By Kristy Siefkin, FOX 10 News
PEORIA, Ariz. -Some of the best police and military snipers in the world train year-round right here in Arizona.
Many of them are in the valley this week, to find out who is the best sharpshooter at Sniper-Fest in Peoria, Arizona.
It’s one of the few places that law enforcement, military, and corrections all come together to focus specifically on their sniper shooting skills.
On Monday and Tuesday, they trained with some of the best snipers in the United States. On Wednesday they will learn to use those skills in a competition, mimicking real-life sniper scenarios.
From young officers, rising up the ranks to seasoned military back from tours overseas, these men hone their skills in intensive sniper classes, just one part of this year’s Sniper Fest.
“They go from one to the other, to the other. We’ve been here since zero dark thirty, and they’ll go till nighttime,” said Michael Puente.
Over two days snipers will learn from the best around, like Green Beret Randall Dehay.
“The new guys need to know that information so we can have good people in the future, and not just in the now,” said Dehay.
“Test your equipment, and yourself. Come out and push yourself and just get new knowledge, get out here and be a sponge,” said Carlos Alias with the Arizona Department of Corrections.
Trainees practice CBQ or Close Quarter Battle; shooting a long range weapon at a close range target, and high-angle shooting; firing at targets in the valley below.
Over 70 people traveled to Sniper Fest this year, coming from all over the southwest USA, and after they finish their training they will participate in real-life scenarios, with the chance to take home $5,000 in gear and equipment.
“They’re gonna be running, they’re gonna be jumping, they’re gonna be shooting in awkward positions,” said Puente.
Only the winning pair take home a prize, but all of them take home a new level of expertise, for a skill only mastered over a lifetime.
The instructors at Sniper Fest participate at no-cost, it’s a way of giving back to those who protect our communities.
The event is so popular that Tacflow is now expanding it to other states, including Texas.