Professional snipers know how to shoot. They know the basics of ballistics, optics, windage and the capabilities of their weapons. The 2009 US National SWAT Sniper Championship (USSSC) puts that knowledge to the test by adding the stresses of heat, exertion, rapid decision-making and critical communications to each shot taken.

dsc01432.jpgLed by Jack O’Conner the head of the USSSC, Rick Porter and TJ devised a series of six devious and painful events designed to challenge each shooter for every shot. The Run and Gun had each two man team run for hundreds of yards while taking shots from difficult and awkward positions. The Thunder Storm showered the teams with a water mist to complicate the acquisition and accuracy of the sniper and spotter to drop specific targets. The Optics Challenge had each sniper and his spotter work as a team to uncover poker chips that had to be hit. The Mine disposal event required the sniper to detonate a simulated device so that the spotter could engage his specific targets. The Bullet Relay had a course of fire complicated with the need for each shooter to makes several trips to get ammo for his teammate. Finally, the Sectorization event had each team clean up steel targets with his sidearm followed by the sniper engaging targets in multi-story, similar-looking buildings as a proportional distance of 2200 yards. The complexity was that the spotter using radio comms and viewing a notebook had to correctly describe which building and what window the sniper was to engage. Not to mention that each stage also involved carrying an unwieldy 165 dummy, crawling through and over barricades, walls and tunnels in their call-out gear all while being baked by the Oklahoma summer sun!

The two days at the excellent United States Shooting Academy gave each team more experience, confidence and friendships to take back home with them. The German GSG9 team took third, while the defending champs, the Canadian Bruce Power 1AS Team, took second while the Dallas 2H team took top honors.

dsc01490.jpgOverall, everybody is a winner because this type of competition helps refine critical skills for people that lay their lives on the line to keep us all safer. Good job to all.

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