Sniper Success

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.

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: Canada, France, Spain,
SFOR at Work

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Photos: Sgt. Carole Morissette

A spotter guides the shooter on target.

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A sniper takes aim.