174th FW Wins TAG Match for Historic 4th Consecutive Time
By Senior Airman Kevin K. Dean, 174th
/ Published May 02, 2009
Hancock Field Air National Guard Base, Syracuse, NY -- Members of the 174th Fighter Wing here earned a historic fourth consecutive win as the top team in the 30th Annual "TAG (The Adjutant General) Match" Combat Rifle and Pistol Championships Match shooting competition.
The 174th FW team received First Place Combined Arms Team; finishing 238 points above the nearest team and they earned first place Rifle Team which are both the most any team has ever won consecutively in N.Y. State. The team also placed second in the Pistol Team event.
Members representing the 174th Fighter Wing in the team competition were; Team Captain Technical Sgt. Christopher Ashley, Staff Sgt. John Fravor, Staff Sgt. Alan Overend, and Senior Airman Mitchell Kuhn.
The consecutive wins are particularly hard to achieve considering that each four person team must consist of two new members each year at a minimum. The 174th FW team has three brand new members that had not been to the competition previously.
Major James Oaksford who has competed and trains the base pistol and rifle team states the competition rules regarding having new members on the team are designed to have as many people as possible compete so they can bring those skill back to their units.
The team competed in events in which participants' fire for score using M-16a2 rifles and M-4 pistols and these are the same weapons used for combat.
The four man team gets invited to tryout and train with the State Team to represent New York at the 2009 Winston P. Wilson Marksmanship Conference at Camp Robinson AR, which is a national event where all 50 states compete.
Oaksford said that, the teams' standard practice is every drill alternating with pistol and rifle all the way through the year.
Participants in the TAG Matches gain valuable knowledge that they are able to take back to their units and train their fellow airmen in marksmanship and shooting skills.
Kuhn brought home the 1st Place Combined Arms High Novice Award and the 1st Place Novice Rifle award.
In addition Ashley earned 1st Place Grand Aggregate Rifle Champion in the Pro/Expert Class,1st Place Close Quarter Combat Pro/Expert Class,3rd Place Reflexive Fire Pro/Expert Class, and 1st Place Grand Aggregate Pistol Champion Pro/Expert Class.
Also taking home individual awards was Fravor earning 2nd Place Combat Service Pistol, and 2nd Place Grand Aggregate Pistol Champion.
Oaksford said that between the combat arms training from security forces and the pistol and rifle team there is good synergy in the training. Certainly the 174th FW has excelled in training and execution needed to win historically at the 30th annual TAG match.