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Airmen top Soldiers in team marksmanship

Missouri National Guard Soldiers and Airmen compete in the 2012 Adjutant General State Combat Match Rifle/Pistol Championships at Camp Crowder in Neosho, Mo, March 23-25, 2012. (Photo by Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

Missouri National Guard Soldiers and Airmen compete in the 2012 Adjutant General State Combat Match Rifle/Pistol Championships at Camp Crowder in Neosho, Mo, March 23-25, 2012. (Photo by Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

Missouri National Guard Soldiers and Airmen compete in the 2012 Adjutant General State Combat Match Rifle/Pistol Championships at Camp Crowder in Neosho, Mo, March 23-25, 2012. (Photo by Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

Missouri National Guard Soldiers and Airmen compete in the 2012 Adjutant General State Combat Match Rifle/Pistol Championships at Camp Crowder in Neosho, Mo, March 23-25, 2012. (Photo by Ann Keyes/Missouri National Guard)

ST. JOSPEH, Mo. -- Airmen outshot the Soldiers.

That's the bragging right that 139th Airlift Wing marksmen at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base here recently earned (along with a plaque to prove it) when they bested pistol and rifle experts from the Army Guard.

Three Air Guard shooting teams, and others, here competed in the Missouri Guard Adjutant General's Combat Match - Rifle/Pistol, March 23-25 in Camp Crowder, Mo.

Tech. Sgt. Rodd Boyer, Tech. Sgt. Jason Neiswander, Tech. Sgt. John Sappington and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Ott from the 139th Maintenance Group were best on target, both days of pistol and rifle shooting, and had the most points to win out of 35 teams. Thirty-two teams were Army Guard.

"It was a bit of a shocker," said Neiswander. "We accumulated [points] throughout the entire match."

Neiswander said they ran toward the target from 300 to 25 yards, stopping to shoot in prone, kneeling, standing and sitting positions. Competitors closest to the bull's-eye had the highest points.

The team also took 1st Place in the George S. Patton Pistol Match, shooting the 9mm Beretta.

"That's when I knew we were doing all right, when ... we won that," said Boyer.

They said team members trained for the competition off-duty.

Their marksmanship shows great skill, as the 139th is often recognized as home to the best shooters in the nation, who win state, regional and national matches.

Boyer explained that it's a popular sport here. Two teams are in maintenance and one team is in the 139th Security Forces Squadron. They hold tryouts each year for a limited number of positions.

Although teams do not compete at the regional and national levels, Neiswander said some individual shooters are qualified to compete in those venues.