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Reserve team medals at international military competition

Major Caitlin Harris and Capt. Amy Moore of Team USA 2 take careful aim on the indoor pistol range.  Three competitors from another team shoot at the same time with one coach per team allowed to observe.

Major Caitlin Harris and Capt. Amy Moore of Team USA 2 take careful aim on the indoor pistol range. Three competitors from another team shoot at the same time with one coach per team allowed to observe.

Team USA 3 tackles the second obstacle on the 500 meter, NATO-standard, obstacle course.  Each member must touch one foot between the two bars and then vault the higher bar.  (L to R)1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead, Capt. Chuck Francis and 2nd Lt. Nate Davis (Mississippi Army National Guard).

Team USA 3 tackles the second obstacle on the 500 meter, NATO-standard, obstacle course. Each member must touch one foot between the two bars and then vault the higher bar. (L to R)1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead, Capt. Chuck Francis and 2nd Lt. Nate Davis (Mississippi Army National Guard).

After an exhausting day on the land obstacle course, Lt. Col. Daryl Remick (center, standing) former competitor, Georgia Army National Guard and full-time emergency room physician, teaches Tactical Combat Casualty Care, ably assisted by Staff Sgt. Reuben Sublett (standing right), Army Reserve Medic.

After an exhausting day on the land obstacle course, Lt. Col. Daryl Remick (center, standing) former competitor, Georgia Army National Guard and full-time emergency room physician, teaches Tactical Combat Casualty Care, ably assisted by Staff Sgt. Reuben Sublett (standing right), Army Reserve Medic.

Lt. Col. Elizabeth Blanchford says “no sweat” on the river crossing cables.

Lt. Col. Elizabeth Blanchford says “no sweat” on the river crossing cables.

USA Team 3 completes the fourth obstacle, the “Stepping Stones.” Each competition may not touch the sand or must repeat the obstacle.

USA Team 3 completes the fourth obstacle, the “Stepping Stones.” Each competition may not touch the sand or must repeat the obstacle.

USA Team 3 (Rookie) unhooks after the stream crossing.  L to R: Capt. Chuck Francis, 1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead and 2nd Lt. Nate Davis (Mississippi Army National Guard). Team 3 finished in 4th place rookie category.

USA Team 3 (Rookie) unhooks after the stream crossing. L to R: Capt. Chuck Francis, 1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead and 2nd Lt. Nate Davis (Mississippi Army National Guard). Team 3 finished in 4th place rookie category.

USA Team 2, Capt. Amy Moore, Maj. Caitlin Harris and Maj. Jamie Turner, proudly display their G-36 Assault Rifles prior to entering the scoring tent to sign their targets.  Jamie finished 40th of 78 competitors.

USA Team 2, Capt. Amy Moore, Maj. Caitlin Harris and Maj. Jamie Turner, proudly display their G-36 Assault Rifles prior to entering the scoring tent to sign their targets. Jamie finished 40th of 78 competitors.

USA Team 1, Bronze Medal Rookie Category, attacks the 4th obstacle in the swimming obstacle course.  Lt. Col. Bob Houghteling (center) is being pulled up by teammate Capt. Beau Suder while the fastest swimmer, Capt. Ryan Ruddy, is overtaking both.

USA Team 1, Bronze Medal Rookie Category, attacks the 4th obstacle in the swimming obstacle course. Lt. Col. Bob Houghteling (center) is being pulled up by teammate Capt. Beau Suder while the fastest swimmer, Capt. Ryan Ruddy, is overtaking both.

Maj. Pete Grossenbach using near perfect form to vault the “over” bar of the “over-and-udders” that immediately follow the slide through the concrete “pillbox” visible behind Grossenbach.

Maj. Pete Grossenbach using near perfect form to vault the “over” bar of the “over-and-udders” that immediately follow the slide through the concrete “pillbox” visible behind Grossenbach.

Linda Ferguson, Orienteering Coach, cheers USA Team 4 as they complete the grueling 13-kilometer Orienteering Course in 100-degree heat. (L to R): Staff Sgt. Matt Gaddy, Maj. Mike Masuda (using the electronic punch to record the team’s finish) and Maj. Pete Grossenbach.
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Linda Ferguson, Orienteering Coach, cheers USA Team 4 as they complete the grueling 13-kilometer Orienteering Course in 100-degree heat. (L to R): Staff Sgt. Matt Gaddy, Maj. Mike Masuda (using the electronic punch to record the team’s finish) and Maj. Pete Grossenbach.

From left to right: Retired Col. Chuck Ferguson (USAFR), orienteering coach; Linda Ferguson, orienteering coach; Competitors: Maj. Pete Grossenbach, Lt. Col. Bob Houghteling, Capt. Ryan Ruddy, Capt. Chuck Francis, Maj. Mike Masuda, Maj. Jamie Turner, Staff Sgt. Reuben Sublett (Army Reserve), Maj. Caitlin Harris, Staff Sgt. Matt Gaddy; Andi Berger, orienteering coach; Col. Scott Banning, U.S. chief of delegation; Competitors: Lt. Col. Elizabeth Blanchford, 2nd Lt. Nate Davis (Mississippi Army National Guard), Capt. Amy Moore and 1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead.
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From left to right: Retired Col. Chuck Ferguson (USAFR), orienteering coach; Linda Ferguson, orienteering coach; Competitors: Maj. Pete Grossenbach, Lt. Col. Bob Houghteling, Capt. Ryan Ruddy, Capt. Chuck Francis, Maj. Mike Masuda, Maj. Jamie Turner, Staff Sgt. Reuben Sublett (Army Reserve), Maj. Caitlin Harris, Staff Sgt. Matt Gaddy; Andi Berger, orienteering coach; Col. Scott Banning, U.S. chief of delegation; Competitors: Lt. Col. Elizabeth Blanchford, 2nd Lt. Nate Davis (Mississippi Army National Guard), Capt. Amy Moore and 1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead.

From left to right from the top: First ladder: Maj. Mike Masuda (top), Col. Scott Banning, Capt. Chuck Francis, Lt Col. Bob Houghteling and Staff Sgt. Matt Gaddy (black shirt). Second ladder: Lt. Col. Elizabeth Blanchford, Staff Sgt. Reuben Sublett (left, Army Reserve), Maj. Pete Grossenbach (right) and Capt. Beau Suder (bottom). Third ladder: Maj. Caitlin Harris (top), 2nd Lt. Nate Davis, Mississippi Army National Guard (top right), 1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead, Maj. Jamie Turner and Capt. Amy Moore.
This photo was taken at the German School of Infantry in Hammelburg, Germany. The competitors are on the 5 meter ladder, the first of 20 obstacles on the 500-meter course.
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From left to right from the top: First ladder: Maj. Mike Masuda (top), Col. Scott Banning, Capt. Chuck Francis, Lt Col. Bob Houghteling and Staff Sgt. Matt Gaddy (black shirt). Second ladder: Lt. Col. Elizabeth Blanchford, Staff Sgt. Reuben Sublett (left, Army Reserve), Maj. Pete Grossenbach (right) and Capt. Beau Suder (bottom). Third ladder: Maj. Caitlin Harris (top), 2nd Lt. Nate Davis, Mississippi Army National Guard (top right), 1st Lt. Sterling Broadhead, Maj. Jamie Turner and Capt. Amy Moore. This photo was taken at the German School of Infantry in Hammelburg, Germany. The competitors are on the 5 meter ladder, the first of 20 obstacles on the 500-meter course.

MADRID, Spain -- The U.S. military delegation earned a gold and three bronze medals at the annual CIOR Joint Forces Military Skills Competition in Madrid, Spain, July 28 – Aug. 7.

Col. Scott Branning led the team comprised of 12 Air Force Reservists, an Army Reservist and an Army National Guardsman.

All competitors mastered NATO-standard obstacle courses (running and swimming in uniform), pistol and rifle marksmanship, the land navigation sport of orienteering, and combat first aid.

After training at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the team traveled to the German Infantry School at Hammelburg to practice with the German team. It was an example of the international cooperation fostered by CIOR that will pay off big time in the future.

Open to all ranks in the Guard and reserve components, CIOR keeps its five-decades-old name from the French initials for “Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers.”

Most NATO members, and countries such as South Africa and Switzerland, send teams to the MILCOMP. Normally, U.S. training starts at the Army Guard’s Camp Johnson, outside Burlington, Vermont, but 2016’s training was entirely in Europe.

Competitors learn or sharpen military skills relevant to today’s battlefield, from small unit leadership to self-aid and buddy care, navigation, and “shoot, move, communicate.” Many in the Air Force Reserve excel at these opportunities, not easily obtainable in standard training.

Twelve counties competed in three-person teams in male and female, novice, experienced, and veteran categories or on International teams made from extra team members.

International Team 2, led by Staff Sgt Reuben Sublett, Army Reserve, won gold and three U.S. teams won bronze in novice, experienced and female categories.

Events begin with all teams shooting the host nation’s pistol and rifle.

Day two involves a 500-meter NATO standard obstacle course with 20 obstacles -- team time is when the last team member crosses the finish line -- and a 50-meter swim in uniform (no boots) over five obstacles, again with team time from the last member to touch the end.

Day three hosts a 15 kilometer “Orientation March” (land navigation) usually involving multiple maps ranging in scale from 1:10,000 to 1:50,000 and including memory legs, dead reckoning (pace and azimuth), aerial photos and any other navigation tests devised by the host country. Land navigation includes tests in military skills as grenade accuracy, map reading and distance estimation.

Once in Spain all teams showed flexibility as events changed from past years. Competitors commented that the Spanish Lama 82 pistol paled in accuracy compared to the U.S. military’s Beretta.

No matter. All teams shot similar weapons.

The scoped G-36 assault rifle on the other hand and the change from a 200-meter outdoor range to a 100-meter indoor range (with correspondingly smaller targets) led to some of the highest rifle scores in recent competitions. The land navigation course required navigating to 19 precise locations (called “controls”) over a 13-kilometer course. Two maps were provided with three controls on a 1:10,000 scale aerial photo and 16 on a 1:25,000 sport orienteering map. At control 17 competitors donned a harness to cross a stream on two wire cables, one above the other, hung across a stream.

The host nation for the 2017 MILCOMP will be decided at the Mid-Winter meeting in Brussels in February.

Complete information, including a training manual, descriptions and videos of the events, and the application process, is available online at http://teamusamilitary.org/Home.php

Reservists interested in competing in CIOR events can contact Ferguson at usofrnr@cox.net.