The US Army Special Operations Command held its annual international sniper competition in March.
The competition includes U.S. and foreign military snipers as well as law enforcement snipers.
Since its debut in 2004, it has become one of the best ways to test the skills of these snipers.
Each year, snipers from around the world gather in North Carolina for one of the most exclusive military sniper competitions.
The U.S. Army Special Operations Command International Sniper Competition brings together sniper teams from special and conventional operations units as well as law enforcement from dozens of countries.
Snipers are an essential part of any army. They can take out valuable targets from long range and perform reconnaissance in hard-to-reach areas. The international sniper competition, which began in 2004, has become one of the best ways to test the skills of these snipers.
Best of the best
Twenty-one sniper teams participated in the 13th annual competition, traveling to the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School in Fort Bragg, North Carolina in March. This year’s version consisted of a series of events that challenged two-man teams.
The four-day event featured 23 scenarios to test the ability of teams to work together seamlessly as shooter and spotter with speed and precision against targets at multiple ranges in different simulated operational environments.
The events tested the snipers’ long, medium and short range shooting abilities using all manner of weapons, including sniper rifles, rifles and pistols.
In general, the competition aims to provide a diverse set of simulated operational conditions that reflect the realities of a modern, interactive battlefield.
“Sniper teams face lanes that require them to maneuver over and around obstacles to establish a firing position and engage a target. In other lanes they might have to be in a static position while other difficult challenges are presented, such as targets moving behind obstacles,” said Colonel Matthew Tucker, commander of the 2nd Army Special Warfare Training Group, who hosted the competition.
The results are in
First place went to the US Army Special Operations Command team – the generic name may mean it was made up of members of Delta Force, a covert unit the military rarely acknowledges.
Second place went to a team of French SAS commandos. The US Army National Guard’s 20th Special Forces Group took last place on the podium. A team of Marine Raider sniper instructors finished fourth, and a team from Kommando Spezialkräfte, a top-tier German military special operations unit, came fifth.
Units from across the U.S. Special Operations community participated, including nearly every Army Green Beret unit, the 75th Ranger Regiment, and SEAL Team 1. Several armies from other nations sent teams, including Switzerland, the Netherlands, Norway, Ireland and Italy. .
In addition to the military participants, the law enforcement contingent included a US Coast Guard team, which placed 13th, and a US Secret Service team, which placed 19th.
An important event
This year’s sniper competition was particularly relevant in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The event brought together several NATO allies and strengthened unit-level relationships.
All of the participating international teams were from Europe, “and we’re facing a common threat there right now that goes back to the Cold War,” Tucker said, according to Army Times. “So this has been a great opportunity for us this year to improve the interoperability that will be required of all of us to meet treaty obligations with NATO as well as with other allies.”
Sniper competition is competition, and teams take it seriously – some more seriously than others – “but we have to remember that whoever wins doesn’t mean that suddenly they’re the best. unit” in the world of special operations, a retired Delta force operator, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he continues to work with the government, told Insider.
“On the other hand, it also doesn’t mean that units that come in second, third or last are bad units,” added the retired operator.
The sniper competition provides an opportunity for participants to learn from each other and for units to share their tactics, techniques and procedures, the retired operator said. This is perhaps one of the most important aspects of the event.
“Let’s say a team of snipers for Unit X could have been deployed to Africa and mastered the dynamics of marksmanship in extremely hot environments. This knowledge can be passed on through such competitions and proliferate [within] strength,” said the retired operator.
Stavros Atlamazoglou is a defense journalist specializing in special operations, a veteran of the Hellenic Army (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ) and a graduate of Johns Hopkins University.
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