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CAMP BUEHRING, Kuwait Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 10th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, competed for the bragging rights of Top Gun at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, at the nearby Udairi Range Complex from Sept. 3 through Sept. 13.
Sixteen M109A6, 155 mm self-propelled Paladin cannon crews from A Battery and B Battery contended for the highest cumulative score in events including physical fitness, artillery skills proficiency and section live-fire exercises.
The Top Gun competition began with cannon crews shooting 40 rounds from each of their M4 carbine rifles, followed by an Army Physical Fitness Test.
The competition isnt just who can shoot the best, said Pfc. Anthony Ellingsworth, a cannon crewmember assigned to Alpha Battery. Its an overall competition of us as Soldiers and how we perform in our jobs.
Crews conducted multiple hands-on events including the disassembly and assembly of their .50-caliber machine gun, MK19 automatic grenade launcher, and the breech of the 155 mm howitzer.
Breaking down the breech was my favorite part, said Pfc. Ronnie Payton, a cannon crewmember assigned to Alpha Battery. Me and my driver excel at it we always strive to be the best.
The finale of the competition was the Paladin live-fire exercises at the Udairi range.
Coming out on top with a combined score of 1,035 points out of 1,100 was the crew from A Battery consisting of Staff Sgt. Melvin Moss, Sgt. Eden Calhoun, Spc. Joshua Kloss, Spc. Kenneth Russell, Payton and Pfc. Austin Pickett.
Every crew did an exceptional job, said Lt. Col. James Willard, 1-10 FA commander. Only a small amount of points separated first place from last.
Willard presented the ceremonial red muzzle cover, with Top Gun and the 1-10 FA crest imprinted on it, to Moss and his crew.
It stands out and lets everyone know who is the best, Payton said. We trained hard for six months we came out and executed.
Moss and his crew will retain the honor of Top Gun for the next six months.
The Paladin crews of A Battery and B Battery will continue to train during their deployment in Kuwait.
Crewmembers said they will constantly strive to be the best in order to remain ready for any mission the Army presents them, as well as preparing for the next Top Gun competition.