How to hunt a sniper who is a highly trained soldier who specializes in stealth, camouflage, infiltration, and observation techniques, shooting targets with modified rifles from incredibly long distances.
Depends on how well trained he is. Depends on what resources you have available.
Let’s engage in a hypothetical scenario.
You are a Company Commander of a Company of paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne at a FOB (Forward Operating Base) in Afghanistan. For several days, your soldiers have come under well aimed sniper fire. This is evident because the sniper fires one round, and hits one target. Several soldiers have been wounded, and one has been killed.
Hunting a Sniper!
Request assets. You will need help locating the sniper. Request help from the professionals. Request other snipers, UAV’s, dedicated fire support.
Look for patterns. Does the sniper use a particular type of rifle? Has anyone heard the rounds? Can you determine a direction they came from? Does the sniper always engage at a particular time of day? Has this location always come under accurate sniper fire at certain times of year? Does the sniper engage particular areas of your FOB?
You want to determine: Who? Where? When? and Why?
Who is the sniper? Is he a Chechen trained by the Russians and brought in for this one task? or he just an exceptionally good shot from among the local fighters? Is he a fighter home on ‘leave’?
Where is he? Obviously the key. But more than just his hides and shooting positions. Where does he sleep? Does he live with the local fighters and move into position?
When does he operate? Does he move into position at dawn and shoot at dusk? Does he move into position and shoot at dusk?
Why? Shoot one soldier per day? Draw assets from another base in preparation for an attack on that base? Restrict the movements and observation of this FOB perhaps in preparation for a large body of soldiers moving through the area?
These questions will not all be answered, but the more information the better.
Rely on HUMINT as well as SIGINT
- Find out who he is, and what he is doing there. The local Taliban commander may let something slip on the radio. A local grandmother may tell an informant that her son is home on leave, or that she does not like the Arab hiding in the mountains.
- Determine a number of shooting positions, hides, rally points, etc. that the sniper may be using. Use other snipers to assist in determining his likely shooting positions.
- Watch those shooting positions. Employ snipers to watch his most likely firing positions. Pre plan indirect fires on the other positions.
- Engage the sniper. Employ your preplanned fires on his most likely firing positions. Dispatch the QRF (Quick Reaction Force) to locate the body.
Rules of Engagement of severely limited the use of indirect fires in Afghanistan. If they are not available, request sniper assets and deploy designated marksman. Direct fire weapons such as Javelins may also used.
This was written by Daniel Kearns on Quora.