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Story by: Sgt. Harley Jelis - 138th Public Affairs Detachment
Dated: Tue, Jun 2, 2015
CAMP SMITH TRAINING SITE, N.Y. This yearfor the first time since 2009the 107th Airlift Wing’s Security Forces Squadron, did not win the annual Adjutant General’s Combat Sustainment Training Exercise.
Instead at team from the 1st Battalion 69th Infantry walked away with the honors.
Capt. Michael Sicinski, commander of the Headquarters Company , earned 1st place overall for the individual shooter category, and his team, “The Fighting 69th”, grabbed 1st place for the team shooter category.
"We were confident this year," said Sicinski. "We didn’t cut corners; we knew that we had to exceed the standards of the match."
Along with Sicinski the winning team consisted of Staff Sgt. Michael Palopoli, Sgt. Mathew Melendez, and Sgt. Zachary Keckley.
More than 90 Service Members from the New York Army and Air National Guard, New York State Guard, and New York Naval Militia competed during the annual three-day event in both individual and team events on 29-31 May, 2015.
This year’s TAG Match, which was conducted by the New York Army National Guard, had four courses of fire over three days. Each event tested the shooters’ skills at long range accuracy and their ability to quickly acquire and engage targets at close range.
Competitors had the option to register as individuals and in four-member teams. Individuals competed in the Combat Rifleman Excellence-in-Competition and Combat Pistol Excellence-in-Competition matches. The 21 four-member teams competed for the National Guard Infantry Team Rifle Exercise and General George S. Patton Pistol match.
Sicinski said he and his team prepared over the past year for the competition. The Fighting 69th knew that to win they would need to practice often and hard. The team members fired regularly, and wore heavier body armor to increase the difficulty of the training.
Sicinski attributed the win to keeping a firm hold of the fundamentals of shooting.
"Remember the basics," Sicinksi said. "Have a good winning attitude, try to have a good match, and trust in your equipment."
The 107ths Security Forces Squadron won the “TAG Match” trophy five times in a row. Last year 125 military members took part in the competition.