition at Fort Benning, Ga. Photo Credit: Michael Tolzmann.

A Soldier team from the Army Special Operations Command took top honors at the 10th Annual International Sniper Competition here.

The competition, which wrapped up Oct. 15, included 32 sniper teams, each gunning for the title of best sniper team in the world.

The winning team included Sgt. 1st Class Edward Hoymeyer and Sgt. 1st Class Chance Giannelli, from the Special Forces Sniper School at Fort Bragg, N.C. The two scored 1,258 points out of a possible 1,507 during the competition. They were also the only team to receive a perfect score on the final event of the competition.

“It was an awesome event,” Giannelli said. “It was the epitome of the sniper competition. Every different country sends their best. It felt great to actually win the event.”

“It felt pretty good, it’s really nice to go and test yourself,” Homeyer said. “It’s a testament to our training and the school. On that day, we were the best, but competition was close. We could go out and do it again and someone else could win.”

During the competition, the two-man teams competed in a total of 14 events. Those events included, among other things, a sniper stalk, urban shooting and orienteering exercises, firing under stressful conditions and other tests of marksmanship and sniper skills.

In keeping with last year’s competition, the teams were divided into two categories, service class and open class. The service class competitors fired 7.62 mm or smaller rounds as a primary or secondary weapon system. The open class was for teams firing rounds in a caliber larger than 7.62 mm.

The 72-hour competition ran virtually non-stop, with only two four-hour rest breaks during its three days, said Lt. Col. J.C. Miller, commander of 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment, 197th Infantry Brigade, whose C Company conducts sniper school training.

Six of the events were held at night, and this year’s competition included a greater emphasis on real-world scenarios and limited sleep, said event planners.

The added stress and fatigue factors added a new level to the competition not seen in past years, said Master Sgt. Michael Snyder, noncommissioned officer in charge of the sniper school.

“We wanted to simulate what guys are doing in combat. They are going to be tired, getting little sleep and still be expected to do one mission after another,” he said. “We are getting more combat-focused.”

Source: S.L. Standifird and Kristin Molinaro for

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