The second annual European Best Sniper Squad competition was hosted at the Grafenwoehr Training Area by the U.S. 7th Army Training Command from September 24 -28. There were a total of 18 teams from across Europe that came and competed for top honors in many different disciplines that tested the teams to the max over the five day period. While the intent of the event was to bring allied sniper teams together to build camaraderie and share knowledge through friendly competition, there was still a good amount of national pride and rivalry on the line.
The desired sharing of knowledge among the teams was a core reason for the event and it did happen as each of the teams were willing partners in both sharing and gathering knowledge from each other. The “friendship shoot” even allowed the teams to swap weapons and equipment to familiarize themselves on other equipment from different European countries. The competitors consisted of teams from Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, German, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The two teams from the United States were from the 173rd Airborne Brigade (Vicenza, Italy) and the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Vilseck, Germany).
There were a number of events that were scored to determine the overall winning team. These events included, but were not limited to:
- Helicopter borne high-angle shoot
- Water shoot from a Zodiac
- Night shoot
- Various other advanced marksmanship competitions
- Graded Stalk
- 20km march
- Land Navigation Course
- Obstacle Course
The team from Belgium took home the top honors for the competition with the team from Sweden in Second and the team from the Czech Republic bringing home third.
These competitions are not just to see who is the best, but when done properly like this one, allows the teams from friendly forces to be able to share knowledge and become more effective. It was great to see the vast diversity of teams that participated and the level of training that was done in the name of competition. Even in the military, it is not easy to put together the resources to perform live fire training from helicopters or rafts, as well as put together other realistic scenarios. Kudos to the 7th Army Training Command for putting on this event and congratulations to the winners.
Sniper Central 2017