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123rd Airlift Wing scores multiple victories at state marksmanship match

Senior Master Sgt. John Siebert, standardization and evaluation loadmaster for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Squadron and rifle team captain for the 123rd Airlift Wing’s marksmanship team, fires his M9 pistol during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Senior Master Sgt. John Siebert, standardization and evaluation loadmaster for the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Squadron and rifle team captain for the 123rd Airlift Wing’s marksmanship team, fires his M9 pistol during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Kentucky Air and Army National Guard members get a pre-firing brief during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Kentucky Air and Army National Guard members get a pre-firing brief during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Tech. Sgt. Don Yeats, a radio frequency transmission craftsman from the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, fires an M4 rifle during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Tech. Sgt. Don Yeats, a radio frequency transmission craftsman from the 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, fires an M4 rifle during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Senior Master Sgt. Darryl Loafman, pistol team captain for the 123rd Airlift Wing marksmanship team, fires an M4 rifle during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Senior Master Sgt. Darryl Loafman, pistol team captain for the 123rd Airlift Wing marksmanship team, fires an M4 rifle during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Kentucky Air and Army National Guard members fire M16 and M4 rifles during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Kentucky Air and Army National Guard members fire M16 and M4 rifles during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Master Sgt. Travis Keehner, a flight engineer from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Squadron, prepares targets during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Master Sgt. Travis Keehner, a flight engineer from the Kentucky Air National Guard’s 165th Airlift Squadron, prepares targets during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Senior Master Sgt. Darryl Loafman, pistol team captain for the 123rd Airlift Wing marksmanship team, fires an M9 pistol during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Senior Master Sgt. Darryl Loafman, pistol team captain for the 123rd Airlift Wing marksmanship team, fires an M9 pistol during the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event on July 27, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the contest July 27 and 28. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Phil Speck)

Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event July 27 and 28, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (Courtesy Photo)

Fifteen Airmen from the 123rd Airlift Wing competed in the Adjutant General’s Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event July 27 and 28, 2013, at Fort Knox, Ky. The 123rd took first place in the pistol team competition, rifle team competition and overall aggregate. (Courtesy Photo)

KENTUCKY AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Three teams from the 123rd Airlift Wing scored multiple victories against members of the Kentucky Army National Guard in the Adjutant General's Kentucky National Guard State Rifle and Pistol Training Event held at Fort Knox, Ky., on July 27 and 28.

The annual contest is sponsored by the Kentucky Army National Guard Small Arms Readiness Training Section to promote full combat readiness with a friendly competition, said Senior Master Sgt. Darryl Loafman, ground and weapons safety manager at the 123rd Airlift Wing here.

Awards are given for multiple team and individual competitions using pistols and rifles shot at life-size targets with distances ranging from 25 to 400 yards for rifles and 15 to 30 yards for pistols.

"Military members don't normally get this opportunity to receive advanced marksmanship training at this level," Loafman said. "This training goes well above and beyond the Air Force qualification course."

This year, the 123rd's A team took first place in the pistol team competition, overall competition and aggregate score. The B team took first place in the rifle team competition, while Loafman won the individual pistol competition and placed second overall.

"You really get to learn what people are made of," Loafman said of the contest. "You're building a team. You have all those personalities out there you have to be able to deal with, but you learn a lot about people when they're under stress."

"I've been shooting a long time," added Loafman, whose first event with the marksmanship team was in 1998. "Whether it's different positions or new equipment, it's fun just to compete and learn new things."

Loafman encouraged all interested Kentucky Air Guardsmen to join the team.

"We're always looking for new, young shooters to come out and represent the Kentucky Air National Guard."

Fifteen Kentucky Air Guardsmen participated in the two-day contest, joining 40 Soldiers from the Army Guard.

Nine Airmen were added to The Governor's Twenty, an exclusive list that represents the top 20 shooters of the competition. They were Loafman, Senior Airman David Farc, Senior Airman Jacob Fuller, Senior Airman Abe Hilbers, Tech. Sgt. Randall Ford, Tech. Sgt. William Pentecost, Master Sgt. Travis Keehner, Master Sgt. Timothy Kenney and Senior Master Sgt. John Siebert.

First-place rifle team members were Senior Airman Amber Updike, Ford, Pentecost and Keehner.

First-place pistol team members were Fuller, Hilbers, Loafman and Siebert.