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Camp Pendleton hosts 400 shooters at 2010 Western Division Matches

Camp Pendleton hosted nearly 400 shooters in the 2010 Western Division Matches marksmanship competition, March 8 – 19.

This match is one of four similar contests held throughout the Marine Corps each year as part of the Competition-in-Arms program. The Marine Corps’ other division matches are the East Division in North Carolina, the Pacific Division in Hawaii and Far East Division in Japan.

“I was overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of positive feedback I received from the competitors, including multiple distinguished shooters, who said this was the most organized and best run competition they have been a part of,” said Maj. Mike Strom, the executive officer for this year’s division matches.

Competitors fired both rifles and pistols at the individual and team levels during the two-week shooting match. The rifle match required participants to fire rifles as far as 500 yards from a target and tested the shooters’ ability to conduct speed and tactical reloads at closer firing distances.

Top individual and team awards were presented at Camp Pendleton’s base theatre, March 19.

Maj. Kenneth R. Walden took first in the individual pistol competition. Walden currently serves as a contracting officer for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

Sgt. David J. Hunter took first in the individual rifle competition and currently serves as a 1st Marine Division marksmanship coach.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego’s Team Scarlet, took both the San Diego Trophy and Holcomb Trophy. The San Diego trophy is awarded to the best Western Division Rifle Team that represents a Marine Corps unit west of the Mississippi River, whose unit strength is more than 600 personnel. The Holcomb Trophy is the comparable pistol award.

Combat Logistics Battalion 13’s team took the Wharton Trophy. It is awarded to the best Western Division Rifle Team that represents a Marine Corps unit west of the Mississippi River, whose unit strength is less than 600 personnel.

“The credit for the success in this year’s matches can be directly attributed to the range staff, as well as support personnel pulled from various units throughout Camp Pendleton,” said Strom. “As a result of all of their hard work, we had nearly 400 shooters this year, four times the number of last year’s competition.”

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