Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Navy Marksmanship Team must pay for all expenses while representing the Navy?

Missing the mark: Top marksmen say Navy funding cut impairs team
Navy Times
By Meghann Myers
Staff writer
Oct. 12, 2014
Members of the Navy Marksmanship Team must pay for all expenses while representing the Navy, the result of budget cuts two years ago. Here, Chief Gunner's Mate Don Christenson fires his AR-15 rifle at a 2007 competition.
(MC3 Sean P. Lenahan / Navy)

Did you know the Navy has an official shooting team?

It does, but the team that’s been around since 1907 is in danger of falling apart after deep budget cuts two years ago, team members say. The Navy’s best marksmen foot the bill — amounting to thousands of dollars a year — for the lodging, transportation, fees, guns and ammo needed to represent the service at top competitions. And the cuts are making it hard to keep going, let alone recruit the next generation’s sharpshooters.

“We need equipment for the young shooters, to inspire them to get in the game,” said Senior Chief Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician (EWS/SW/AW) David Walker. “Some of the old-timers are leaving, and who’s going to be next?”

Walker and some others can recall the time when their competitions and team expenses were wholly covered by the service, which stopped in 1977. But Naval Sea Systems Command still picked up some bills until two years ago, another team leader said.

“We have had some support, up until two years ago,” said Cmdr. Mick Glancey, the team’s officer-in-charge. “NAVSEA had been basically paying for weapons and maintenance, [but] they lost the funding to support the small-arms program, which paid for ammunition.”
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