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SCANG personnel aim high to win TAG match

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Megan Floyd
  • 169th Fighter Wing
MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. - South Carolina Air National Guard personnel brought back the trophy for 1st place from the annual Warfighter Sustainment Exercise that took place at McCrady Training Center, March 6, 2016.

The SCANG has participated in the largely Army dominated event for the last five years and has come home with the first place trophy three of those years.

Not only did the team come in 1st place in the team category, but Master Sgt. Ray Parrish, a traditional guardsman and first time shooter on the SCANG team, took home the overall Top Gun trophy for individuals.

"It gives us recognition from [the] Army, and allows them to see that we can bring something more to the fight," said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Vaughn, a radio frequency systems technician assigned to the 169th Communications Flight.

The event is referred to unofficially as the TAG Match due to the sponsorship of  U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston, the Adjutant General for the state of South Carolina.

"It's a good opportunity for folks who enjoy shooting to learn some new skills and to be put into a position where there's competition, which adds pressure," said U.S. Air Force Capt. Johnathan Thompson, an intelligence officer assigned to the 169th Operations Support Squadron. "It's not just shooting at a paper target, there's some problem solving too."

For example, there was an event called the Fallen Comrade match where each team was allotted 20 rounds total, said Vaughn. When the time starts, the team runs from the 300 yard line to the 200 yard line where they must shoot six plates. Once all the plates are down, or the ammunition is spent, they load a gurney with three sand bags and run back to the starting line to simulate a fallen comrade. Once they cross the line, their time stops.

"I think we performed well because we always have a solid strategy," said Thompson. "Sometime accuracy is more important and sometime speed is more important. Depending on how the event is scored, we develop a team strategy and execute that."

Any South Carolina Air National Guard personnel that wish to be involved in next year's Warfighter Sustainment Exercise should contact U.S. Air Force Maj. Robert Gainous for more information.