"The United States Army needs to act. Snipers have a unique skill set that is not being used to its full capacity. The demand for their skills and expertise continues to increase, but the incentive for seasoned snipers to stay is non-existent. The framework and structure for a Warrant Officer sniper MOS would prove to be very successful and would continue the growth of the military’s greatest force multiplier, the sniper."
SSG Christopher Rance, who recently competed in the Army Sniper Association's International Sniper Competition, has had an article published in Small Arms Review. Though much of what he says may sound like common sense to Kit Up! readership, the simple fact that he needed to write it all is ample proof that - like many lessons from many conflicts in the past - Big Army (and all of DoD) frequently forgets what it has learned...or chooses to ignore it. In addition to making some points about continuation and training, he discusses lessons learned from the competition.
"Snipers are becoming an increasingly valued weapon in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan. A definite renaissance of sniping is being seen across the front lines of war. The sniper was such an effective tool in Iraq that the sniper’s tactical comeback in Afghanistan is being facilitated by the mounting concerns over the number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan caused by collateral damage from coalition air strikes. This has made the sniper the military’s most cost effective, discriminating fighting machine in the Global War on Terror. As the military draws down and budget cuts loom, the military will place additional dependence on affordable force multipliers.
Two of the most effective force multipliers currently in the war on terror are unmanned aerial drones (UAVs) and the modern military sniper. These force multipliers can be outfitted to emphasize any role necessary, from reconnaissance to combat and everything in between. Both are relatively inexpensive and fit well into the military’s transformation to a smaller, more agile force."