Sponsored by law enforcement manufacturers, the 5.11 Challenge brings together officers and operators from across the nation to compete. Now in its fourth year, the shooting competition tests skills, offers training, and promotes fellowship.
In total, 32 teams will be randomly selected from thousands of entries to compete for up to $100,000 worth of equipment for their departments. Participants will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to eastern Montana, where they’ll enjoy accommodations at 5.11 Tactical’s five-star lodge at the base of the beautiful Big Horn Mountains.
Handgun, shotgun, and rifle skills are tested in both high-visibility and low-light conditions in the multi-stage combat course. “We typically have several stages of fire,” Berry says. “This year, we changed the course a little to make it more challenging; people won’t know what to expect. There will be opportunities to draw and shoot, move and shoot, shoot at moving targets, and shoot at targets from behind cover.”
While most shooting competitions require officers to provide their own equipment and transportation, for the 5.11 Challenge event sponsors take care of all of the officers’ expenses, from plane fare and tactical clothing to guns, holsters, ammo, and body armor. In addition, all 64 contestants take home gift packs worth about $1,500. All told, the adventure is valued at more than $3,500 per person.
Berry says the Challenge attracts officers, operators, and agents from every type of organization in the country, including city and state police, sheriffs, highway patrol, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, Secret Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, and the border patrol. “We’ve even had teams from as far away as Canada and Portugal,” Berry says.
The 5.11 Challenge takes place over an eight-week period during June and July. Every week, four teams will compete in a 10-hour contest. The top three teams will be invited back to Montana – this time with their families – for the finals in August. The first-, second-, and third-place winners will receive up to $100,000, $50,000 and $25,000, respectively, in gear and equipment for their departments.
If you like to shoot and could use some R&R in the wide-open spaces of rural Montana, you and a partner can sign up now. Find out more about the 5.11 Challenge and enter at www.511challenge.com. This event is expected to be televised. For air dates and times, please visit the Website in January 2008.
Hero level: 5.11 Tactical Series, Aimpoint, CamelBak, First Choice Armor, GLOCK, Invista, and Streamlight. Patriot level: Bianchi, Blackwater, DPMS-Panther Arms, Eye Safety Systems, Ford Fleet, PoliceOne, Remington Arms, The Outdoor Channel, The Trade Bank, UK International, and Underwater Kinetics. Media sponsors: American Cop, Law and Order, Law Officer Magazine, Police & Security News, Police Magazine, Tactical Response, and The Police Marksman. Retail sponsors: Alamo Shooters, Atlantic Tactical, Belsco, Bluegrass Uniforms, Blumenthal Uniforms, Border Tactical, Brigade Quartermasters, Galls, Kinsco, LA Police Gear, Lawmen’s Supply Co., Officer Store, Oklahoma Police Supply, OMB’s Express Police Supply, Phoenix Uniforms, Special Products Group, U.S. Cavalry, and Tactical Gear Supply.