Defence Forces win international sniper competition

Vice admiral Mark Mellett says win ‘testament to hard training and resolve’

A Special Forces unit with the Defence Forces has won an international sniper competition in the United States.

The Army Ranger Wing won both the international and overall categories in the United States Sniper Competition in Fort Benning, Georgia.

The competition took place over four days in marsh and bush lands, encompassing 16 individual challenges.

Tests include a sniper stalk, movement shoots by day and night, obstacles courses, pistol shoots, stress shoots and unknown distance shoots.


36 other teams

There was competition from 36 other teams drawn from the US military, international military and US state and federal law enforcement. This is the first time an international team has won both the overall and international competition categories.

Defence Forces chief of staff vice admiral Mark Mellett said the win was “testament to the hard training and resolve” of the unit.

Other teams entered included the US rangers, airborne, Marine corps and mountain divisions, the FBI Swat team, and teams from Britain, Canada, Germany and Denmark.

Last year, the previous Defence Forces sniper champions, the 27th Infantry Battalion from Aiken Barracks, Dundalk, came second in the international category and placed 21st overall.

The Army Ranger Wing previously placed second in both 2011 and 2012.

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter