Sniping Mission Planning Considerations

Spec Ops Shooting

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Traditionally, independent sniper patrols and operations involved only a two-man sniper team, although several such teams may have been operating in mutual support. However in Iraq, where terrorists have specially targeted American sniper teams, their composition has been beefed up, with as many as four men: two snipers, an extra M16-armed rifleman, and a SAW machine gunner. The trade-off is a larger potential signature and, of course, the need for a larger hide to conceal them.

We've illustrated how a typical independent sniper team mission unfolds on page 429. First, the team departs friendly lines in company with a larger patrol, which disguises its departure; another way would be leaving after dark. Second, at a certain predetermined point, the team goes its separate way, taking care to obliterate its tracks. Next, the team finds an area with potential targets and suitable hides, so it caches its excess gear and stalks forward. After an engagement, as depicted in the last panel, they displace to another hide or return to the cache site, retrieve their gear, and return to friendly-lines. Their return probably would be after dark, at an exact passage point designated before the operation and which utilized preplanned recognition signals.

For clarity in orders, the team should be given a specific time it will depart friendly lines (a "line of departure" time), a time at which it will land in an LZ ("landing zone" time), or a time by which it must be in position and ready to engage, an NLT ("no later than" time).

Sniper Tactics And MethodsUrban Sniper Training
Supporting a deliberate attack.

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