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  • Mar
  • 2016
Marines from two continents aim to exchange expertise

By Lance Cpl. Timothy Valero, 1st Marine Division

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, California -- “Target three, 350 meters, fire when ready,” called out the spotter. A metal click registered as the shooter switched his rifle from safe to fire. The shooter released a final deep breath as he squeezed the trigger. The rifle fired and the bullet could be heard cracking through the air as it made its way to the metal target on the opposite side of the range. “Hit,” called out the spotter, “good shot.”

U.S. Marine Snipers with Training Cell, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division and snipers with the Special Operations Battalion, Brazilian Marine Corps assembled for a subject matter expert exchange at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, March 16, 2016.

Marines from both countries honed their advanced marksmanship and sniper skills by exchanging experiences, knowledge and techniques with fellow snipers.

“The Brazilian Marines are highly proficient in their tactics,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Nick Engle, assistant operations officer, 1st Reconnaissance Battalion. “They enjoy learning from us just as much as we enjoy learning from them.”

The exchange didn’t only focus on advance marksmanship, but also on the wide variety of skills a sniper must know to be effective while remaining concealed from the enemy.

“We covered tactics, techniques and procedures of conducting operations as an urban, rural and aerial sniper as well as marksmanship and construction of hide sites, which are positions the sniper chooses to observe the enemy while blending into the surrounding environment,” said Engle, who is from Alexandria, Virginia.

Engle said the opportunity to share information and lessons learned with snipers from another country strengthens the skills of the individual snipers but also strengthens the bond between the U.S. and Brazilian Marines.

“1st Reconnaissance Battalion has an active relationship with the Brazilian Marines, through exchanges like this,” said Engle. “It is vital we keep up the exchange of expertise and build camaraderie through a good flow of information and mutual relationship between our two countries and Marine Corps.”

The shared expertise gives both countries’ Marines insight on how different countries conduct reconnaissance operations and employ sniper teams.

“I hope that the [U.S. and Brazilian] Marines better understand how one another operates and build upon the relationship for additional corporation in the future,” added Engle.

Marines from both countries can return to their units with a fresh set of knowledge and understanding they gained during the exchange. The U.S. and Brazilian Marines can now pass the information to fellow Marines, better preparing both Marine Corps for any future operations.