Author Topic: Leaders Course Teaches Commanders Sniper Safety  (Read 4423 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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Leaders Course Teaches Commanders Sniper Safety
« on: August 16, 2007, 10:25:12 »
Unfortunately we have to have courses like this because commanders dont use common sense. The emplacement and use of snipers isnt rocket science and yet due to micromanagement some officers keep making the same mistakes.

Leaders course teaches commanders how to boost snipers’ safety
By Matthew Cox -
Posted : August 13, 2007

Army Sniper School is trying to give snipers a better chance of surviving the combat zone by teaching their commanders about the deadly art.

“Most of our losses in sniper are due to poor emplacement and poor utilization of sniper teams,” said Capt. Keith Bell, who oversees Sniper School at Fort Benning, Ga.

“A lot of times, commanders will send [a two-man team] out on their own and say, ‘Here is the area I want you to operate in. Come back in two to three days.’ They need more support than that. ... Some commanders don’t really know this.”

Bell and the instructors at Sniper School are trying to change that mind-set with the Sniper Employment Leaders Course — a new effort designed to change the way leaders use one of the most lethal tools on the battlefield.

“Everybody in the Army gets trained on hand grenades, rifles, pistols — none of those can hold a candle to the lethality that a sniper team gives you,” Bell said. “A sniper team is just like any other weapon system; you have to train on it.”

The course is intended for commanders and staff members at the battalion and brigade level. It focuses on planning the logistics, infiltration, medical evacuation and other areas needed to properly support a sniper mission.

“This has to be planned as a combined-arms operation,” said Lt. Col. David Chase, 29th Infantry Regiment, the unit responsible for all small-arms training at Benning.

One of the biggest mistakes leaders make is putting a sniper team on a rooftop for over-watch operations, Bell said.

“You are a sitting duck on a rooftop,” he said, recalling how a sniper he knew was severely wounded in Iraq in 2003 on such a mission.

“He got shot straight through the throat,” Bell said. “There are some really skilled enemy snipers out there.”

The course teaches different methods for inserting sniper teams into an area without the enemy knowing it.

A team can move with a larger foot patrol and stay behind when the patrol moves out, for example, Sniper School instructor Sgt. 1st Class Jason Cozzens said.

“The snipers can stay back in their position; the enemy or threat thinks they have pulled out of the area,” he said.

Sniper teams are always at risk of being discovered by the enemy. The course stresses the importance of a designated quick-reaction force.

“You’ve got to have a QRF when a sniper team is compromised,” Bell said. “The leaders have to know that.”

Leaders also get time to shoot sniper weapons and learn their capabilities.

Instructors are trying to get approval to lengthen the course from one week to two, Cozzens said.

“It’s not long enough right now; most of them want more range time and exposure to basic [sniper] course students.”

Whenever possible, Bell said, they schedule a sniper employment course alongside a sniper course, “so we can actually show them the training as it is going on.”

Convincing commanders of the need for the course is still a struggle at times, Bell said.

“A lot of times, commanders don’t want to be told, ‘You don’t really know how to use this. You really need to get this training,’” Bell said.

Offline geo

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Re: Leaders Course Teaches Commanders Sniper Safety
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2007, 10:36:31 »
Some great points T6.
If leaders aren't trained to work with a weapon system, they won't know how to properly use em and care for em when they're sent on operations.
If troops & leaders don't work with FOO teams and CAS, calling in an airstrike or fire mission can become real exciting... and that's a bad thing.