Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by Dark Sorrow, Jul 8, 2010.
This thread is dedicated to Snipers and Sniper equipments if Indian Army.
Sniper Guns in Indian Armed Forces:
1. Gepard Anti Material Rifle: For Special Forces
2. Steyr SSG 69 PI Sniper Rifle: Used by BSF
3. Heckler & Koch MSG90 Sniper Rifle
4. Mauser SP66 Sniper Rifle
5. SVD-59 Dragunov Sniper Rifle
[Source:http://www.indian-military.org/tag/snipers and anti material rifles.html]
The deal was about Gepard GM6 lynx
How does the Snipers operate in the battlefield, What are their roles?
Indian Army SVD
Mainly to pick off Enemy Sniper or MG post or Enemy Santri at longer ranges they also provide fire support when needed from longer ranges, Also their targets are usually the leaders / Leading Officer JCO etc, Once the leader is dead their is always confusion in troops which slow their reaction time..
In a Squad the role of a Marksman not Sniper is to provide fire at longer ranges..
Snipers play an important role in the SBCT infantry battalion. They give the commander accurate, discriminatory, long-range small-arms fire. The best use of sniper fire is against key targets that other available weapon systems may be unable to destroy due to their range, size, or location; visibility; security and stealth requirements; avoidance of collateral damage; intensity of conflict; or rules of engagement. The techniques snipers use enable them to gather detailed, critical information about the enemy as a secondary role. The effectiveness of a sniper is not measured simply by the number of casualties or destroyed targets; sniper effectiveness also includes the effect the presence of snipers has on enemy activities, morale, and decisions. The presence of snipers hinders the enemy's movement, creates confusion and personal fear, disrupts enemy operations and preparations, and compels the enemy to divert forces to deal with the snipers.
The battalion sniper squad is a modular organization consisting of a squad leader and two similarly equipped three-man sniper teams (Figure C-1). Each team, consisting of the team leader, one sniper, and one observer, is capable of providing the battalion with a full range of sniper support. The team is equipped with both the M24 7.62-mm sniper rifle (providing antipersonnel fires out to 800 meters) and the .50-caliber XM107 sniper rifle (providing antipersonnel and anti-equipment fires beyond 800 meters). The third member of the sniper team is equipped with an M203 rifle system to provide protection and security for the sniper and his spotter as well as a means to break contact if the team is compromised. Sniper teams avoid contact until they have identified their targets. Involvement in sustained close combat is not the optimal employment of sniper teams.
Employment. The commander or designated sniper employment officer controls sniper teams from a central location. Once deployed, snipers generally operate independently. They must understand the commander's intent, his concept of the operation, and the purpose for their assigned tasks. This understanding allows the teams to exercise initiative within the framework of the commander's intent and to support the commander's concept and accomplishment of the unit's mission. Snipers are effective only in areas that offer good fields of fire and observation. They must have the freedom of action to choose their own positions once on the ground. The number of sniper teams participating in an operation depends on their availability, the expected duration of the mission, and the enemy's strength.
Security Element. Sniper teams should move with a security element (squad or platoon) whenever possible. This allows the teams to reach their areas of operation faster and more safely than if they operated alone. The security element also protects the snipers during operations. When moving with a security element, snipers follow these guidelines:
(1) The leader of the security element leads the sniper team.
(2) Snipers must appear to be an integral part of the security element. To do so, each sniper carries his weapon system in line with and close to his body to hide the weapon's outline and barrel length. Snipers also conceal from view all sniper-unique equipment (optics and ghillie suits).
(3) The snipers' uniforms must be the same as that of security element members. Snipers and element members maintain proper intervals and positions in the element formation.
Sniper Employment. It is very important that all commanders understand the capabilities and limitations of the sniper teams. When properly employed, the sniper teams can contribute significantly to the fight.
(1) Mission. The sniper's primary mission is to support combat operations by delivering precise rifle fire from concealed positions. The mission assigned to a sniper team for a particular operation consists of the task(s) the commander wants the sniper team to accomplish and the reason (purpose) for it. The commander must decide how he wants his sniper team to affect the battlefield. Then he must assign missions to achieve this effect.
(a) The commander should assign priorities to targets so snipers can avoid involvement in sustained engagements. Regardless of the target priorities, the sniper team must be free to change targets to support the commander's intent.
(b) The commander may describe the effect or result he expects and allow the sniper team to select key targets.
(c) The commander may assign specific types of targets to achieve an effect. For example, if he wants to disrupt the defensive preparations of the enemy, he may task snipers to kill engineer equipment operators. He may task them to disable enemy vehicles carrying supplies, or he may task them to engage soldiers digging enemy defensive positions.
(d) The commander may assign specific targets. These can include enemy leaders, command and control operators, ATGM gunners, armored vehicle commanders, or weapons crews. In urban areas where US forces need to keep casualties to a minimum, snipers can be assigned countersniper tasks and focus on killing enemy snipers.
(2) Enemy. The commander must consider the characteristics, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and disposition of the enemy:
Is the enemy force heavy or light, rested or tired, disciplined or not?
Is it motorized infantry or towed artillery? Is it well supplied or short of supplies?
Is it patrolling aggressively or lax in security?
Is it positioned in assembly areas or dug in?
The answers to questions like these help the commander determine the enemy's susceptibility and reaction to effective sniper operations. A well-rested, well-led, well-supplied, and aggressive enemy with armored protection poses a greater threat to snipers than one that is tired, poorly led, poorly supplied, lax, and unprotected. The commander needs to know if enemy snipers are present and effective since they can pose a significant danger to his operations and the snipers. The commander must consider the enemy's directed energy weapons capability since snipers are particularly vulnerable to these due to their use of optical devices.
(3) Terrain. The commander must evaluate and consider the terrain in and en route to the sniper's area of operations, the time and effort snipers will expend getting into position, and the effects of weather on the sniper and his visibility. Snipers prefer positions at least 300 meters from their target area. Operating at this distance allows them to avoid effective fire from enemy rifles while retaining much of the 800- to 1,000-meter effective range of the sniper rifle. Snipers need areas of operations with adequate observation, fields of fire, and good firing positions.
(4) Troops. The commander must decide how many sniper teams to use depending on their availability, the duration of the operation, expected opposition, and the number and difficulty of tasks and targets assigned. Commanders must consider the snipers' level of training and physical conditioning and remember the effects of these human factors on sniper operations.
(5) Time Available. The commander must consider how much time the snipers will have to achieve the result he expects. He must allocate time for snipers to plan, coordinate, prepare, rehearse, move, and establish positions. The commander must understand how the snipers' risk increases when they lack adequate time to plan or to perform other tasks such as move to the area of operations. The amount of time a sniper team can remain in a position without loss of effectiveness due to eye fatigue, muscle strain, or cramps depends mostly on the type of position it occupies. Generally, snipers can remain in an expedient position for 6 hours before they must be relieved. They can remain in belly positions or semi-permanent hides for up to 48 hours before they must be relieved. Normal mission duration times average 24 hours. (FM 23-10 provides guidance on sniper position considerations, construction, and preparation and occupation times.) Movement factors for snipers moving with a security element are the same as for any infantry force. When snipers move alone in the area of operations, they move slowly; their movement can be measured in feet and inches. The sniper team is the best resource in determining how much time is required for its movement.
(6) Civil Considerations. The commander and staff must make their assessments based on a thorough understanding and appreciation of the local social and cultural norms. Positive identification of targets, sound engagement policies, discipline, and consideration will positively affect the attitudes of the population toward the battalion. In populated areas where casualties should be kept to a minimum, the sniper team can be assigned to destroy enemy snipers.
Offensive operations carry the fight to the enemy to destroy his capability and will to fight. By killing enemy targets that threaten the success of the attack, the sniper can play a major role in offensive operations.
a. Offensive Operations. During the attack or a movement to contact, snipersâ€”
Conduct countersniper operations.
Overwatch movement of friendly forces and suppress enemy targets that threaten the moving forces.
Conduct surveillance and observation of enemy positions and or planned friendly positions.
Place precision fire on enemy crew-served weapons teams and into exposed apertures of bunkers.
Place precision fire on enemy leaders, armored-vehicle drivers or commanders, FOs, and other designated personnel.
Place precision fire on small, isolated, bypassed forces.
Place precision fire on targets threatening a counterattack or fleeing.
Assist in screening a flank using supplemental fires.
Can be employed 24 to 48 hours before the unit's movement.
Gather information about the enemy.
Deny enemy access to key terrain through controlled precision fires, preventing enemy surprise attacks.
b. Dismounted Assault. Snipers can provide effective support during a dismounted assault.
(1) Contact may force the rifle companies to dismount and continue moving dismounted. Snipers placed with lead elements move to positions that allow them to overwatch the movement of the rifle companies and provide long-range small-arms fire. Sniper teams are most effective where MGS and ICVs are ineffectiveâ€”that is, where these vehicles cannot provide overwatching fires. In certain areas, the terrain may limit MGS or ICV mobility. In other areas, the enemy situation may present an unacceptable risk to vehicles occupying hull defilade positions. Vehicle movement could compromise the stealth of the dismounted force. Multiple avenues must be overwatched.
(2) Snipers may also be placed with a mounted support element (MGS) assigned to suppress, fix, or isolate the enemy on the objective. The sniper rifle's precision fire and lack of blast effect allow the sniper to provide closer supporting fires for rifle companies than the MGS element can provide. The difference in their weapons' effective ranges requires the snipers and the mounted support element to seek support by fire positions at different ranges when terrain allows. Long after the MGSs are forced to shift or lift their supporting fires, snipers can selectively fire on close-in targets threatening the assault. These targets may be gunners of enemy crew-served weapons or enemy soldiers in fortified positions.
(3) If time permits, snipers may be deployed as soon as the element reaches the dismount point. Because the snipers' weapons have better optics and longer ranges than other types of small arms, they can provide additional long-range observation and precision fire on any enemy targets that may appear. To increase security, snipers may cover different sectors than the mounted elements.
(4) Snipers may move with the rifle companies toward the objective, occupy a close-in support by fire position where they can help suppress or destroy targets threatening the assaulting force, or move with the rifle companies onto the objective to provide close-in precision fire against enemy fortified positions, bunkers, and trench lines. Selection of the sniper support by fire position depends on METT-TC. The closer snipers are to the objective area, the greater the chance they will be discovered and lose their effectiveness.
(5) To increase security and surprise, snipers may move covertly into position in an objective area well before the companies arrive in the area. Ideally, a sniper team inserting early moves with infiltrating dismounted infantry. This is faster and more secure than moving alone. After the snipers are in position, dismounted infantrymen may remain nearby as additional security, but they are more likely to have other supporting tasks to perform. The proximity of dismounted infantry enhances security.
(6) After their fires are masked, snipers must reposition as soon as possible. The speed of the assaults may prevent snipers from firing from more than one support position. The commander must carefully evaluate where snipers will be most useful. If he wants to use snipers in several different places, or if he wants them to contribute throughout the attack, he should ensure the snipers are able to move quickly, stealthily, and safely on the battlefield.
(7) Upon consolidation, snipers may displace forward to new positions that are not necessarily on the objective. From these positions, the snipers provide precision fire against bypassed enemy positions, enemy counterattack forces, or other enemy positions that could degrade the unit's ability to exploit the success of the attack.
c. Raid. During a raid, sniper teams can join with either the security element or the support element toâ€”
Cover avenues of approach and escape that lead in and out of the objective.
Cover friendly routes of withdrawal to the rally point.
Provide long-range fires on the objective.
FM 3-21.21, Appendix C, Sniper Employment
C-3. ACTIONS AGAINST FORTIFIED AREAS
Assaulting forces usually encounter some type of fortified positions prepared by the defending force. These can range from field-expedient, hasty positions produced with locally available materials to elaborate steel and concrete emplacements complete with turrets, underground tunnels, and crew quarters. Field-expedient positions are those most often encountered. More elaborate positions are likely when the enemy has had significant time to prepare his defense. He may have fortified weapons emplacements or bunkers, protected shelters, reinforced natural or constructed caves, entrenchments, and other obstacles.
a. Enemy Defensive Positions. The enemy tries to locate these positions so they are mutually supporting and arrayed in depth across the width of his sector. He tries to increase his advantages by covering and concealing positions and preparing fire plans and counterattack contingencies. Fortified areas should be bypassed and contained by a small force.
b. Sniper Support. The sniper's precision fire and observation capabilities are invaluable in the assault of a fortified area. Precision rifle fire can easily detect and destroy pinpoint targets that are invisible to the naked eye. The snipers' role during the assault of a fortified position is to deliver precision fire against observation posts, exposed personnel, and the embrasures, air vents, and doorways of key enemy positions. The commander plans the order in which snipers should destroy targets. Their destruction should systematically reduce the enemy's defense by destroying the ability of enemy positions to support each other. Once these positions are isolated, they can be reduced more easily. The commander must decide where he will try to penetrate the enemy's fortified positions and then employ his snipers against those locations. Snipers can provide continuous fire support for both assaulting units and other nearby units when operating from positions near the breach point on the flanks. Sniper fires add to the effectiveness of the entire unit; the commander can employ snipers in situations where other resources cannot be used for various reasons.
c. Sniper Plan. The sniper team bases its plan on information available. The enemy information it needs includesâ€”
Extent and exact locations of individual and underground fortifications.
Fields of fire, directions of fire, locations and number of embrasures, and types of weapons systems in the fortifications.
Locations of entrances, exits, and air vents in each emplacement.
Locations and types of existing and reinforcing obstacles.
Locations of weak spots in the enemy's defense.
C-4. DEFENSIVE EMPLOYMENT
Snipers may effectively enhance or augment any unit's defensive fire plan. After analyzing the terrain, the sniper team should recommend options to the commander.
a. Defensive Tasks. The sniper team can perform the following tasks during defensive operations:
Cover obstacles, minefields, roadblocks, and demolitions.
Perform counterreconnaissance (kill enemy reconnaissance elements).
Engage enemy OPs, armored-vehicle commanders exposed in turrets, and ATGM teams.
Damage enemy vehicles' optics to degrade their movement.
Suppress enemy crew-served weapons.
Disrupt follow-on units with long-range small-arms fire.
Damage or destroy thin-skinned vehicles.
b. Primary Positions. Snipers are generally positioned to observe or control one or more avenues of approach into the defensive position. Due to the types of weapons systems available, snipers may be used against secondary avenues of approach. Sniper employment can increase all-round security and allow the commander to concentrate his combat power against the most likely enemy avenue of approach. Snipers may support the SBCT infantry battalion by providing extra optics for target acquisition and precise long-range fires to complement those of the M249, M240B, and M2 machine guns. This arrangement seeks to maximize the effectiveness of all the unit's weapons systems. Snipers in an economy-of-force role may cover dismounted enemy avenues of approach into defensive positions.
c. Alternate and Supplementary Positions. Snipers establish alternate and supplementary positions for all-round security. Multiple sniper teams, if used, can be positioned for surveillance and mutual fire support. If possible, they should establish positions in depth for continuous support during the fight. The sniper's rate of fire neither increases nor decreases as the enemy approaches. Sniper teams systematically and deliberately shoot specific targets, never sacrificing accuracy for speed.
d. Key Terrain. The commander can position snipers to overwatch key obstacles or terrain such as river-crossing sites, bridges, minefields, or anything that canalizes the enemy directly into engagement areas. Snipers are mainly used where weapons systems are less effective due to security requirements or terrain. Even though weapons systems with greater range and optics capability than the snipers' weapons are available to the commander, he may be unable to use them for any of several reasons. They might present too large a firing signature, be difficult to conceal well, create too much noise, or be needed more in other areas. Sniper team members provide the commander with better observation and greater killing ranges than do other soldiers.
e. Force Security. Snipers can be used as an integral part of the security effort. They can help acquire and destroy targets, augment the security element by occupying concealed positions for long periods, observe and direct indirect fires (to maintain their security), and engage targets. Selective long-range sniper fires are difficult for the enemy to detect. A few well-placed shots can disrupt enemy reconnaissance efforts, force him to deploy into combat formations, and deceive him as to the location of the main battle area. The sniper's stealth skills counter the skills of enemy reconnaissance elements. Snipers can be used where reconnaissance or rifle platoon mobility is unnecessary, freeing the reconnaissance teams and rifle squads to cover other sectors. Snipers can also be used to direct ground maneuver elements toward detected targets. This also helps maintain security so ground maneuver elements can be used against successive echelons of attacking enemy.
f. Strongpoint Employment. Snipers should be tasked to support any unit defending a strongpoint. The characteristics of the sniper team enable it to adapt to perform independent harassing and observation tasks in support of the force in the strongpoint, either from inside or outside the strongpoint.
g. Reverse Slope Defense. Snipers can provide effective long-range fires from positions forward of the topographical crest (or on the counterslope if the unit is occupying a reverse slope defense).
C-5. RETROGRADE EMPLOYMENT
The sniper team must know the concept, intent, scheme of maneuver, withdrawal times or conditions and priorities, routes, support positions, rally points, and locations of obstacles. Both engagement and disengagement criteria must be planned and coordinated to ensure snipers achieve the desired effect without compromising their positions.
a. Force Enemy Deployment. Snipers can help the delaying force cause the enemy to deploy prematurely during retrograde operations. They help by inflicting casualties with accurate, long-range small-arms fire. When the enemy receives effective small arms fire from unknown positions, he is likely to assume he is near an enemy position (most likely one with ATGMs) and begin maneuvering to a position of advantage against the perceived threat. Using a sniper team, the commander can achieve the same effect he could with another infantry unit. The snipers' stealth also gives them a better chance of infiltrating out of positions close to the enemy.
b. Repositioning. Delaying forces risk being bypassed or overtaken by attacking enemy forces. Commanders may provide transportation to move snipers to successive positions. Vehicles must remain in defilade positions to the rear of the sniper position, or they must occupy different positions away from the sniper's area of operations to avoid compromising the sniper's position. In either case, a linkup point, egress routes, and conditions for executing the linkup must be fully coordinated. Commanders may also provide communications assets to the sniper team to facilitate control and movement.
Infiltration. Snipers may be required to infiltrate back to friendly positions. Their infiltration plans must be fully coordinated to avoid fratricide when they try to reenter a friendly position. When planning successive positions, the commander must realize the sniper team may be unavailable for use if it is destroyed or is having difficulty disengaging from an enemy force. The commander must consider carefully how and where he wants snipers to contribute to the operation. Planning too many positions for the sniper team in a fast-paced retrograde may result in failure.
Sniper Tasks. Snipers may be assigned any of the following specific tasks:
Delay the enemy by inflicting casualties.
Observe avenues of approach.
Cover key obstacles with precision fire.
Direct artillery fire against large enemy formations.
C-6. URBAN OPERATIONS EMPLOYMENT
The value of the sniper to a unit conducting urban operations depends on several factors, including the type of operation, level of conflict, and rules of engagement. In a high-intensity urban environment where the ROE allow destruction, the precision fire capability of snipers may not be needed; however, their ability to call for fire may be used generously. Where ROE prohibit collateral damage, snipers may be the most valuable tool the commander has to employ. (Refer to FM 3-06.11 for a detailed discussion of sniper employment during urban operations.)
a. Urban Terrain. Sniper effectiveness depends partly on the terrain. The characteristics of an urban area degrade control. To provide timely and effective support, the sniper must have a clear understanding of the scheme of maneuver and commander's intent.
(1) Observation and fields of fire are clearly defined by roadways, but rooftops, windows, and doorways limit surveillance. Each requires constant observation. The effects of smoke from military obscurants and burning buildings can degrade what otherwise appears to be an excellent vantage point. All-round defense becomes even more important because the enemy can fire from many directions and because enemy infiltration attempts must be countered.
(2) Cover and concealment are excellent for both the attacker and defender. The defender has a decisive advantage. The attacker normally exposes himself during movement through the area.
(3) Avenues of approach inside buildings are best. Movement there is less easily detected than movement through the streets. The sniper must be conscious of all avenues of approach and must be prepared to engage targets that appear on any of them.
b. Positioning. Snipers should be positioned in buildings of masonry construction, which offer long-range fields of fire and all-round observation. The sniper has an advantage because he does not have to move with, or be positioned with, lead elements. He may occupy a higher position to the rear or flanks and some distance away from the element he is supporting. By operating far from the other elements, a sniper avoids decisive engagement but remains close enough to kill distant targets threatening the unit. Snipers should not be placed in obvious positions, such as church steeples and rooftops, since the enemy often observes these and targets them for destruction. Indirect fires can generally penetrate rooftops and cause casualties in top floors of buildings. Snipers should not be positioned where there is heavy traffic because these areas invite enemy observation as well.
c. Multiple Positions. Snipers should operate throughout the area of operations, moving with and supporting the companies as necessary. Some teams may operate independent of other forces. They search for targets of opportunity, especially for enemy snipers. Since a single position may not afford adequate observation for the entire team without increasing the risk of detection by the enemy, the team may occupy multiple positions. Separate positions must maintain mutual support. Each team should also establish alternate and supplementary positions.
d. Tasks. The commander may assign the following tasks to snipers:
Conduct countersniper operations.
Kill targets of opportunity. (The sniper team assigns priorities to these targets based on an understanding of the commander's intent; for example, engaging enemy snipers, then leaders, vehicle commanders, radio men, sappers, and machine gun crews, in that order.)
Deny enemy access to certain areas or avenues of approach (control key terrain).
Provide fire support for barricades and other obstacles.
Maintain surveillance of flank and rear avenues of approach (screen).
Support local counterattacks with precision fire.
C-7. STABILITY OPERATIONS AND SUPPORT OPERATIONS
Snipers can be valuable to commanders in stability operations and support operations. Since ROE normally limit collateral damage and civilian casualties, snipers can selectively engage key individuals who pose a threat to friendly forces. This selective engagement avoids unacceptable civilian casualties or collateral damage. Targets often hide in the midst of the civilian populace, which makes them virtually invulnerable to US forces that cannot destroy these targets without causing innocent casualties. An example would be a lone gunman in a crowd who fires at soldiers manning a roadblock. The soldiers must first identify the gunman (this is nearly impossible from their vantage point). Then, without hurting innocent bystanders, they must stop him from continuing to fire or from fleeing. This is an easier task for an overwatching sniper than for infantry on the ground. The sniper can look down on the crowd, use his optics to scan continuously, and employ precision fire to eliminate the identified enemy without harming bystanders. Though other unit optical systems may supplement the surveillance effort (Javelins and TOWs from the ground or from the upper floors of buildings), they do not engage the target because of the risk of innocent casualties. The sniper rifle provides the commander the only system that can both identify and engage the target.
C-8. RIVER CROSSINGS
Sniper teams, by virtue of their observation and precision-fire capabilities, are uniquely adaptable to the initial stages of a river crossing. They are normally employed in general support of the battalion both before and during the crossing.
a. Positioning. Snipers assume positions across the total width of the crossing area (if possible) before the crossing. Their main task is to observe. They report all sightings of enemy positions and activity immediately and provide a stealthy observation capability not otherwise available to the commander. Their stealth prevents the enemy from learning key facts like what type of unit is trying to cross. The snipers supplement normal reconnaissance assets.
b. Crossing Support. Snipers provide support during the crossing by continuing to observe and suppress enemy OPs and other key targets that heavier supporting elements might overlook. The snipers' ability to continue to provide close-in suppressive fire makes continuous fire support possible up to the moment elements reach the far side and begin their movement to establish the bridgehead line. Snipers should be positioned as early as possible, preferably as part of the reconnaissance force. Their movement across the river must also be planned in advance. How they will get across and where their subsequent positions will be must be coordinated. Generally, they displace once friendly elements reach the far side.
c. Inserted Force Support. Snipers expand the capability of the inserted force to engage threatening targets at long ranges. Once on the far side, snipers may screen the flank or rear of the crossing force, infiltrate to destroy key targets (such as a demolition guard or fortified emplacement), or man OPs well to the front of the crossing force. This placement increases both early warning time and the crossing force's ability to disrupt enemy counterattack forces.
The effective employment of sniper teams with any size or type of patrol is limited only by the terrain and the patrol leader's ingenuity. Snipers must know and be able to apply all aspects of patrolling.
a. Reconnaissance Patrols. Snipers normally remain with the security element during reconnaissance patrols. If terrain permits, snipers can provide long-range support to enable the reconnaissance element to patrol farther from the security element. To prevent compromise of the reconnaissance element's position, snipers fire only in self-defense or when ordered by the patrol leader. Normally, the only appropriate time to fire at a target of opportunity is when extraction or departure from the position is imminent and firing will not endanger the success of the patrol.
b. Raid Patrols. Sniper employment on a raid depends on the time of day and the size of the patrol. When the patrol needs maximum firepower and its size must be limited, snipers may be excluded. If, on the other hand, the patrol needs long-range precision fire and its size permits, sniper teams may be attached to the security element. If appropriate, the sniper team may be attached to the support element to help provide long-range supporting fires. When attached to the security element, the sniper team helps observe, helps prevent enemy escape from the objective area, and helps cover the withdrawal of the assault force to the rally point. When the element withdraws from the rally point, the sniper team may stay behind to delay and harass enemy counteraction or pursuit.
c. Ambush Patrols. During ambushes, snipers are positioned in areas that afford observation and fields of fire on terrain features the enemy might use for cover after the ambush has begun. The snipers' long-range capability allows them to be positioned away from the main body. Sniper fires are coordinated into the fire plan. Once the signal to initiate fires is given, snipers add their fires to the rest of the patrols. Snipers shoot leaders, radio operators, and crew-served weapons teams. If the enemy is mounted, every effort is made to kill drivers of the lead and trail vehicles to block the road, prevent escape, and create confusion. Snipers may remain in position to cover the withdrawal of the patrol.
I hope the above two posts of mine answers the query.
Snipers play an important role in mechanized infantry units. They provide the commander with long-range small arms fires that are both accurate and discriminatory. These fires are best used against key targets that cannot be destroyed by other available weapon systems for a variety of reasons: range, size, location, visibility, security and stealth requirements, collateral damage restrictions, intensity of conflict, or applicable ROE.
Snipers also perform several important secondary roles. Unit and individual employment techniques enable them to gather detailed information about the enemy. Commanders know that snipers also affect enemy activities, morale, and decisions. Knowing snipers are present creates confusion and continuous personal fear among the enemy's soldiers. Effectively employed, snipers hinder the enemy's movement, disrupt his operations and preparations, and compel him to divert forces to deal with the threat.
CONTROL AND EMPLOYMENT
Sniper teams should be centrally controlled by the commander or mechanized infantry platoon leader. Once they are deployed, however, snipers must be able to operate independently if necessary. This requires them to have a thorough understanding of the commander's intent, his concept of the operation, and the purpose for their assigned tasks. It also allows them to exercise initiative within the framework of the commander's intent and to support the commander's concept and achievement of the unit's mission.
Sniper teams are effective only in areas that offer clear fields of observation and fire. To ensure these requirement are fulfilled, teams must be able to choose their own positions once they are on the ground. The number of sniper teams employed in a particular operation depends on availability, the expected duration of the mission, and enemy strength.
Sniper teams should move with a security element (squad or platoon) when possible. This allows the teams to reach their areas of operation faster and safer than if they operated alone. The security element also protects the teams during the operation. When moving with a security element, snipers follow these guidelines:
The leader of the security element leads the sniper team.
Snipers must appear to be an integral part of the security element. To do this, they use the following techniques:
- Each sniper carries his weapon system in line with and close to his body to hide the weapon's outline and barrel length. Sniper-unique equipment (optics, ghillie suit) is also concealed from view.
- Snipers' uniforms must be the same as those of the security element members.
- Proper intervals and positions in the element formation are maintained.
History has proven that commanders must be educated on the proper use of snipers. Commanders who understand the abilities and limitations of their snipers can employ them effectively in the fight. In developing their estimate of the situation, commanders should carefully consider all METT-TC factors as they relate to sniper employment. The following discussion covers these considerations.
The sniper's primary mission is to support combat operations by delivering precise rifle fires from concealed positions. The mission assigned to a sniper team for a particular operation consists of the tasks the commander wants the sniper team to accomplish and the reason (purpose) for these tasks. The commander must decide how he wants his sniper team to affect the battlefield. Then he must assign missions to achieve this effect. The commander should prioritize targets so snipers can avoid involvement in sustained engagements. Regardless of how missions and targets are designated, however, the sniper team must be free to change targets to support the commander's intent. The following methods may apply:
The commander may describe the effect or result he expects and allow the sniper team to select key targets.
The commander may assign specific types of targets. For example, if he wants to disrupt the defensive preparations of the enemy, he may task snipers to accomplish one or more of the following tasks:
- Kill operators of bulldozers and other engineer equipment.
- Disable enemy vehicles carrying supplies.
- Engage enemy soldiers as they dig defensive positions.
The commander may also assign specific targets. These can include enemy leaders, command and control operators, ATGM gunners, armored vehicle commanders, or weapons crews. In cases where large crowds pose a threat to US forces, snipers can single out selected individuals. In populated areas where casualties should be kept low, the snipers can be assigned to kill enemy snipers.
The commander must consider the characteristics, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses, and disposition of the enemy. Is the enemy force heavy or light, rested or tired, disciplined or not? Is it motorized infantry or towed artillery? Is it well supplied or short of supplies? Is it patrolling aggressively, or is it lax in security? Is it positioned in assembly areas or dug in?
The answers to such questions help the commander determine the enemy's susceptibility and reaction to effective sniper operations. Naturally, a well-rested, well-led, well-supplied, and aggressive enemy with armored protection poses a greater threat to snipers than one whose forces are tired, poorly led, poorly supplied, lax in security, and unprotected. In addition, the commander needs to know if enemy snipers are present and if they are effective; they can pose a significant danger to his own snipers. The enemy's DEW capability should be considered as well. Snipers use optical devices, so they are particularly vulnerable to the directed-energy threat.
The commander must evaluate both the terrain in his snipers' area of operations and the terrain they must travel to reach it. He must consider the time and effort snipers will expend getting into position, as well as the effect of weather on the snipers (especially in terms of visibility). Snipers need good firing positions, with adequate fields of observation and fire. They prefer positions at least 300 meters from their target area. Operating at this distance allows them to avoid effective fire from enemy rifles and to take advantage of the effective range of the sniper rifle (800 to 1,000 meters).
The commander must decide how many sniper teams to use. This depends on their availability, on the duration of the operation, and on the expected opposition. Another key factor is the number and difficulty of tasks and/or targets assigned to the snipers. Commanders must always keep in mind the effects of the human dimension on sniper operations.
The commander must consider how long the snipers will have to achieve the results he expects. He must allocate time for snipers to plan, coordinate, prepare, rehearse, move, and establish positions. He must understand how the snipers' risk increases when they lack adequate time to plan or conduct such actions as moving to the area of operations.
Movement factors for snipers moving with a security element are the same as for any infantry force. When snipers are moving alone in the area of operations, however, they move slowly; their movement can be measured in feet and inches. The sniper team members themselves are best qualified to determine how much time is required for a particular movement.
The amount of time a sniper team can remain in a position without loss of effectiveness (due to eye fatigue, muscle strain, or cramps) depends mostly on the type of position the team is occupying. Generally, snipers can remain in an expedient position for six hours before they must be relieved. They can remain in belly positions or semipermanent hides up to 48 hours. Mission duration times average 24 hours. (NOTE: FM 23-10 provides guidance on sniper position considerations, construction, and preparation and occupation times.)
SECTION 2 - OFFENSIVE EMPLOYMENT
Offensive operations carry the fight to the enemy to destroy his capability and will to fight. By killing enemy targets that threaten the success of the attack, the sniper can play a major role in offensive operations.
During offensive operations, snipers can be employed to perform the following tasks:
Conduct countersniper operations.
Overwatch movement of friendly forces and suppress enemy targets that threaten the moving forces.
Place precision fires on enemy crew-served weapons teams and into exposed apertures of bunkers.
Place precision fires on key enemy personnel, including leaders, armored vehicle drivers or commanders, and FOs.
Place precision fires on small, isolated, and/or bypassed forces.
Place precision fires on targets that are threatening a counterattack or are fleeing.
Provide supplemental fires to assist in screening a flank.
Dominate key terrain, using precision fires to control access to the terrain.
MOVEMENT TO CONTACT
The commander has several options in employing snipers to support a movement to contact. Sniper teams can move with the lead element. They can also be deployed 24 to 48 hours before the unit's movement to perform these tasks:
Gather information about the enemy.
Dominate key terrain, preventing enemy surprise attacks.
Although snipers can play only a limited role in a mounted attack, their firepower and mobility make them a valuable asset in a dismounted assault. The following employment considerations apply:
Snipers can be placed with lead elements, moving to positions that allow them to overwatch the dismounted maneuver of the infantry squads and to provide long-range small arms fires.
Snipers may also be placed with a mounted support element, with the assignment of suppressing, fixing, or isolating the enemy on the objective.
If time permits, snipers may be deployed as soon as the element reaches the dismount point.
Snipers may move with infantry squads approaching the objective. They can then occupy a close-in support by fire position from which they can help to suppress or destroy targets threatening the assault of the infantry squads.
To increase security and surprise, snipers may move covertly into position in an objective area well before the main attack and mounted forces arrive.
If their fires are masked, snipers must reposition as soon possible.
During consolidation, snipers may displace forward to new positions. These positions, which are not necessarily on the objective, allow the snipers to provide precision fires against bypassed enemy positions, enemy counterattack forces, or other enemy positions that could degrade the unit's ability to exploit the success of the attack.
SECTION 3 - DEFENSIVE EMPLOYMENT
Snipers can be effective in enhancing or augmenting any unit's defensive fire plan. They must be able to analyze the terrain that will be used in the defense and then recommend employment options to the commander.
The sniper team can perform the following tasks in support of the unit's defensive operations:
Cover obstacles, minefields, roadblocks, and demolition missions.
Perform counterreconnaissance tasks to kill enemy reconnaissance elements.
Engage enemy OPs, armored vehicle commanders (while they are exposed in their vehicles' turrets), and ATGM teams.
Damage vehicle optics to degrade enemy movement capabilities.
Suppress enemy crew-served weapons.
Disrupt follow-on units with long-range small arms fires.
Sniper teams add considerable flexibility to the commander's defensive scheme of maneuver. They can be employed in the following ways:
Snipers are generally positioned to observe or control one or more avenues of approach into the defensive position. Their stealth, mobility, and available weapon systems make them ideal for use against secondary avenues of approach. This enhances the unit's
all-around security and allows the commander to concentrate his combat power against the most likely enemy avenue of approach.
Snipers can establish alternate and supplementary positions to further enhance all-around security.
Snipers can be positioned to overwatch key obstacles or terrain, such as river crossing sites, bridges, and minefields that canalize the enemy directly into engagement areas.
Snipers can play an integral part in the counterreconnaissance effort. They can help to acquire or destroy targets, or both.
Snipers should be tasked to support any unit that is defending a strongpoint. The characteristics of the sniper team enable it to perform independent harassment and observation tasks in support of the force in the strongpoint, either from within or outside of the strongpoint.
SECTION 4 - RETROGRADE EMPLOYMENT
In supporting a retrograde operation, sniper teams must understand the commander's concept, intent, and scheme of maneuver. They must also have a complete grasp of critical information for the operation, including withdrawal times, conditions, and/or priorities; routes; support positions; rally points; and locations of obstacles. The commander must thoroughly plan and coordinate engagement and disengagement criteria for the operation to ensure that snipers can achieve the desired effect without compromising their positions. (NOTE: Refer to Chapter 5 of this manual for a discussion of retrograde operations.)
The following considerations apply for sniper employment during retrograde operations:
Snipers may be assigned any of the following specific tasks during retrograde operations:
- Delay the enemy by inflicting casualties.
- Observe avenues of approach.
- Cover key obstacles with precision fire.
- Direct artillery fires against large enemy formations.
Snipers can assist the delaying force in forcing the enemy to deploy prematurely during retrograde operations. They do this by inflicting casualties with accurate, long-range small arms fire.
Because delaying forces risk being bypassed or overtaken by attacking enemy forces during retrograde operations, commanders may have to provide transportation to move snipers to successive positions.
When snipers find themselves behind the enemy's front, they must be prepared to infiltrate back to friendly positions. Infiltration plans must be fully coordinated to prevent fratricide as sniper teams attempt to reenter the friendly position.
SECTION 5 - MOUT EMPLOYMENT
The value of sniper teams to a unit operating in an urban area depends on several factors, including the type of operation, the level of conflict, and the applicable ROE. Where ROE allow destruction of enemy elements, snipers may have an extremely limited role because other weapon systems available to the mechanized force have greater destructive effect. When the ROE prohibit collateral damage, however, snipers may be the most valuable tool the commander has.
The following considerations apply for sniper employment during MOUT:
Sniper effectiveness depends in part on the terrain; control is degraded by the characteristics of the urban area. To provide timely and effective support, snipers must have a clear picture of the scheme of maneuver and commander's intent.
Snipers should be positioned in buildings of masonry construction. Positions should afford long-range fields of all-around observation and fire.
Snipers should operate throughout the area of operations, moving with and supporting company teams as necessary.
Specific sniper tasks in MOUT include the following:
- Conduct countersniper operations.
- Kill targets of opportunity. Sniper teams prioritize these targets based on their understanding of the commander's intent. For example, they may attack enemy snipers first, followed by (in order) leaders, vehicle commanders, radio operators, engineers, and machine gun crews.
- Control key terrain by denying enemy access to certain areas or avenues of approach.
- Provide supporting fires for barricades and other obstacles.
- Maintain surveillance of flank and rear avenues of approach (screening operations).
- Support local counterattacks with precision fires.
NOTE: Snipers can also be valuable to commanders in stability and support operations, in which the ROE normally restrict collateral damage and civilian casualties. A common task for snipers in such situations is to selectively kill or wound key individuals who pose a threat to friendly forces. This selective engagement allows the unit to avoid causing unacceptable casualties or damage.
FM 71-1 Appendix M Sniper Employment
I hope we have now an overview of Snipers, how they are organised, what is their employment in various ops of war and some training clips of various Armies.
Separate names with a comma.