An Irish team have become the first non-US competitors to ever win the international sniper competition, earning the title of the best sniper team in the world.
Last week, the Army Ranger Wing , a special forces unit with the Irish Defense Force, took part in the United States Sniper Competition in Fort Benning, Georgia, and won the overall and international categories, making history as the first international team to take home the gold.
The four-day competition saw 37 two-man teams from around the globe competing under intense conditions in marsh and bush-lands to keep first place in the cross-hair.
Teams from the US, Denmark, Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom and, of course, Ireland took part in 16 events in total such as a sniper stalk, movement shoots by day and night, obstacles courses, pistol shoots, stress shoots and unknown distance shoots, only being allowed to sleep for a few hours each night.
Beating the likes of the US rangers, airborne, Marine corps and the FBI Swat team, this is a remarkable win for the Irish team, who didn’t wish to be filmed in the video below so their identities would not be revealed.
Irish Defence Forces chief of staff vice admiral Mark Mellett told the Irish Times that the win was “testament to the hard training and resolve” of the unit.
This is not the first time that an Irish team has been successful in the competition, however. A team from the Army Ranger Wing placed second in both 2011 and 2012 and last year, the then-Irish Defence Forces sniper champions, the 27th Infantry Battalion from Aiken Barracks, Dundalk, placed 2nd in the international category also.
The United States Sniper Competition began in the wake of September 11 in the hopes of bringing all of the world’s best snipers under one roof to help each other get even better.