Infantry: December 13, 2001


The US Army's Sniper school (formed in 1987) has been expanded recently due to the demand for more snipers in the Medium Brigades. Those brigades are designed to have a designated sniper in every squad, a two-man sniper team in every company, and two such teams in every battalion. Training at the school has expanded to include more urban warfare tactics. Snipers are taught how to hide and still find targets in an urban setting. Snipers are taught to set up deep inside a room using the window (several feet away) as a keyhole to face specific targets or areas of interest. Soldiers use "duct tape" to create square shapes on their uniforms that would break up their outlines in an urban landscape dominated by right angles and straight lines. Training has also introduced a new weapon to Army snipers, the fifty-caliber Barrett M82A1 anti-materiel rifle. Long used by the Marines (who used it in the Gulf War to damage Iraqi artillery among other things), this rifle will soon be adopted by the Army to attack equipment and lightly-armored vehicles. (Army Special Forces have been using this weapon for some time now.)--Stephen V Cole




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