Cpl. Sean Maraj
First published July 21, 2003
If it's true that a sniper can stop an entire army, then
a Dutch sniper must be an enemy soldier's worst nightmare.
Glamoc - In a recent competition, snipers from Canada, France,
Netherlands and Spain took part in a three day event held
on June 9 - 11 aimed at testing the various skills required
to be an effective sniper as well as providing the opportunity
for an exchange of information and skills from different countries.
At the end of the competition top honours went to the Dutch
team, which took the prize in the long-range competition as
well as finishing as the best overall team.
An invaluable learning opportunity
According to one Warrant Officer of the Canadian Second Battalion,
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group,
and one of the key organisers of the event, the competition
was designed not only to test the skills of the participants
but also to provide an invaluable learning opportunity. "The
main goal of this is to get snipers from various countries
together and just exchange the way we do things with each
other," he said.
The competition itself consisted of several different aspects,
which included a stalking exercise, a long-range shoot, a
multi-target engagement, a pistol shoot, a spotter's shoot
as well as a timed stress shoot. Each part of the competition
looked at how well participants were able to use the most
vital skills of their trade. Members of the Dutch team, whose
names and identities cannot be revealed for security reasons,
were very happy with their performance in the competition
and thought that overall they walked away with much more than
when they came. "It went very well," the lead shooter
for the Dutch team said, "We learned a lot of new things
and the experience was good."
The Canadian team finished second in the overall team, "Overall
it wasn't too bad," the Canadian sniper said, "The
first two days we shot well, the last day wasn't so great.
If we had more range time we could have done better."
The Canadian sniper agreed with his counterpart on the Dutch
team that overall the competition's real strength was in allowing
the various teams to gain more experience and learn new skills.
"Absolutely [this was a good experience]. When you work
with other countries you learn different techniques and see
different levels," he said.
Both members of the winning team for the Dutch pointed out
that while they were happy with their performance, - they
thought that the learning experience of seeing other countries
at work was the real prize of the competition. "We are100
per cent more experienced, we saw other countries and shared
some experiences with the other snipers," the spotter
of the Dutch team said, "I would come back definitely.
I could do this for six months. This is the best thing we've
done since we've been here." The competition turned out
to be a great success and all the teams did very well. Some
of the teams faced added difficulties but were able to improvise
and finish strongly.
Nations of SFOR: Canada,
SFOR at Work