2010 - EPISODE 7:
Under physical conditions of stress, rangers must effectively fire five different weapons systems. For every missed target twenty seconds will be added to the time.
Sergeant Michael Malchow: I competed last year, and the ultimate goal this year is to win the competition. I’m competing with my same partner, Sergeant Collins, so we learned a lot from last year, hoping to take it home this year for the Regiment.
Fort Benning, Georgia, Day 2, and the Rangers are at Krilling Range for the second stress shoot of the competition. TCS, Task, Conditions and Standards: As a two-man Ranger team negotiate the Krilling Range under physical conditions of stress and effectively fire five different weapons systems.
For every missed target, 20 seconds will be added to the total time, and the fastest time wins.
Sergeant First Class Chad Stackpole: The stress shooting itself is another event that gets the heart rate up. It tests these guys’ abilities on how great of shooters they are. The biggest thing is just to go slow and be smooth and be steady, and some of them are really gonna have to slow down and get their heart rate down and control their breathing.
At the outset of this stress shoot, the Rangers will fall back to D-Day and the beaches of Normandy. The Best Ranger Competition always pays respect to its lineage. Crawl across a sandy beach landing under barbed wire to a ship landing barrier, pick up the well-known M1 carbine and engage steel targets at 200 meters, much like Rangers did more than 66 years ago, just this time, no one is shooting back at them, here on Krilling Range.
For the stress portion, each Ranger will pull a 160-pound Skedco to the next range where they will pick up their enemy’s weapon of choice, the AK47, and fire, wide open.
Running to the next station, they will pick up the Ranger standard issue, the Colt M4 rifle. Here they need to locate the correct shooting room to acquire their targets. After 33 hours of nonstop competition and grueling heat and humidity, these Rangers fall back on their training.
Stackpole: It’s just second nature to focus on the fundamentals, the trigger squeeze, controlling the breathing and focus 100% sights.
Now approaching Station 3, Sergeants First Class Greenwood and McKinney, Team 22, are in uncharted territory. Neither of them has made it past the first day in a Best Ranger, but here they are, nearing completion of Day 2. Last year, Greenwood was forced out of the competition when his buddy went down.
Sergeant First Class William Greenwood: You gotta do what you gotta do to help your Ranger buddy, you know? I’ll be back next year though, you’ll see me.
For him to see Day 2 is a new experience, as he pushes to win it.
Greenwood: The shotgun – I had some trouble. That one was kicking a little bit more than I’m used to and it was shooting a little high on the first couple. Then adjusted, started hitting them. And then the 45, it was right on the H & K. Pretty nice weapon. I think we’re doing pretty good after Day 6. Looking forward to find out if all the work today paid off, so…
Sergeant First Class Gerald McKinney: It’s a big motivator, you know, hearing the little ones calling my name and supporting my family. Just helps reach down a little further and give it that much more. Pretty important.
Last year Team 21, Malchow and Collins, finished in third place. After the foot march, they’re in sixth and need to step up their game to catch the leaders.
Timer: That puts them up in first right now. They beat the competitors that started this lane first this morning. That’s pretty stellar, says a lot about them.
Team 21 was able to win four of the events on Day 2, moving them up to fourth place with one day of competition left to go.
McKinney: I think right now we’re pushing first. Hopefully it bumps us up.
Next up, after marching all night, the Rangers will take on the Darby Queen at daybreak.
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