Story and photos by Spc. Anthony J. Lecours
11th Armored Cavalry Regiment Public Affairs Office

FORT IRWIN, Calif. -- "Ready… ready… fire" is shouted out over a desert firing range as Sgt. Gil Landtiser, a Trooper with Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, fires a shot. Landtiser then confirms his shot and then moves on to the next target.
To help prepare their Troopers for the urban battlefield, the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment conducted a Basic Sniper Observer Course at Fort Irwin, Calif., April 16-20.
Snipers are an important part of any team because of their ability to successfully engage the enemy at a distance, said Ronnie Frigulti, course instructor with over 30 years experience in the field. The class covers both the M110 Semi-Automatic Sniper System and the bolt action M24 weapon systems.
"The sniper position on tactical teams is the most demanding," said Frigulti. "It takes a lot of self discipline."
Troopers spent their mornings during the course learning marksmanship techniques, ballistics, and maintenance of the weapons systems. Afternoons are spent on the firing range where they put their new skills into practice.
Every afternoon we go to the range in order to practice what we've learned that morning, said Spc. Victor Hernandez, a Trooper with Fury Troop, 2nd Squadron, 11th ACR.
The course taught Troopers how to refine their accuracy and follow through with close range shots. These techniques will improve their precision marksman at long range distances.
"It's fun and a great learning experience," said Hernandez.
Marksmanship and maintenance are key to any weapons system. The Basic Sniper Observer Course gave the Troopers that attended the tools necessary to operate in any environment. The skills learned from the course will serve the 11th ACR Troopers as they train the units for future missions.