Army Sniper Recounts Amazing Shot

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    Exclamation Army Sniper Recounts Amazing Shot

    American Forces Press Service ^ Defense.gov News Article: Army Sniper Recounts Amazing Shot | Chuck Cannon

    FORT POLK, La., April 23, 2010 – It was April 2007 and the early-morning sky was clear as Army sniper Sgt. 1st Class Brandon McGuire and his spotter scanned for insurgents near Forward Operating Base Iskandaryia in Iraq.

    "We were observing a stretch of road that had recently been cleared of IEDs [improvised explosive devices]," said McGuire, now the first sergeant of Alpha Troop, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 509th Infantry Regiment that’s based here.

    "The area had also seen a lot of mortar activity,” McGuire recalled. “We had several soldiers killed and severely wounded along that stretch of road by IEDs and mortars."

    As the two soldiers gazed across the expanse between their hiding place - an abandoned shed - and their target area, they noticed a man in local garb sauntering up and down through a series of canals. When he dug into a canal bank and uncovered a mortar tube, McGuire knew this was a target.

    "We called the battalion tactical operations center and reported what we had," said McGuire, who hails from Olathe, Kan. "We were granted permission to engage the target."

    However, engaging the target was easier said than done.

    "We measured the distance at 1,310 meters," McGuire said. "There was a crosswind of 8-10 knots and a sand storm was heading our way. We didn't have a lot of time."

    Yet time was needed. Snipers are trained to make a triangle from a target's chin to his chest, and then aim for that mark. But McGuire's target was moving up and down through canals, making it difficult for the Army marksman to get a clear shot. And, it was necessary to make calculations for windage.

    But, McGuire caught a break - there were some children flying kites not far from the target. "We were able to use the kites to help estimate the wind speed at the target," McGuire said. "We watched for almost two hours before the target presented himself in such a way that I was able to get a clear shot."

    McGuire said he didn't think he would hit his target with the first shot.

    "I was hoping I would get close enough to make an adjustment and hit him with the second shot," McGuire said. "I knew that when I fired there would be a brown out for a couple of seconds - the dust would block my vision - so I was depending on my spotter to let me know where the first round hit."

    McGuire took a breath and then squeezed the trigger of his Barrett .50 caliber sniper weapon system. After the dust cleared, McGuire prepared for a second shot, but was unable to find the target.

    "I asked my spotter, 'Where is he?'" McGuire recalled. The spotter replied: “I think you got him."

    McGuire said that for a couple of seconds there was disbelief on his part. Then it was back to work scanning the sector for targets.

    The shot was so effective that no one knew about it, other than McGuire, his spotter - and the target.

    "Even the kids flying the kites were oblivious to what happened," McGuire said. "They just kept flying their kites."

    McGuire had removed an insurgent who had helped kill and wound American soldiers.

    "No one knew who shot him," McGuire said. "Not even the local elders.

    The U.S. soldiers in the area gained an immediate benefit with the death of the insurgent, McGuire said.

    "We'd had so many soldiers killed and who had lost legs,” he said. “After the shot the daily mortar attacks and IEDs ceased in that area."

    McGuire said "the million-dollar shot," as it became known among members of his unit, was a big deal to coalition forces in the area.

    "Everyone was congratulating me," he said. "But to me, it seemed like another day in Iraq."

    McGuire recently returned from a trip to California to film a segment of an upcoming History Channel special entitled "Sniper: The Deadliest Mission." The two-hour documentary is scheduled to air this fall.

    "I spent a couple of hours in an interview, then shot the rest of the day with another sniper," McGuire said. "It was a lot of fun."

    McGuire attributes the success of the improbable shot to tactical patience.

    "It took us two hours to get the shot picture I needed on the target because of the terrain," he said. "We waited, then finally got the shot. Hitting a human target is not like a deer or something.

    "With an animal, you can kind of predict what their movements are going to be, but with a human, you don't know what they are going to do."
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Member Array Shotgun Willie's Avatar
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    Great read! Thanks!
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    Ex Member Array WhoWeBePart1's Avatar
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    Great story. Thanks for sharing and I cannot wait for that show to air.

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    Alpha Troop? Did they switch to Cav since last I checked? Back when I was in the 1-509th, A Co, B Co, and D Troop (yes, D Troop) were OPFOR at JRTC and C Co was a separate unit. I know that C Co stood up a few years ago when 3-509th was reactivated in Alaska, but I certainly hadn't heard that they had moved around the Cav troop in the Bn. Interesting...

    All that OPFOR minutia aside, that is one HELL of a shot...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Wink Here one moment and gone the next!

    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    All that OPFOR minutia aside, that is one HELL of a shot...
    Imagine the surprise of the target! One moment you're planning the infidel's demise, the next you're chatting with Allah and asking for the girls.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    OPFOR: BTW, Did the 1/509th move out of Vincenze (sp?) Italy?
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Um, yeah, they left Vincenza in 1983. :)

    And another small bit of military trivia, that the vast majority of folks IN the military don't know... It's 1-509th, not 1/509th, because their higher headquarters is not the 509th Regiment. The slash is only appropriate when the unit before the slash reports to the unit behind the slash. In the modern Army, there are very few complete regiments remaining, and few battalions that have a Regimental Headquarters as their next higher command. For most units, the regimental designator is there just to keep that regiment "alive" in the system. The 75th is still a complete regiment with a Regimental HQ, as is the 2nd Cavalry...I'm sure there are more, but I can't think of any at the moment...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Sorry, I've only been off active duty for ummm lessee here.... 26 years. When I was on active duty, I had a buddy go to the 509th in Italy. That was in 1982. At that point they were only THINKING about forming the third Ranger Bn at Benning. There were only the two active outfits at Lewis (where I was stationed) and at Stewart or Hunter Ligget whichever you prefer.

    However, on a side note, I'm going to get to go and play with the grunts I hope on May 24, 25 & 26. The USMC runs a special deal for EDUCATORS and they pick up 100% of the tab. I was the first in line last week and my principal has nicely said he'd pick up the cost for the substitute and charge it as a seminar so I won't get docked a leave day. Going to PARRIS ISLAND. Supposedly this program is so effective, it can take a hard core liberal antimilitary freak and turn them into a true believer. I hope so 'cuz the other folks that are going from my school fit that description EXACTLY. But I'm hoping they'll look on my background in benevolent fashion and maybe let me SHOOT... every thing available on the island. I'm going to ask for Ma Deuce, SAW and maybe M203. For starters. I also hope to do some rappelling (maybe from a Blackhawk) but we'll see. You know that grunt in the USMC is an acronym, right?
    Ground
    Replacement
    Usually
    Not
    Trained

    The acronym for USMC isn't even printable! LOL
    Last edited by ExSoldier; April 25th, 2010 at 01:17 AM. Reason: add content on my upcoming USMC trip
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

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    Member Array merrell's Avatar
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    Great story. Thanks for being there when needed.

    Go Army

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    Great story, unbelievable shooting.
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    Snipers are a force multiplier! One sniper shot and look how the BG's responded!
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    Sorry, I've only been off active duty for ummm lessee here.... 26 years. When I was on active duty, I had a buddy go to the 509th in Italy. That was in 1982. At that point they were only THINKING about forming the third Ranger Bn at Benning. There were only the two active outfits at Lewis (where I was stationed) and at Stewart or Hunter Ligget whichever you prefer.

    However, on a side note, I'm going to get to go and play with the grunts I hope on May 24, 25 & 26. The USMC runs a special deal for EDUCATORS and they pick up 100% of the tab. I was the first in line last week and my principal has nicely said he'd pick up the cost for the substitute and charge it as a seminar so I won't get docked a leave day. Going to PARRIS ISLAND. Supposedly this program is so effective, it can take a hard core liberal antimilitary freak and turn them into a true believer. I hope so 'cuz the other folks that are going from my school fit that description EXACTLY. But I'm hoping they'll look on my background in benevolent fashion and maybe let me SHOOT... every thing available on the island. I'm going to ask for Ma Deuce, SAW and maybe M203. For starters. I also hope to do some rappelling (maybe from a Blackhawk) but we'll see. You know that grunt in the USMC is an acronym, right?
    Ground
    Replacement
    Usually
    Not
    Trained

    The acronym for USMC isn't even printable! LOL
    1st Bn is at Hunter Army Airfield in downtown Savannah, a pretty good ways from Stewart. Fort Hunter Liggett is in CA, near where Ft. Ord used to be...apparently, it's now a training center focusing on reserve component units. But I knew what you meant.

    That program with the Marines sounds pretty cool, you'll have to let us know how it goes!
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Great story. Good shooting, see all that training and practice pays off!
    Hiram25
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    Senior Member Array Beans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExSoldier View Post
    But I'm hoping they'll look on my background in benevolent fashion and maybe let me SHOOT... every thing available on the island. I'm going to ask for Ma Deuce, SAW and maybe M203. For starters. I also hope to do some rappelling (maybe from a Blackhawk) but we'll see. You know that grunt in the USMC is an acronym, right?
    The acronym for USMC isn't even printable! LOL
    Don't be surprised if after recognizeing that your ex-Army they hand you a Red Rider

    Semper Fi

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