‘Dragons’ put steel on target; Battalions receive new sniper rifles
FORT RILEY, Kan. – A three man sniper team, two firers and a spotter, uses the target silhouettes down range to adjusts their settings on the newly fielded XM2010 enhanced sniper rifles and Leupold Mark 4 Tactical Scopes during a test fire range, March 14. The sniper sections from the 2nd Battalion, 16 Infantry Regiment, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, and 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiments of the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, were recently fielded with enhanced sniper rifles and scopes for their upcoming deployment in the spring. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Gene A. Arnold, 4IBCT PAO)
Story by: SSG Gene A. Arnold
FORT RILEY, Kan. – Through the strong gust of wind, you can hear the crackle of rounds being expended at Soldiers from the sniper sections of the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry and 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiments, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, joined together to fire the newly fielded XM2010 Enhanced Sniper Rifle and use the Leupold Mark 4 Tactical Scope at a screening range on the outskirts of Fort Riley, Kan., March 14.
This rifle was an upgrade to the M24 rifles and was developed by Program Executive Office (PEO) Soldier, an Army acquisitions program, for Soldiers to have a user friendly, easily transported and a higher velocity weapon. This weapon has an enhanced effective range that is specific for mountainous and desert terrain.
These three sniper sections of the 4IBCT 'Dragon Snipers' were initially fielded and classroom trained with the enhanced rifle with optics on March 13 through 14.
"We received the XM2010 and brought in two professional civilians to teach us basic up-keep and the new day optic setting that has a quick turnaround time for quick engagements," said Spc. Jason Courtney, a section chief in the scout/sniper section for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2-16 Inf.
"Everything about this weapon is an improvement from the previous one we had, I personally like this weapon better; I think the scope with the higher magnetism in the hindsight is very advantageous," he added.
After a day of hands-on training with the new equipment, the next step was to take the new weapons to the range and develop a feel for the weapon. Several sniper sections, comprised of the sniper shooters and spotters, take the opportunity to fire more than 200 rounds of the .300 caliber winmag rounds at several silhouettes more than 500 meters down range.
"With this weapons system, we will be able to reach out to distances greater than 1500 meters due to shooter preference; this weapon definitely has the longevity to reach out and touch someone," said Staff Sgt. David Ryther, section chief the sniper section for Company D, 1-28 Inf.
"Our Soldiers will definitely be able to be effective in the long term with this weapons system,' he added.
This new weapon system will be incorporated into the sniper teams for use on their upcoming deployment in the spring.