Israel sweeps sniper competition

Elite forces from 14 countries took part in the Israel-hosted event against several IDF teams, including the U.S., Germany and Hungary.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israeli elite forces held a sniper competition with 25 teams from allied countries last week, taking the three top spots in an event that tested and honed their specialized skills.

The competition was divided into two parts. In the international contest, participants included commando units from 14 countries, such as the United States, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Cyprus and others.

Sniper teams had to show off their skills in several battle scenarios that measured their stamina as well as their accuracy. In one, they had to complete their assigned tasks while running. In another, they operated in an urban setting, a highly complicating factor.

The IDF Sniper’s Division took first place in the event, with second place going to the Duvdevan undercover unit. The Israel Air Force’s Shaldag unit took third place.

IDF representatives stressed that other factors were more important than who won.

“The competition created a joint and constructive dialogue between IDF units and their parallel units from other countries.” IDF Brigade Commander Colonel Yaron Sitbon said.

It also gave the visitors a chance to see how the Israeli special anti-terrorist forces worked, as the second part of the competition took place only among elite IDF units.  Besides requiring accuracy using various weapons individually, under pressure, and in teams, the units were tested on their aptitude in urban settings.

Urban warfare is something that the international forces have less experience with than Israeli soldiers, who have fought several times in Gaza cities over the years.

Maj. Gen. Benaya Farjun, head of the Overseas Training Department in the Ground Forces, said, “The professional content [of the competition] is fertile ground for learning and sharing mutual knowledge between the armies’ snipers.  The Ground Forces will continue to develop its relations with the various armies in the various professional fields and will do so in Israel and around the world in the coming years.”

The foreign units also built up friendly relations with their hosts, touring with them throughout Israel during their stay.