Sharpshooters' competition

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 environment.
The organisation
"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.
Marksmanship events
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.
The results
"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 and Exercises

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Photo: Lt Jan Heyman

Before shooting, the marksman tries to be one with his weapon.

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Photo: Lt. Pedro Fernández Vicente

Clearly seen during the competition, invisible in battle, no one would want to be in their sights.

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Photo: Lt Jan Heyman

No, they are not genetically engineered, nor are they cavemen. They are only simple marksmen, wearing their camouflage uniforms.