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Barnestormers compete in TAG match, two selected for Governor’s 20

  • Published
  • By Randall Burlingame
  • 104th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Two Airmen from the 104th Fighter Wing Marksmanship Team were selected for the Governors Twenty during The Adjutant General’s State Marksmanship 2022 competition which took place April 29 – May 1, 2022, at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. A total of 16 Airmen from the 104FW competed.

Staff Sgt. William Andrades, 104th Security Forces Squadron defender, and Staff Sgt. Logan Haldopoulos, 104th Maintenance Group crew chief, finished the competition in the top 20 and received award. The Governor's Twenty is a state-level National Guard award created in 1968 and is given to the top twenty shooters in the competition. This Joint Army and Air Force Excellence in competition match is used to identify top shooters for upcoming regional, national, and international-level training opportunities.

The primary purpose of this annual event is to provide advanced marksmanship training within a competitive environment to Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers and Airmen, so that they can assist in training others with their improved skills.

“The TAG match is arguably one of the best opportunities to develop and maintain proficiency in small arms and leadership available to our units,” said Chief Master Sgt. Stephen Jeffers, 104th Fighter Wing command chief. “The value added to our warfighters dollar for dollar is amazing. As a former competitor myself, I learned a great deal and honed proficiency that is not taught by our standard courses of instruction.”

Andrades had a personal goal to be selected for the Governor’s Twenty, and contributed some of his success to the preparation the 104FW marksmanship team did prior to the match, he said.

“Given our practice with the course of fire ahead of time, I believe it really gave us a heads up on what to expect, so come game time it wasn’t that much of a shock,” said Andrades. “When they called my name it was a great feeling of accomplishment.”

Tech. Sgt. Sue Fopiano, 104FW Marksmanship Team captain, said joining the marksmanship team can provide opportunities to embrace the multi-capable Airmen concept.

“It also challenges their skillsets, opens up their avenues of networking, build confidence in new skills, and offers the chance to team-build with an entirely different segment of the population on base,” said Fopiano.

Jeffers said having competitions like this are integral to developing leaders, and allow service members at all levels to collaborate, train, and execute in a joint environment.

“I am very proud of not only our two noncommissioned officers that earned Governors Twenty, but the entire team for working together toward a common goal,” said Jeffers. “This event enabled the marksmanship team to demonstrate common values within our wing - trust, empowerment, bold action, and teamwork.”