SINAI, Egypt – A team of U.S. Soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 109th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 28th Infantry Division, won a multinational shooting competition while deployed to support the Multinational Force and Observers.
The six-person team was led by Sgt. Michael Landau and included Staff Sgt. Francis Gaeta and Sgts. Justin McCloe, T.J. Bennett, Bryan Peck and Kyle Kott.
They competed against teams from other U.S. Army units and the New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and Fijian armies. Soldiers from the New Zealand army hosted the competition.
Landau said the event enabled his teammates to learn more about allied armies and appreciate their abilities.
“It was a unique, rewarding and extraordinary experience to compete against other armies in the world,” said Landau. “We all grew a sense of respect for each other and our capabilities after each match.”
The teams underwent a series of back-to-back firing drills known as serials. Each serial consisted of different challenges, such as shooting at paper targets accurately within a few seconds, shooting at small boxes within those paper targets, or shooting from different positions.
Teams competed in a head-to-head, tournament-style contest, with the 1-109th winning the major unit and overall trophies.
Landau and Bennett praised the others teams, pointing out the organization, accuracy and lethality of the New Zealand team — their challenger in the finals.
“We all knew we had to bring our best to be able to win,” said Bennett.
The competition underscored the importance of maintaining proficiency in fighting and showed how powerful U.S. and allied army units can be when they work together.
“The competition provided friendly competitiveness between MFO contingents,” said Kott. “Our team was formed from two different companies who never worked with one another directly, but we quickly formed a bond training, strategizing and learning from one another.”
The competition gave members of the 1-109th IN an accomplishment to be proud of as their deployment winds down.
“It is something that I will remember for a lifetime,” said Landau. “I am proud of the guys and how we came together as a lethal, effective, cohesive squad.”
The 1-109th IN deployed in March and has been serving in the Sinai in Egypt as part of the Multinational Force and Observers.
The MFO’s mission is to supervise the implementation of the security provisions of the Egyptian-Israeli Treaty of Peace and prevent any violation of its terms. More than 10 countries contribute troops to that mission.