By Spc. John OnuohaMay 11, 2016
FORT STEWART, Ga. -- Soldiers of Troops C and D, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, conducted sniper rifle training with a focus on basic sniper skills at Fort Stewart, Georgia, May 3.
The purpose of this training was to teach Soldiers how to observe enemies during combat operations without detection and how to use sniper weapon systems.
"Snipers are qualified specialists that operate alone or in a team to maintain visual contact with the enemy and engage targets with sniper rifles when necessary," said Spc. John Heard, an infantryman with Troop C, 6-8 Cavalry.
Three types of sniper rifles were used for this training: the XM2010 enhanced sniper rifle, M107 .50 caliber long range sniper rifle and M110 semi-automatic sniper system.
"The XM2010 enhanced sniper rifle has a maximum effective range of 1200 meters and is usually employed when a sniper is at a hide site, which is a concealed position from which a sniper and his team can conduct surveillance or fire at targets without being detected by the enemy; M110 semi-automatic sniper system is a gunfighter's weapon, it is usually used when Soldiers are on patrol and is capable of delivering precision fire to enemy targets out to 800 meters; and M107 .50 caliber long range sniper rifle's primary mission is to engage and defeat material targets at extended ranges," said Heard.
Soldiers shared their knowledge on sniper rifles by practicing in different shooting positions: the kneeling position, prone supported and prone unsupported positions.
"This training made it possible for us to reinforce what we know as snipers and pass on the knowledge to Soldiers in order to help them become better at using sniper weapon systems," said Spc. Blake Reyna, an infantryman with Troop C, 6-8 Cavalry. "The prone supported position is the most accurate and comfortable shooting position. This training aims to teach a high degree of proficiency in camouflage, stalking, concealment, observation and map reading under various operational conditions."
Reyna also expressed that he liked training with Troop D Soldiers because it builds cohesion and standard in the squadron. Reyna said he hopes the squadron continues to train together to help Soldiers learn how to use different weapon systems.
"Training on sniper rifles is seldom, and that is why Soldiers appreciate it," said Sgt. Christopher Marinucci, an infantryman with Troop C, 6-8 Cav. "Soldiers look forward to training more on sniper rifles and it is something I have always enjoyed learning."
This training showed how open Soldiers are to learning new combat skills and it is something they look forward to doing often as they train to be proficient in shooting sniper rifles and learn other basic sniper skills, according to Marinucci.
"It is great when Soldiers come together to train as a Squadron because it builds unity and flexibility," Marinucci said. "You never know when you would have to use a sniper rifle in combat to support your team and that is why this training is important. We enjoyed the opportunity to train on sniper weapon systems, and it is something we would like to do often."