JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
As the Airmen on the U.S. Air Force Shooting Team prepare for competition in 2018, they have a new member who is setting his sights on proving himself.
AFSC Desert Defender Staff Sgt. Nick Fralick was recently selected to be a member of the Air Force Action Pistol Team, one of nine headquarters Air Force sports shooting teams representing the service in worldwide competitions. The team regularly competes in action pistol, action shotgun, action rifle and multigun competitions at local, regional, national and international-level matches consisting of civilian, law enforcement and military competitors.
Fralick, the lowest ranking member of the team, will compete at several nationwide events during 2018. As a Desert Defender Combat Arms Airman at Fort Bliss, Texas, he has excellent marksmanship skills.
Fralick said the application process took over a year to complete. “I began my application process back in the summer of 2016 after I shot a three-gun match where members of the action pistol team were also present.”
After Fralick filled out the AF Sports Shooting Team form and submitted it to AFSFC, the center connected him with the current team captain, Master Sgt. Mark Ziebart, who then began his evaluation. That evaluation involved more than shooting.
“The team looks at how applicants interact with others at shooting events, their professionalism and if Airmen will reflect the Air Force in a positive light," Fralick said.
After a year, the live portion of the evaluation began.
“Master Sgt. Ziebart and I shot a pistol match local to myself at the Fort Bliss Rod and Gun Club in El Paso, then the following weekend we traveled up to Colorado Springs for the Colorado 3 Gun Championship at Pikes Peak Gun Club with another member of the team, 1st Lt. Casey Ryan, where they evaluated my shooting ability as well as the other criteria in real time.
After these competitions, Ziebart continued to monitor and mentor Fralick from afar while he traveled to other large matches, such as the Area 4 Championships for the U.S. Practical Shooting Association, or USPSA.
In October, the team composition was reevaluated and the Air Force Services Agency, responsible for managing the Air Force Sports programs, sent Fralick an appointment letter to let him know he was selected as a developmental member of the team.
In April, the team competes in the USPSA Multi-gun Nationals in Las Vegas. It's a three-day match with 14 separate courses of fire, and approximately 600 rounds. The event will have 275 people competing with the rifle, pistol and shotgun at targets from 3 to 300 yards.
For more information on the team, check out its Facebook page, for more information on Air Force Sports, go to www.myairforcelife.com/sports.