Hidden and dangerous
The sniper training symposium covered tactical aspects of sniper training shaped by experience drawn from operations.
The highlight of the training symposium was the stalking phase, which required every bit of the snipers’ skill, finesse and judgment to make it to their firing positions undetected.
The hardest part for the sniper pair is to get to a tactically sound firing position without the enemy’s awareness, known as the “stalk”, commando sniper Sergeant M said.
“The stalk is the culminating point where all of the sniper skills have got to come together to succeed,” he says.
“This is where the sniper must demonstrate all of his core skills, from navigation, field craft and sense of the terrain. Only this will allow the sniper a silent move to his firing position without being detected.”
Throughout the stalking phase, the snipers were under constant pressure to avoid search dogs and enemy patrols.
“The snipers are under constant surveillance and if at any stage they get observed in their movement, or in the preparation of their firing position, they fail and don’t progress in the assessment,” Sergeant M said.
The stalking activity itself covered a range of sniper skills, from the initial patrol and reconnaissance of the target to the development of the firing position. All this had to be achieved by the sniper before they could finally engage the target.
The snipers were shooting with sniper rifles including the SR98 and the Blaser Tactical 338.
Depending on firing positions and successful completion of the stalk, snipers engaged their target at ranges up to 900m.