552nd AMXS shooter excels in tourney

  • Published
  • By Stephen Warns
  • Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center

A member of the 552nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Tinker Air Force Base recently finished 11th out of 60 competitors in the open division at the Multi-Gun Nationals in Boulder City, Nev.

Tech. Sgt. Eric Crotsley, the 552nd AMXS section chief, competed as part of the four-person U.S. Air Force Action Pistol Team.

The April 12-17 tournament was broken down into three days of competition, and the Air Force team started on the hardest four stages. Physical fitness was also key for the shooters. Even on a half-day format, the shooters were on the range from 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Crotsley returned from a deployment March 21 and only had three weeks to prepare. Still, he was pleased with his result.

“Coming off of a deployment and literally going to a national-level match is a bold move,” Crotsley said. “I hadn’t touched a gun since Oct. 2016. Shooting at the Air Force level is a perishable skill set, and there is always room for improvement.”

One area where Crotsley said he could’ve done better is switching his firearms when he was being timed.

“I personally lost a lot of time switching from my rifle to my pistol, or my shotgun to my rifle, etc.,” he said. “That’s something I’ll be working on for future events.”

Despite the challenging environment, the Airmen’s readiness and resiliency shone through during the three days of competition.

“We used our resiliency to improve our performance on the range to propel each other up the scoreboard,” Crotsley said. “Our team is very resilient in a sense that we used each other to bounce back and get back in the game. Lessons learned on the range can easily be translated to in-office mentoring. I always love shooting with the team because we are all like-minded individuals with common Air Force goals.”

Also in the open division, Master Sgt. Mark Ziebart of the 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., finished seventh out of 60 competitors.

In the tactical division, 1st Lt. Casey Ryan of the 55th Security Forces Squadron at Offutt AFB, Neb., finished 25th, and Maj. Nick Siesser of the 5th Special Operations Squadron at Hurlburt Field, Fla., was 30th.