Marine scout snipers scope out new tactics



Marine scout snipers scope out new tactics

11th MEU
Cpl. Scott M. Biscuiti
UDAIRI RANGE COMPLEX, Kuwait (Jan. 30, 2008) -- Thanks to new sniping tactics picked up by Marine scout snipers in Kuwait, insurgents caught in their scopes are guaranteed to have a bad day.

The Scout Sniper Platoon and Reconnaissance Marines with Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, attended a ten-day training package Jan. 20-30 headed by National Sniper Champion Todd Hodnett who taught the Marines how to improve their lethality with new shooting formulas, shooting positions and techniques.

“Training with Todd Hodnett has taken our capabilities to a level that I didn’t think was possible as a scout sniper,” said Cpl. Ryan Lindner, a scout sniper with Scout Sniper Platoon and Napa Valley, Calif., native. “Todd has really revolutionary tactics about shooting (around, over and within buildings.)”

During the training, the snipers where able to effectively engage targets that were behind buildings and many Marines hit targets at distances that they never attempted before.

One particular technique learned on the ranges was shooting loopholes. This technique makes the shooter virtually invisible from enemy detection by allowing him to shoot through a two-inch hole in a wall while 20 to 30-feet away from the hole.

“I’ve done stuff out here that I’ve never even heard of before,” Cpl. Scott Koppenhafer, a scout sniper with Scout Sniper Platoon, said about the training. “It directly correlates to everything we would do in combat.”

1st Lt. Frank Edwards, Scout Sniper Platoon commander, said the Marines have been using personal digital assistants or PDAs to expand their capabilities.

“PDAs are relatively new to the Marine Corps and very new to our platoon,” said the Olney, Md., native. “It’s a quicker, more efficient way for our guys to do math calculations such as atmospheric pressure, wind speed and target range so they can make their adjustments faster.”

Using the hand-held devices was a new experience for many of the Marines.

“This is the first time I’ve worked with them,” said Koppenhafer, a Mancos, Colo., native. “It used to take a week on the range going through boxes and boxes of ammo to build up data for your rifles. The PDA cancels that out. What used to take a week, now takes an hour.”

In addition to learning advanced formulas and using modern technology to gain the upper hand, the Marines prepared themselves for the unexpected by shooting with different ammo and storing the results in their PDAs.

“If a sniper is in a firefight and has to switch to different ammo, he already has the data in his PDA,” said Edwards.

As time changes, so too do the tactics and technological advances available to snipers. Learning what they are and how to employ them will keep Marine scout snipers at the top of the food chain, said Lindner.

“Taking what Todd has taught us enlarges everything we can do,” said Lindner. “We can engage targets a lot faster, farther and with a lot more accuracy. It will make us that much more of a combat multiplier out on the battlefield.”
I have sucessfully shot through a couple of loopholes for practice. It was something that a friend of mine (former SOF) taught me. But I will tell you that the PDA thing sounds kinda nice. :cool:
Glad to hear you guys say that about loopholes, I was very surprised to read that.

That PDA thing sounds cool... as long as it doesnt break or run out of batteries.
We did that in the basic course!

I was going to say that, but you beat me to it. Even the insurgents are doing this. Someone having a deadline and squeezing out this article just makes us all look like tools. Irresponsible journalism is what I call it...or half-assed, take your pick.

There is still something to be said for firing hundreds of rounds to work our your dope. The PDA would be nice for keeping all that information handy, but you can't take generic information and apply it to all rifles/ammunition. It would be a good starting point though.