Planning Movement

Spec Ops Shooting

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The most fundamental thing to understand about sniper team movement is that the team plans its route so it avoids enemy contact until it wants to begin engagements. Therefore, while planning the mission, the team studies its map, paying special heed to natural lines of drift— places where humans naturally prefer to walk, such as along ridgelines, down the long axis of valleys, etc., as wc examined in the target detection section. It was by studying lines of drift that I was able to anticipate North Vietnamese roads and trails about 80 percent of the time, despite their elaborate, expert camouflage efforts.

By avoiding lines of drift, you reduce the likelihood of chance contacts with traveling enemy. If you must cross a natural line of drift, it's done perpendicularly and at as remote a place as possible, perhaps even under cover of darkness.

On the other hand, these natural lines of drift, as natural routes for human movement, make excellent places to hunt your foe.

If your area of operations has little water, you can count on encountering enemy wherever water is found, and you thus choose to seek or avoid him by planning your route toward or around water. This was equally true for Cambodia's eastern wasteland—one old SOG haunt—as it is today for Iraq's western desert.

While route planning, you always prefer traveling through "bad" terrain having good concealment, such as swamps and thickly wooded hills, especially if it has no inherent military value,


Sniper Country TrainingQuantico Sniper School

ins tructors, the slightest—and I mean member, a sniper isn t assaulting, he s slipping

Usmc Scout Sniper Iraq

GySot Jim Owens (L), USMC Scout Sniper Instructor School NCOIC, intensely observes stalking sniper students at Quantico.

slightest—error is detected. As they learn, way you would if you was sneaking up on a stalking is difficult, demanding, and—in deer. See the enemy first.


Invisibility, sneaking, creeping, seeing

•ithout being seen—these are the ingredients of

The Doctrine of Stalking modern sniper movement, yet they are identical to techniques used bv hunters and warriors

Stalking is, simply put, the invisible move-

since we abandoned cave dwellings. All that's ment of a sniper who's positioning himself to different now is that stalking is a cohesive take a shot, withdrawing after taking a shot, or doctrine, a true methodology that s as much evading enemy soldiers. In any other situation a learned as instinctive.

sniper is merelv moving cross-countrv, which we

And its the toughest subject for would-be address separately.

snipers to master in training. In both the Armv

There are three components of stalking and Marine sniper schools, the inability to doctrine, easy to understand but a challenge to employ well in all circumstances. First, correcth complete stalks without detection washes out more students than anv other subject or skill.

executing movement techniques; second,

Part of this challenge is physical because a selecting a good stalk route divided into lengthv stalk can demand low-crawling separate legs ; and, third» matching the best hundreds of vards, but I think its more so a movement technique to each of these legs. Let's combined problem of technique, camouflage, look at movement techniques first.

and route selection. Which isn t saying that the while conventional troops or police entr^

failing students were sloppy or inattentive, but teams advance m three- to five-second rushes, a that under intense optical observation by their sniper never rushes except while fleeing. Re ins tructors, the slightest—and I mean member, a sniper isn t assaulting, he s slipping

GySot Jim Owens (L), USMC Scout Sniper Instructor School NCOIC, intensely observes stalking sniper students at Quantico.

Stalking SniperSniper Camouflage TechniquesScout Sniper Hide

A nearly invisible sniper student pauses to plan the next leg of his statk.

erect and heading cross-country. Now, realizing his likely hide will be at the bottom of the illustration, at the far edge of the next wooded area, he plans how to stalk forward.

He divides this stalk route into separate, short legs, with each )eg having a single type of concealment, and during which he must use one single type of movement technique. A stalk could have one leg or 10 legs—it's all dictated by available cover/concealmcnt.

Our illustration has three legs. In the first, the sniper switches from his initial crouch walk to a high crawl as he exits the woods at the top and advances through the waist-high bushes.

When he reaches the end of the bushes, he must begin low-crawling to stay below the knee-high meadow grass. This, the second leg of his stalk, will be the most time-consuming since it's long and all low-crawling. The cxact spot where he exits the bushes to begin crawling was carefully selected so he wouldn't have to push any foliage aside but. rather could exploit a natural gap, preferably covered by shadow.

The final leg, through the head-high bushes at the bottom, is accomplished with a crouch walk, and special care is taken as the sniper and spotter ease up to the lower side so they don't "spook" any enemy activity. From here, finally, they'll select their exact hide location.

In the real world, as in our example, you usually won't know the exact hide location until you're actually on the prospective ground and personally eyeballing it.

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Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Hunting Mastery Selected Tips

Deer hunting is an interesting thing that reminds you of those golden old ages of 19th centuries, where a handsome hunk well equipped with all hunting material rides on horse searching for his target animal either for the purpose of displaying his masculine powers or for enticing and wooing his lady love.

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  • Emilia
    How to make a sniper stalking position?
    7 years ago

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