US Army's Annual International Sniper Competition, 2019

Doug E
by Doug E
Image from Photo by Spc. Alleea Oliver.

In mid-March, the United States Army held their 10th annual Special Operations Command International Sniper Competition at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Twenty-one teams from around the globe participated in the six-day event. According to the Army Times, there were various, timed courses for two-man teams to complete using 7.62mm, 5.56mm and issued sidearms. Some simulated enemy small arms fire and artillery were also used to provide a more chaotic atmosphere. Defense Visual Information Distribution Services ( dvids), had a host of photos documenting the competition. The photos featured the US teams and showed some of the varied obstacles and courses.

Sgt. Michelle Blesam's photo of one of the M249's loaded with Loud Battlefield Blank Rounds for simulating a battlefield environment. Image from

The competing teams were from the following forces as the Army Times reported:

  • 1st, 3rd, 7th, 10th, 19th, and 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne)
  • 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Marine Corps Special Operations Forces Advanced Sniper Course
  • Marine Corps Scout Sniper
  • Naval Special Warfare
  • Unites States Coast Guard
  • 1st Premier Regiment de Parachutistes d’Infanterie de Marine, France
  • Kommando Spezialkräfte, Germany
  • Army Ranger Wing, Ireland
  • 9th Paratroopers Assault Regiment, Italy
  • International Special Training Center
Part of the sniper competition took place at night using night vision. Photo by Sgt. Brian Stephenson. Image from
An event involving dragging a simulated casualty. Photo by Ken Kassens. Image from
A sniper taking aim with an Mk13 rifle while on a rope and wooden bridge. Photo by Sgt. Michelle Blesam. Image from
Using a poor old squad car as cover during a shooting stage. Photo by Ken Kassens. Image from
Brass being ejected from an M40 sniper rifle in a hide. Photo by Spc. Alleea Oliver. Image from

TFB has covered this event several times throughout the history of the Army’s International Sniper Competition. This year’s top three teams came from the US, with the United States Army Special Operations Command claiming the top two spots. The US Marine Scout Sniper team took third place. Feel free to check out the dvids’ link above for more photos of the event. There appear to be very few images of the visiting international teams, so feel free to share any links in the comments section that showcase the visitors and their hardware. If you have a link to share but you’re not sure if it’ll post without moderation, feel free to break the link up so that it stays “cold”.

Doug E
Doug E

Doug has been a firearms enthusiast since age 16 after getting to shoot with a friend. Since then he's taken many others out to the range for their first time. He is a husband, father, grandfather, police officer, outdoorsman, artist and a student of history. Doug has been a TFB reader from the start and is happy to be a contributor of content. Doug can be reached at battleshipgrey61 AT, or battleshipgrey61 on Instagram.

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2 of 5 comments
  • CattyCakes CattyCakes on Apr 02, 2019

    Won't lie, when I saw a picture of the 249, I thought a sniper was feeling froggy and running the course with bad it's for noise simulation. :(

  • Follow Me Boys Follow Me Boys on Apr 03, 2019

    I think they should use live munitions whenever possible. There is a certain stress that live rounds put on someone. There are guys out there who are much more experienced read CAG but my stress level was much higher with over head rounds.