107th shooting team takes home top honors
By Staff Sgt. Peter Dean, 107th Airlift Wing
/ Published April 21, 2010
Niagara Falls, N.Y. -- Members from the 107th Security Forces Squadron earned the title of NY State TAG 2010 Combined Arms Team Champions during the 31st annual TAG Match shooting competition held at Camp Smith, Cortlandt Manor, New York, April 16 through April 18.
This year's competition that welcomed all branches and all components of the military pitted more than 100 members from the Air and Army National Guard from New York State and the surrounding states.
The competitors were address prior to the start of the competition by Brig. Gen. Michael Swezey, commander of the 53rd Troop Command. According to Master Sgt. Edward Stefik, the 107th shooting team leader, the general made the comment, for the Army personnel take back with you tactics such as shoot, move and communicate. For the Air Force personnel take back with you a little muzzle control. The 107th Airlift Wing and the 174th Fighter Wing, New York Air Guard a total of 8 Air Force personnel took home a little more than muzzle control they brought home a combined total of 20 out of the 41 awards presented. Not too shabby for a bunch of Air Force folks huh.
"Our goal was to hold our own and represent the 107th and the Air Force well," said Stefik. "We wanted to show the general and the other branches that the Air Force is as capable as any other branch of the Military," he added.
And hold their own they did the 107th shooting team comprised of Senior Master Sgt. Edward Stefik, Tech. Sgt. Daniel Owczarczak, Staff Sgt. Warren Jones and Staff Sgt. Ryan Mang, won 15 of the 20 awards that the Air National guard received.
"This is my second year on the team," said Mang, who won first place in the close quarter battle rifle competition and third place in rifle grand aggregate. "This competition not only allows us to put our training to test, it also builds team work and camaraderie," he added.
"This is a reflection of our wing," said Stefik. "From the leadership down to the Basic Airman, members of the 107th strive to stand out from the rest and be they best they can be," he added.
As a result of an ammo freeze at home station, the 107th shooting team members were only able to zero their weapons by adjusting their sights just prior to the start of the competition. Demonstrating that the training the 107th members receive throughout their military career sticks with them, ensuring the 107th to be ready and able when called upon.
In addition to bringing home the cup team members also won or placed in the following events. Master Sgt. Stefik took 1st place in combat pistol. Tech. Sgt. Owczarzak took 1st place in combat service pistol. Staff Sgt. Mang took first place in close quarter battle rifle and Staff Sgt. Jones took 2nd place in competition rifle match. These are just a few of the 12 individual awards the 107th shooting team received. The team as a whole received 2nd place in both combat pistol and rifle team match. After all team point were tallied the 107th came out on top earning them the title of New York State TAG 2010 Combined Arms Team Champions.
"It was an honor to bring the cup back home to Niagara," said Stefik. "Now we have to hold on to it," he added. The cup is held by the winning team to defend the following year.