Two Cheers for Canada
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    Two Cheers for Canada
    Snipers killed more than 20 al-Qaeda fighters: report
    Soldier of fortune: Defence officials won't confirm death count

    Michael Higgins
    National Post

    Tuesday, July 09, 2002

    Canadian snipers are being credited with more than 20 kills in Afghanistan, including one from 2,400 metres away -- almost a mile and a half.

    If validated, the kill would be the longest shot made by a military sniper in combat, according to the latest issue of Soldier of Fortune magazine.

    The U.S. magazine says the Canadian snipers from the Edmonton-based 3rd Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry battle group surpassed their U.S. counterparts, adding "Canuck snipers supposedly had the highest number of confirmed kills in the Shah-i-Kot Valley fight.

    "A source in Kandahar working with the Canadian sniper teams estimated 'well over 20 confirmed kills at long ranges.'"

    The magazine, known for its war-zone reporting, also said there were unconfirmed, but widely circulated reports, of a "2,400-metre kill [chest shot] against the driver of an enemy resupply truck" by a Canadian using a .50 BMG McMillan Long Range Sniper Weapon (LRSW).

    It said the record for the longest shot by a military sniper in action was 2,250 metres by gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, USMC, near Duc Pho, South Vietnam, in 1967 with a Browning .50 HMG mounting an eight-power Unertl telescopic sight.

    The magazine details how a three-man team of Canadian snipers went into the battle of Shah-i-Kot during Operation Anaconda alongside U.S. units, including the 101st Airborne's 3rd Brigade "Rakkasans."

    "When the American grunts became pinned down, the three Canadians and three accompanying U.S. Army Special Forces shooters armed with M24 Remingtons went to work.

    "Moving to a vantage point, they began picking off al-Qaeda fighters engaging the 101st infantrymen. For more than an hour they fought it out with heavily dug-in al-Qaeda fighters."

    The magazine, which interviewed one of the snipers back at his base in Edmonton, said the Canadians attached to the 101st, "received a bit of a culture shock seeing the wealth of gear and support the U.S. Army receives, in contrast to the Canadian Army. They also experienced the U.S. infantryman's unique Hooah attitude and esprit."

    It said the Canadian skills were well-known. Canadian snipers had won top honours at the U.S. Army Sniper School's first international sniping competition at Fort Benning, Georgia.

    Canadian snipers learn their skills in the Sniper Cell of the Combat Training Centre's Infantry School at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick, according to the magazine.

    Canadian Forces spokesman Captain Paul Doucette said he could not discuss the number of enemy soldiers killed by the snipers or whether the number quoted by Soldier of Fortune was accurate. "We're in no position to release that information for reasons of operational security."

    Shortly after Operation Anaconda in March, Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison, the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, praised the Canadian snipers. "These sniper teams suppressed enemy mortar and heavy machine-gun positions with deadly accuracy. Their skills are credited with likely having saved many Allied lives."

    Robert Brown, Soldier of Fortune editor and publisher, said, "The Canadians did a hell of a good job over there and we've got this from a number of sources. We felt we ought to give them, an 'atta boy.'"

    Retired Canadian colonel Brian MacDonald said there appeared to be a reluctance in the Canadian Forces to acknowledge the fact that the country's soldiers do kill the enemy from time to time. "The Defence Department doesn't want to embarrass the government with the facts that deaths do take place," he added.

    Col. MacDonald said Canadian military officials were equally reluctant in the early to mid-1990s to talk about combat missions in the former Yugoslavia, including fighting at the Medak Pocket in Croatia. During that operation Canadian troops killed or wounded more than 20 Croatian soldiers.

    Col. MacDonald said there was no reason to doubt the report, adding, "I don't see any reason why it's not conceivable."

    Several months ago a U.S. Army officer recommended five of the soldiers for a Bronze Star.

    One of the snipers, Master Cpl. Arron Perry, was also sent home from Afghanistan in April and charged with "conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline" for allegedly threatening a Canadian military chaplain. It is not known whether the Canadian Forces will proceed with the charge.

    Copyright 2002 National Post


  2. #2

    What can ya say to that!

    Thanks Sparrowhawk, good post.

  3. #3
    Registered User Free Member GarvinRay's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Thumbs up Two Cheers for Canada

    Good post, thanks.

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