Home : News
Guard News

Kansas National Guard, Denmark win sniper competition

By Staff Sgt. Melody Daniel | National Guard Marksmanship Training Center | Feb. 26, 2020

BARLING, Ark. – Military snipers from the Kansas National Guard and Denmark won the annual national and multinational sniper competition at the National Guard Marksmanship Training Center at Fort Chaffee.

Twenty-seven, two-person teams of military snipers from around the world competed in the 49th Winston P. Wilson (WPW) Sniper Championship (National Guard) and the 29th Annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (International and Inter-Service) Feb. 15-20.

The championships offered service members an opportunity to test sniper skills and weapon systems in a battle-focused environment.

This year’s championships included a team from South Carolina comprised of twin brothers Staff Sgt. Brandon Sloan and Staff Sgt. Cory Sloan.

“We’ve always loved shooting. Cory was offered a sniper position first,” said Brandon Sloan. “Eventually, we both ended up on the team. This is actually the first time we have competed together as a sniper team.”

“The training value is one of the most valuable benefits of being here,” said Cory Sloan. “We don’t have the resources, personnel or ranges to get this type of training value in South Carolina.”

The WPW sniper competition began in 1971 to determine the best shooters in the National Guard. This year’s winner was the Kansas National Guard team of Sgt. Caleb Ash and Sgt. Ryan Marsh, who took home the prestigious Chiefs 50 Marksmanship Badge.

The Spc. Christopher Horton Memorial Award for precision engagement was awarded to the Alabama National Guard team of Sgt. Tyler Gray and Staff Sgt. Adam Batten. Spc. Matthew Fitzgerald and Sgt. Alexander Kallenbach of the Michigan National Guard won the CWO David R. Logan Sniper Trophy for placing first in the Best Field Craft series.

The Armed Forces Skills at Arms Meeting (AFSAM), established in 1991 to promote marksmanship training and competition between U.S. and allied nation military forces, was won by Denmark’s Lance Cpl. Steven Baunsgaard and Lance Cpl. Christopher Franch. This team also placed first overall in points for the combined competitions. The AFSAM event ran concurrently with the Winston P. Wilson Championship and incorporated the same courses of fire.

“We wanted to make our country proud,” said Baunsgaard. “We talked about it and we felt really good about our chances.”

“When we heard our names called, the stone fell from our hearts,” Franch said. “You know, all the pressure went away, and we had won.”

2020 National Guard Sniper Competition Results

WPW Sniper Team Champions

  1. Kansas, Sgt. Caleb Ash and Sgt. Ryan Marsh
  2. Colorado, Spc. Max Miller and Sgt. Triston Ivkov
  3. Vermont, Spc. Michael Kerr and Sgt. Connor Norton

WPW Precision Engagement Team Champions:

  • Alabama Team 2, Sgt. Tyler Gray and Staff Sgt. Adam Batten

WPW Silent Hunter Team Champions:

  • Michigan, Spc. Matthew Fitzgerald and Sgt. Alexander Kallenbach

AFSAM Sniper Team Champions

  1. Royal Danish Army, Lance Cpl. Steven Baunsgaard and Christopher Franch
  2. California All Guard Team, Staff Sgt. Erik Vargas and Staff Sgt. Demetrios Iannios
  3. Michigan All Guard Team, Spc. Ivan Wolshlager and Sgt. Nicholas Peters

AFSAM Precision Engagement Team Champions:

  • California All Guard Team, Staff Sgt. Erik Vargas and Staff Sgt. Demetrios Iannios

AFSAM Silent Hunter Team Champions:

  • Michigan All Guard Team, Spc. Ivan Woslhlager and Sgt. Nicholas Peters