Lt. Pedro Fernández Vicente
First published in
SFOR Informer#137, April 25, 2002
The German Battle Group (GEBG) organised a sharpshooters'
competition at Kalinovik Firing Ranges, April 16-17. All of
SFOR's contingents were invited, however, only the Canadian,
French, and the German sniper teams were able to participate.
All the teams gave their best efforts, sharing their specific
knowledge in this top-level competition.
Kalinovik - Shooting aptitude is a highly appreciated military
skill, a contest is a good opportunity to test and improve
it, whilst deepening common understanding, in a multinational
"Many things had to be done, and considered, in order
to carry out this kind of competition, but, there were not
many problems. The main task was to get the information through
to the different battle groups in order to adjust the resources
involved, to match the number of competitors. Just three days
before the competitions, three teams cancelled their participation,"
said Capt. Christoph Kuhlmann, Chief of Filipovici Camp.
"The competitors gathered the night before the competition,
in Camp Filipovici. We planned to come here by helicopter
but due to the bad weather conditions, we had to come by bus.
We have tried to provide additional entertainment for the
competitors, like weapons demonstrations, in which we showed
the standard weapons used by the GEBG, our Armoured Personnel
Carrier, land radar, etc," said Kuhlman.
The competition for the sharpshooters comprised of four different
events: multiple target engagement, pistol shooting, hostage
rescue shooting and observation training. The multiple target
exercise required both soldiers to participate as a team.
Each firer got eight cartridges, and without a time limit,
fired at four targets placed at a range of 200, 400, 600 and
930 metres; each target had to be engaged with two rounds.
In the pistol firing exercise, each sharpshooter got 15 cartridges.
This exercise was divided into three sub-exercises. The range
to the target was 10 - 25 m. The firing begun with a qualifying
round, shooting at a balloon. Subsequent to the qualification,
the firer had to shoot six rounds, in quick succession, alternatively,
at two targets. The remaining rounds were to be fired as a
precision shoot at a ring comprising of 10 targets, at a range
of 25 m.
In the hostage rescue firing, the team was in the prone position
and had five cartridges. As soon as they had completed all
preparations for firing, two targets appeared at an unknown
distance. Then, the team had three minutes to "kill"
the targets without injuring the hostage. Two soldiers from
each team had to fire one after the other.
"What we wanted to do, was to get some snipers or marksmen
from the different SFOR Battle Groups together, in a competition
to: train them, to familiarise them with the weapons from
the other nations, to improve co-operation among different
SFOR contingents. This was the main goal of the sharp shooting
competition. I think we were successful in our goals,"
concluded Lt. Col. Andreas Mayer, deputy of the GEBG.
Related link: Training