[IMG]http://i27.*******.com/15ot7updotjpg[/IMG]A German Special Forces (SF) Soldier lines his sites on a target 500 meters away, and awaits direction from an International Special Training Centre (ISTC) instructor to engage the target. The German Soldier was one of 10 SF troops from four different countries attending the sniper training course offered by the ISTC. The class was evaluated July 24 on stalking, observing, judging distance and shooting targets at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command's (JMTC) Grafenwoehr Training Area. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD)
U.S. Army Master Sgt. Eric Ludan, an instructor for the International Special Training Centre's (ISTC) Sniper Course provides feedback to two Special Forces Soldiers following a live-fire exercise July 24 at the Grafenwoehr Training Area. The Sniper Course is an intense five-week course that teaches NATO Special Operations Forces (SOF) in basic sniper fundamentals. The students spent the night stalking and observing their targets during the evaluated exercise. The facilities at the Joint Multinational Training Command allow the SOF throughout NATO to train to standard. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Gina Vaile-Nelson, 133rd MPAD)http://news.soc.mil/releases/News%20...090812-02.html[SIZE="4"]Multinational sniper course teaches more than just cover and concealment[/SIZE]
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany (USASOC News Service, Aug. 12, 2009) - An out-of-place rock...an olive drab rucksack not covered...the subdued black muzzle of a Win Mag 300.
Just a few things that could get a Special Operations Soldier killed.
"Is there a blade of grass out of place, not enough grass or too many sticks? You start to go a little bit crazy here and get paranoid. You start to question your position and wonder whether or not you are actually hidden," said U.S. Army Special Forces Sgt. John Doe, whose name has been changed for security reasons.
Concealed deep in the woods of the Grafenwoehr Training Area, Doe and his partner, German Special Forces Sgt. Lutz Addler (whose name has been changed for security reasons), lay in the ****e, target in sight and ready to fire one extremely accurate, discriminatory round. They've been in the same position for more than six hours - through the night - after stalking four kilometers to a hide-site where they could observe the target.
"We are used to training a certain way and techniques get ingrained into you," he said.
Over the course of five weeks, the two Special Operations Forces (SOF) Soldiers fired approximately 900 rounds, "which in any other course it may not sound like a lot, but we try to make every bullet count here," Doe said.
The course - the International Special Training Centre (ISTC) Sniper Course - teaches NATO partner SOF the fundamentals and proper techniques of sniping.
"This is a great opportunity," Doe said, "because a lot of time in Special Operations, as well as in the conventional Army, the first time you meet Soldiers from another country is downrange in combat.
"Having the opportunity to train with these individuals beforehand really improves the quality of the fighting force as a whole," the combat veteran said.
ISTC Sniper Course instructor, Sgt. 1st Class Chris Rightmyer agreed.
"The multinational environment, working with JMTC and the NATO partners, allows us the opportunity to strengthen our relationships and build a ******* with other nations on the battlefield, which would be likely in the event of the Soldiers randomly meeting during conflict," he said.
"These guys have a relationship that allows them to fight together and understand how to communicate effectively on the battlefield. They will have had the same training and worked together as a unified group," he said.
Rightmyer said the students learn the basic fundamentals of becoming a sniper: shooting, observation, judging distance and stalking.
The Soldiers spend countless hours lying still and even more time processing math equations in their head to determine their distance between the hide point and the target. Using stalking exercises, memory and observation drills, Rightmyer and the other instructors teach the new snipers how to successfully eliminate targets without being detected.
"Not every Soldier can attend this school," Doe said, noting that his team is usually scattered throughout the world on missions or other training exercises.
"There is a lot to take away from here so that when the team is all back in one place, you can cross-train and teach each other what you learn. You get a lot more training that way," he said.
"In training, you will make mistakes," he said. "That's the point. You make mistakes and learn from them. In combat, you really don't get that opportunity. So, the mistakes you learn from here, you won't make downrange and that means you get to come home."
from: John Plaster, Stalkers and Shooters: Part I: American Snipers in WWII, Korea and VietnamVietnam: Honing a Skill
As quickly as the guns fell silent on the 38th Parallel in 1953, sniping again fell by the wayside. When U.S. combat forces deployed to South Vietnam 12 years later, neither the Army nor Marine Corps had snipers or sniper schools. There had been no improvement in sniper weapons or optics since 1953.
As the need for snipers developed, the 3rd Marine Division created a 14-day course near Da Nang in November 1965. Some 78 snipers soon were trained, with plans for one scout-sniper platoon in each Marine infantry regiment.
The 1st Marine Division followed suit, its school set up by 1st Lt. Edward “Jim” Land, a longtime competitive rifle shooter. One of Land’s instructors, the soon-to-be-legendary Staff Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, a year earlier had won the Wimbledon Cup at the National Rifle Association’s annual matches, making him the country’s top 1,000-yard rifle shooter. Initially, Marine snipers used Model 70 Winchester target rifles with target scopes.
An early Marine graduate, Lance Cpl. Ronald Bundy of Decatur, Ill., soon demonstrated the kind of shooting for which scout-snipers are famous. While supporting a Marine company, Bundy spotted two Viet Cong sniper-sentries 800 yards away. With two shots he dropped both, which sent a third VC running, and he dropped him, too, at 500 yards—three rounds, and three one-shot kills.
In 1967, the Marine Corps fielded a new sniper rifle, a modified version of the Remington Model 700 bolt-action, which soon proved a reliable and accurate long-range weapon.
Army divisions, too, set up sniper schools, with early courses run by the 1st Air Cavalry, 101st Airborne and 25th Infantry divisions. For lack of better weapons, these Army snipers were issued obsolescent bolt-action Spring¬fields and M-1D Garands or 3x scopes on ordinary M-16s.
Finally, in 1968, the 9th Infantry Division commander, Maj. Gen. Julian Ewell—who had commanded a paratroop battalion at the 1944 Battle of Bastogne—brought in the Army’s finest rifle instructors from the Army Marks¬manship Training Unit at Fort Benning, Ga.
The resulting course produced 72 formally trained snipers who were armed with a new weapon, a specially accurized version of the semi-auto M-14 rifle and a scope that instantly reset for dead-on shooting from 100 to 900 meters.
Called the XM-21 System, 9th Divi¬sion snipers employed it across the Mekong Delta’s flat, open paddies and wetlands to rack up impressive scores, not simply by sniping but by employing silencer-equipped rifles and night vision devices, too.
In April 1969 alone, Ewell’s snipers achieved 346 confirmed kills. “The most effective single program we had was the sniper program,” he later wrote with justifiable pride. The 9th Division sniper program soon was replicated by the 25th, 101st and 23rd divisions, which fielded hundreds of XM-21-armed snipers across the country.
The Vietnam War generated three especially accomplished American snipers. The best-known was Marine Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, whose combat achievements and continuing legacy place him among history’s greatest snipers. In Vietnam, the keen-eyed Arkansan achieved 93 confirmed kills, thought by many to have been the most of the war (see chart at left).
Years later, however, it was realized that another Marine sniper, Sgt. Chuck Mawhinney, an Oregon native, had scored 10 more confirmed kills, plus another 216 “probables.”
However, the overall highest number of confirmed kills went to an Army sniper, Staff Sgt. Adelbert Waldron, one of Ewell’s Mekong Delta snipers. In addition to being credited with 109 kills, Waldron also was the war’s most highly decorated sniper, twice receiving the nation’s second highest award, the Distinguished Service Cross.
For all that was learned in Vietnam, a familiar pattern followed: Marine and Army sniper slots, sniper schools and all the institutional knowledge simply went away after our war ended in 1973. This pattern, however, soon would change.
9th Infantry Division snipers with XM21
Greatly appreciated. Thank you Dave76.
terrible quality photo
that's all i have enjoy
I have a question concerning snipers in ghillie-suits. Does teh sniper (and the spotter I suppose) have their pistols with them and if so is the pistol on his person? If not where does he/they have their sidearms?
Please use an image host when posting pictures. Hotlinking breaks forum rules.
From Michael Yon's latest dispatch
I particularly liked the range markings on the rifle in this photo
More to be found half way through the most recent of his unfailingly excellent reports; without doubt, Yon is the best of the current crop of commentators reporting on current military operations.
are those guys,, snipers ? when is a sniper a sniper?,, when he has an scop onhis weapon, or when he abslves the sniper-school ?, or just every one, who dont shoot like rambo without tactic?
There's a good article here explaining differences between Designated Marksmen and more traditional "snipers".