Basic Offensive And Defensive Tactics

identical to that of an observation post—a triangle—so it's automatically understood that trained observers vvich optics occupy this position. But to instantly distinguish its sniper role, I've inserted a circle and crosshair inside it. Graphically, this describes perfectly what's present here. The sniper hide symbol can be in a friendly unit position, all alone on a distant hilltop—wherever there's a sniper hide, or Final Firing Position (FFP).

Next, we must depict an independent sniper team's assigned operational area, and I've come up with two. First, there's on a map? Other systematic, institutional the "sniper skirmish line," which is only a problems exist. modification of the existing scout screen, an

The first step in strengthening this link and uneven, two-headed arrow. The sniper version giving sniping the tactical legitimacy it deserves is distinguished by our circle and crosshair in is to refine the subject in terms operations its center. My definition requires that the team officers and commanders understand. maneuver and shoot no more than 2 kilometers on either side of the line, which is enough space Sniping Graphics for it to stalk, find and occupy hides, engage

The symbol I developed for a sniper hide is enemy, evade, and repeat the process. Given its

Basic Offensive and Defensive Tactics 427
SNIPER GRAPHICS. Here's how they look plotted on an operational map.

your sector. By designating an NFA, you expedite fire coordination should a strong enemy suddenly appear.

Weapon and Unit Graphics

We've developed a light sniper weapon (5.56mm) graphic identical to that of a light machine gun, except we've added our familiar circle and crosshair to it. The medium (7.62mm) sniper rifle graphic adds a hatch mark in the symbol's center, just like other medium weapon graphics. And our heavy (.50-caliber) sniper weapon graphic places a second hatch mark, but we can see it's a sniper weapon because of the circle and crosshair at its base.

The symbols for a sniper team, squad, and platoon, too, are derived from long-established graphics. All we've done is insert our circle and crosshair in the center.

Sniper Planning Parameters

For greatest effectiveness, sniper teams need a coordinator at battalion level to understand and coordinate their efforts into the unit's overall operations. Too frequently their contribution is an afterthought, a last-minute add-on mission to keep them busy instead of exploiting their capabilities to the maximum.

At battalion level is a designated sniper employment officer—an NCO or a commissioned officer—who acts as the liaison and planner for snipers and sniping operations. To use teams effectively, he must first realize that snipers most often will be used to support a larger element's operation. Name a mission—as we will in the coming pages—and there's an excellent sniper contribution.

In those instances where sniper teams operate independently, however, that planner

Independent sniper team patrols happen mostly while a parent unit is in the defense.

must realize these men are coo few to seize or hold ground. Instead, the sniper's role is to inflict maximum casualties on the enemy while also observing and reporting key intelligence.

This sniper employment officer should never dictate where the team's hide will be, since its suitability cannot be gleaned from a map. Instead, he should designate the sector of fire, then let the team find the best hide position for covering it.

Independent team missions should not be vague "roam around and see if you can shoot something" assignments. As a minimum, the team is directed to destroy, suppress^ or harass the enemy.

A destroy mission suggests inflicting maximum casualties by specific priorities, which may change from mission to mission.

When directed to suppress, the team uses fire to prevent the enemy from firing his weapons effectively and/or to seek cover and scop maneuvering, which technically means to 'Tix" him as well. The commander isn't concerned that you fail to inflict a single casualty as long as the enemy is suppressed and fixed. It is thus implied that your volume of fire is probably greater and less focused than during a destroy mission.

A harass assignment may be the least gratifying to the sniper team, but it can contribute dramatically to the parent unit's mission success. Your duty is to deny the enemy sleep, to disable his leaders, to cause him to abandon wounded men, to keep him constantly on edge and at a high-alert status, to wear him down psychologically in preparation for your unit's mass attack, or to limit his advance against your unit. A harass mission implies longer duration for your fire to have some effect.

But no matter what your specific mission, your automatically assumed secondary one always is recording and reporting key intelligence for which you are especially suited given your optics and view of the battlefield.

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