GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Military snipers know hitting a small target several hundred meters away requires patience, practice and nerves of steel. It also requires knowing how factors like temperature, wind and elevation can affect their accuracy.

Seventeen multi-national special operations snipers dug in to the mountains near Lizum, Austria this month to learn how to use high-altitude terrain to their advantage as part of the International Special Training Centre's (ISTC) High Angle/Urban Sniper Course, Oct. 13-26.

The course is designed to provide the most current tactics, techniques and procedures for sniper engagement in mountainous and urban terrain, said U.S. Army Lt. Col. Harry C. Marson, ISTC commander.

The sniper students learned how to zero their weapons in a blustery alpine environment, as well as employing down-slope and cross-valley sniper techniques. They also had to work together in multi-national, two-man teams.

"This course not only strengthens the alliances between attending multi-national personnel, but expands the capabilities of our partner special operations forces," said Marson.

The ISTC, located in Pfullendorf, Germany, is a centralized training installation for Special Operations Forces (SOF) and their enablers. Courses include instruction on advanced SOF skills in planning, close-quarter combat, sniper, medical and conduct-after-capture operations.

"Graduates of these courses are able to apply these techniques when working with any NATO nation," said Marson. "This type of effort is critical to sustaining and reinforcing our partnership with SOF units within NATO."

The ISTC provides the SOF training component of the U.S. Army Europe's 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command.