Page 35 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 35

 Sniper Pl
This year, 1 RIFLES’ Sniper Platoon delivered a Basic Sniper Operators Cadre from 3rd September to 2nd November 2018. The basic sniper cadre is one of the hardest courses you can complete outside SF selection due to the steep learning curve of new skills required, combined with the physical and mental demands of the course.
In order to maximise the training experience, it is necessary for students to arrive physically fit and well prepared for the demanding 10-week course. The course itself is developmental and progressive, building upon previous training and experience. Prior to attending this cadre students were expected to have achieved several pre- requisite standards: they must be at the current Marksman standard on the SA80 Rifle, a class one soldier with a minimum of two years’ service in the unit, have excellent vision (correctable to 20/20), not be colour blind, and be a volunteer.
The sniper cadre training concentrates on the 7 basic sniper skills; Sniper Knowledge, Map Reading, Navigation, Observation, Judging Distance, Stalking, and Marksmanship. These are also the output standards for the cadre that the potential snipers are assessed on. To become a qualified sniper, you must consistently past these tests at over 70%.
Commencing with fifteen students, this year’s cadre contained a mix of those already in the Sniper Platoon - having completed a selection the previous year but still unqualified - and the remaining made up from rifle company nominations.
The first few weeks covered the start standard
Sniper strength
assessments for fitness and map reading then steadily increasing the knowledge required with all the rifle lessons, covering everything from weapon characteristics to ballistics. Then it was onto weapon handling tests, the employment of snipers and other fieldcraft lessons, getting them ready for their first time firing the sniper rifle on the range.
The next four weeks would see the sniper cadre deploying to Sennybridge training area (SENTA) to conduct fieldcraft and assess what had been taught. The final weeks of the cadre consisted of the essential live firing elements, using Senny- bridge and Castlemartin ranges.
After a long and arduous cadre, from the fifteen Riflemen that started the course 5 ‘Badged’ as qualified snipers; demonstrating their high abilities in all sniper badge tests. These newly qualified snipers now join the Battalion’s Sniper Platoon. CSjt Seemayer
OC Sniper Pl, S Coy
          On the sniper range at SENTA

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