Marines, Swiss trade shoots at competition in Kosovo

4 Oct 2002 | Sgt. Zachary A. Bathon

With the Marines of MEU Service Support Group 24 working day and night to provide the best combat service support possible for the Marines and Sailors of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) a little break is much appreciated.

During one such recent break, Marines and Sailors from MSSG-24 and Soldiers from the Swiss Army took some time to hold a rifle and pistol shooting competition.
Five Marines and two Sailors from the MSSG went up against seven Swiss Soldiers, with the Americans prevailing in both the team and individual competitions of the shoot.

During the competition, the competitors first shot their own rifles and pistols, before going back and doing the course again with the other country's weapons.
"For me, the biggest challenge of the shoot was firing the Swiss weapons," said HM3 Roy Cecil Brede, corpsman and winner of the individual competition.

The shooting began at the 30-meter mark with the competitors firing their rifles at simulated distance targets in the prone shooting position. They then moved forward to the 25-meter mark at fired at the same target in the kneeling position.

After everyone went through with the rifle, the shooters switched to their pistols and shot from 20 and 15 meters. After going through the course once, the weapons were switched.

"At first everyone thought we were the underdogs," said Brede. "But we came back in the end to capture the team competition by a little less than 100 points. We shoot a combined total of 4236 and the Swiss ended up with 4139.

Brede also captured the individual competition by scoring a 675. His closest competitor was a Swiss soldier who scored a 666.

"I didn't think I shot as well as I did," said the Atkins, Va. native.  "It seemed like I should have scored a lot lower than I did and I was surprised to win it."

For his efforts Brede was awarded a Swiss Sharp Shooting Badge.
While the main focus of the competition was on shooting, competitors also improved relationships with the Swiss and enjoyed themselves.

"Everyone out there had a great time," said 1st Lt. Rose Griffith, assistant operations officer, MSSG-24.

"By the end of the competition, everyone out there was having fun and joking around," said Brede. "I think it was a real morale booster for this camp."