Photo Of The Day: Above you can see two U.S. Soldiers, assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, fire at targets during the Jäger Shot competition at the 7th Army Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA), Germany. Let’s say that the shooting support is a bit unusual.
The 7th ATC conducted the Jäger Shot competition during October 2020, to promote team building, strengthen techniques, build esprit de corps and enhance mentorship within the sniper community.
Below: My spotter has a spotter.
GRAFENWOEHR TRAINING AREA, Germany – Jäger Shot 2020 was a competitive sniper training event where Soldiers, assigned to different 7th Army Training Command units or areas of operation, learned and practiced sniper fundamentals, Oct. 18-23, here.
As the world continues to face a pandemic, 7th ATC leaders held the event to continue to maintain and build operational readiness while including mitigation efforts to protect health of the force participating in the event.
During Jäger Shot 2020, the observer/coach-trainers from the Joint Multinational Readiness Center, one of 7ATC’s directorates, took precautions to protect the Soldiers and accomplish the mission of training competitors who are aspiring to be snipers.
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael David Sanchez, the JMRC Warhog O/C-T Team senior enlisted advisor for Jäger Shot 2020, said the cadre members’ priority was to take necessary measures to ensure the safety of participants.
“All team members are tested and screened daily,” said Sanchez. “We take temperatures every morning and evening, recording them every single time.”
In addition to being screened for temperatures, Soldiers wore face masks and maintained social distance where possible.
“Regardless if we have a pandemic throughout the globe, we still train and move forward to the best capacity possible,” said Sanchez. “At the end of the day, we try to mimic a real-world situation as much as possible.”
First Sgt. Luis Hererra, JMRC Warhog O/C-T Team cadre member for Jäger Shot 2020, agreed with Sanchez.
He said it was the cadre’ team effort protecting the young Soldiers who participated in the training.
Even though the training often required a sniper and spotter team to be in close contact, the cadre directed teams to socially distance when not involved in training.
“The sniper and spotter work in tandem in order to be lethal,” said Hererra. “When not involved in their training, the teams take necessary measures to protect themselves.”
As lead sniper, Hererra said he understands the value of quality training.
He said that Jäger Shot 2020 brought teams from all over to learn from senior snipers, hone their skills, and become more lethal. Yet, he was aware of COVID-19 and the serious impact on training, especially for snipers.
“Even though we are in a bubble, we still try to be mindful of the impact of COVID-19,” said Herrera. “When you have people near that are not a part of our bubble, we have them take necessary precautions to protect ourselves, such as wearing a mask.”
As the cadre continued training the young aspiring snipers, Sanchez reflected on what it takes to become a sniper. Sanchez said it is a combination of various traits in order to be a part of that family.
“This skill set is among a small community and it takes a special, special Soldier to do it,” said Sanchez. “Once you’re a sniper, you’re a sniper for life.”
Here’s a video from the event. Shooting from a lorry looks like a challenge.
All photos by the U.S. Army. Photo by Sgt. Audrequez Evans.