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What to do with snipers?


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I'm in the airfield campaign mission and I have no idea how snipers are used today. In CMx1 I used them for spotting and suppressing. That should have changed a bit because of the superior spotting abilities of vehicles today.

So, how do you use your snipers best in open or urban terrein? Do they lead, stay behind until the situation develops,...? What about engagement ranges? Feel free to enlighten me! smile.gif

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Ditto, find the highest ground the furthest away from combat. Let them go to work spotting enemy forces and shooting targets of value. On the airfield map I had them on the roof of the control tower and they never took rounds but sent plenty down range. They also helped spot some enemy targets and I used the snipers for the Apaches coming in since I couldn't get my art spotter in place as fast.

Engagement ranges, they should be accurate to 1000 meters, further if the right weapon is in play. Spotting, they shouldn't have a issue seeing across any big map if they are on high ground.

I also keep them in the rear, behind the main infantry thrust. If a situation develops that they could get in better range by flanking I'll do so, and send protection with them.

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I had a problem with a sniper squad. I wanted to attack a target which was roughly 700m away. The sniper had an M110 but didn't even start shooting although the manual says that it is precise up to 1000m. Has anybody managed to shoot over long distances with snipers?

By the way: When they shoot over short distances, they aren't really precise either.

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Taken from "Combined Arms Maneuver During Urban Combat"

by Arthur A. Durante, Deputy Chief of Doctrine, U.S. Army Infantry School

and CAPT Shenandoah Sanchez, Tactics Instructor, Basic School, USMC

OBSERVATION 5: Sniper employment in urban combat. The value of the sniper to a unit operating in an urban area depends on several factors. These factors include the type of operation, the level of conflict, and the rules of engagement. When the ROE allows destruction of a building, snipers may not be needed since other weapons systems available to a mechanized force have greater destructive effect. However, they can contribute to the fight. When the ROE prohibit collateral damage, snipers may be a valuable tool to the commander.

DISCUSSION 5: Sniper effectiveness depends in part on the terrain. Control is degraded by the characteristics of an urban area. To provide timely and effective support, the sniper must have a clear picture of the scheme of maneuver and the commander's intent.

§ Observation and fields of fire are clearly defined by roadways, but surveillance is limited by rooftops, windows, and doorways; each of these require constant observation. Also, the effects of smoke from military obscurants and burning buildings can degrade what appears to be an excellent vantage point. The requirement for all-round defense must be met because the enemy can fire from many directions and because enemy infiltration attempts must be countered.

§ Cover and concealment are excellent for both the attacker and the defender. However, the defender has a decisive advantage; the attacker normally must expose himself during movement through the area.

§ Avenues of approach that remain inside buildings are best. Movement there is less easily detected than movement through the streets. The sniper must be conscious of ALL avenues of approach and must be prepared to engage targets that appear on any of them.

Snipers should be positioned in buildings of masonry, concrete, or stone construction. These buildings should also offer long-range fields of fire and all-round observation. The sniper has an advantage because he does not have to move with, or be positioned with, lead elements. He may occupy a elevated position to the rear or flank and some distance away from the element he is supporting. By operating far from the other elements, a sniper avoids decisive engagement, but remains close enough to kill distant targets that threaten the unit. Snipers should not be placed in obvious positions, such as church steeples and rooftops, since the enemy often observes these and targets them for destruction. Indirect fires can generally penetrate rooftops and cause casualties in top floors of buildings. Also, snipers should not be positioned where there is heavy traffic; these areas invite enemy observation as well.

TTP: Snipers should be free to operate throughout the area of operations, moving with and supporting the companies as necessary. Some teams may operate independent of other forces. They search for targets of opportunity, especially for enemy snipers. The team may occupy multiple positions. A single position may not afford adequate observation for the entire team without increasing the risk of detection by the enemy. Separate positions must maintain mutual support. Alternate and supplementary positions should also be established in urban areas.

TTP: Snipers may be assigned the following tasks:

§ Conducting counter-sniper operations.

§ Killing targets of opportunity. The sniper team prioritizes these targets based on their understanding of the commander's intent--for example, enemy snipers first, then leaders, vehicle commanders, radio men, sappers, and machine gun crews, in that order.

§ Denying enemy access to certain areas or avenues of approach (controlling key terrain).

§ Providing fire support for barricades and other obstacles.

§ Maintaining surveillance of flank and rear avenues of approach (screening).

§ Supporting local counterattacks with precision fire.

TTP: Snipers can be valuable to commanders in operations other than war. Since excessive collateral damage and civilian casualties are normally restricted by the ROE, snipers can selectively engage key individuals who pose a threat to friendly forces. This selective engagement avoids unacceptable civilian casualties or collateral damage. Enemy personnel may hide in the midst of the civilian populace. Engaging these targets would probably cause innocent casualties. This puts U.S. forces at a disadvantage. The soldiers must first identify the gunman (this may be nearly impossible from their vantage point). Then, without hurting innocent bystanders, they must stop him from continuing to fire or from fleeing. This is an easier task for a sniper than for the infantry on the ground. The sniper can look down on the crowd, use his optics to continuously scan, and employ precision fire to eliminate the identified threat without harming bystanders. Though other unit optical systems may supplement the surveillance effort (Dragons and TOWs from the ground or from the upper floors of buildings), they cannot engage the target for the previously stated reasons. The sniper rifle provides the commander with the ONLY system that can both identify and engage the target. Also, after identifying the target, Dragons and TOWs still need time to guide a precision weapon or maneuver unit to the target to deal with it.

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