Soldiers from 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, showed no signs of nerves while undertaking phase two of the notoriously tough basic sniper training at Greenbank Training Area in the past month.
CAPTION: An Army rifleman from 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, fires the Blazer sniper rifle during the live-fire phase of the Basic Sniper Course at Greenbank Training Area, Queensland. Story by Captain Cody Tsaousis. Photo by Signalman Christopher Kingston.
A select group of soldiers tested their abilities across a range of distances and scenarios, overseen by exacting instructors, some with decades of experience.
The course has a low pass rate because of the high standards it requires, but that didn’t deter the trainees, who showed the confidence required to become top-class snipers.
For some, including Private Aaron Whale, the chance to train as a sniper fulfilled a lifelong dream.
“It was an excellent course. It was definitely a different learning environment to anything I’ve experienced in the Army before,” Private Whale said.
“There were a lot of opportunities to improve my soldier skills and it was a great experience.”
Instructors put the students through stress-based scenarios, which enhanced their ability to think quickly under pressure.
Sniper team leader Lance Corporal Reece Tomlinson said some of the trainees exceeded expectations.
“The soldiers are taught how to detect and identify targets that most people might miss.
“Snipers are required to be meticulous with their ability to analyse the battlefield,” Lance Corporal Tomlinson said.
“We had a great panel of students and they all worked at a high level and achieved above the required standard.”