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Americans place in NATO competition

FORT SAME HOUSTON, Texas -- An Air Force reservist from Cincinnati and two American teammates took the silver medal in overall competition at the NATO Military Skills Competition in Elsenborn, Belgium, in August.

Air Force Reserve Command Maj. Joel Winton, Naval Reserve Lt. Cmdr. Grant Staats and Army Reserve Maj. Larry Gnewuch, along with 52 other three-person teams from 17 countries, competed in the annual contest for reserve officers, cadets and midshipmen.

“It was a privilege to not only compete, but to serve with (my teammates),” Major Winton said. “The positive reinforcement and the dedication to peak performance in every event were outstanding.”

U.S. teams also earned silver medals in the women’s team and novice team categories, and one of the men’s teams took the gold medal for the combined shooting event.

The NATO Military Skills Competition consists of 200-meter rifle marksmanship, 25-meter pistol marksmanship, 500-meter land obstacle course, 50-meter water obstacle course and a 10- to 15-kilometer orienteering course involving advanced land navigation skills. Also included in the competition is combat first-aid and laws of armed conflict.

The competition falls under the auspices of the Interallied Confederation of Reserve Officers, formed in 1947 as part of NATO’s efforts to further common goals among the NATO allies. A different NATO country hosts the event every year. (AFRC News Service)