MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII, Hawaii -- You have one bullet to get it right. That is the reality of being a sniper.
Look toward the sniper range on Marine Corps Base Hawaii during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022 and you wouldn’t know anyone was there. It is only the sound of a snap of suppressed rifles firing into the distance that gives a clue to their position. What you cannot see, hidden in the grass, are snipers from Australia, Mexico, Indonesia and the United States honing their skills.
They are concealed amongst shrubs, ready and waiting, their rifles just revealing themselves off the edge of a cliff. Using the art of disguise, they aim to master the element of surprise. Their target could be 1,500 meters away and the enemy would never suspect a thing.
Their targets, in this case, are robotic marathon dummy targets that move and respond like they are real.
Australian Army snipers from 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, have been leading training for their counterparts from Mexico, Indonesia and the United States during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2022. They have conducted training including observation lanes, stalking crawls, a mile ‘yowie’ run and live fire serials.
Australian Army Sergeant Isaac Morgan from 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, is proud to be leading the training for the partner nations.
"Working with other nations not only builds trust, but allows us to align our common goals," said Morgan. "We get an opportunity to work together, in a multi-nation team, to solve the problems that we each face in our jobs. Learning from each other lets us cast off our own institutional blinders and helps improve our decision making by drawing on the alternative perspectives of our fellow soldiers."
Responsible for the range is U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lieutenant Owen Firebaugh, who is enjoying the opportunity to learn from and train with other forces.
"Working with the Australians so far has been a real pleasure, getting to understand how they train and how we train. I think the Marines have learned a lot from working with the Australians, it is only going to benefit us and make us more prepared.’"
When you have one bullet to get it right, you have to know you can rely on each other.