Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Welsh snipers show courage and constraint
Members of Fire Support Company, 1st Battalion the Royal Welsh have been showing courage and constraint whilst clearing insurgents from positions near Shahzad in South West Helmand. Tasked with providing flanking protection for army bomb disposal teams, army marksmen held insurgents back from positions in a towered compound as their colleagues moved through the area. The action was part of building on the progress of Op Moshtarak.
The team had been tasked to secure a compound, but on patrolling towards the location came under heavy fire from Taliban fighters.
Sniper two “We left our patrol base just before first light towards the compound we wanted to go to and came under contact. We carried out our drills and observed, but couldn’t see anyone so pushed on and that’s when all hell broke loose. We were attacked by different weapons and people, so we moved under fire towards the compound.”
The commander in charge of the team, continues, “Straight inside, after the complete adrenaline outside, we were expecting them (the insurgents) to be in the compound, but we were confronted by four children, an elderly man and his wife. The lads switched on straight away, cleared the compound of the locals and the interpreter dealt with them. From there, I co-ordinated the two snipers up onto the roof…. As soon as they started observing, we took fire from small arms….with shots hitting the compound wall to our front.”
The snipers had to use their observation skills to clearly identify the insurgents from the locals. Using the British Army .338 L115A3 Long Range Rifle, which has state-of-the-art telescopic day and night all-weather sights, the soldiers were able to win the fire fight without injuring civilians.
Sniper one comments, “Once we got up into the tower, we identified the enemy with a weapon, and distinguished between them and civilians, who they were using as human shields at the time. We had sniper rifles, the .338, which is a precision weapon, so we were able to take clean shots without injuring any civilians.”
Sniper Two, “When I was observing, first of all I saw women and children. I was trying to find the firing points, because they had been using ‘murder holes’, holes in walls which they’ve knocked out so they can stick their rifle through. I was checking the walls for that. At the end of the wall, I saw an insurgent take a knee, raise his weapon up to his soldier and fire a burst at our compound, so I took my aim, took my time with the shot and engaged him”