SOTG trains 'invisible shooters'


Fox Raiders
Jul 2, 2007
San Diego, CA
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa (November 14, 2008) -- Marines with III Marine Expeditionary Force's Special Operations Training Group recently helped reinforce the shooting skills of Marines with 3rd Reconnaissance Bn., 3rd Marine Division, and 2nd Bn., 3rd Marines, out of Hawaii, at the Camp Hansen Rifle Range Oct. 20 - Nov. 7.

Staff Sgt. Owen Mulder, the lead sniper instructor for SOTG, taught 10 Marines specific tactics utilized in urban terrain during the Urban Sniper Course.

The snipers were taught various shooting positions that help them adapt to their surroundings, taking them out of their standard prone shooting position, said Mulder.

Mulder, who is the only sniper instructor on staff with SOTG, gave instruction on firing from the standing, kneeling and sitting positions. He said this is one of the hardest parts of the course.

"They're not used to shooting in these positions," said Mulder. "In an urban environment, a lot of times you can't be in the prone."

Focusing on particular areas of the enemies' body is the other focus of the training and another challenging aspect of the course.

Mulder said the head shots, of only 1 to 6 inches in diameter, are the most important ones a shooter can take and if he doesn't hit, the miss will make for a much harder kill.

"The course prepares us for most of the situations we will find in theater. This allows us to know what to expect," said Sgt. Scott Hartmann, a scout sniper with 3rd Recon Bn.

The students are tasked with learning more advanced skills to become more knowledgeable and experienced shooters.

"When they're in the basic sniper course, they learn to take steady well-aimed shots, but in this class they are taught to combat shoot," said Mulder.

Normally when engaging with an enemy combatant, the scout snipers have a clear line of sight.

However, when in an urban environment, there are often more obstacles to consider, such as automobiles.

Mulder said in his eight years as a scout sniper there have been many instances where he has succeeded in mission thanks to the training taught at similar advance sniper courses.

"There have been times where I had to engage several targets at once or only had the target in for a few seconds. The training helps the Marines become familiar with scenarios such as these." he said. "This isn't the traditional hiding in the bushes and shooting." Affairs Info/Archive News Pages/2008/081114-sotg.html
Good article. Thanks for posting.

BTW I notice all stories that come out these days, are about 3rd SOTG.

Did 1st and 2nd SOTG cease to exist after MARSOC and the MSTBs were established?