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Monday, August 16, 2004

Adopt A Sniper by Michelle Malkin

Cute asian blogger Michelle Malkin

reprinted from Michelle Malkin's website:

By Michelle Malkin ยท August 16, 2004 12:37 PM

Brian Sain, a police SWAT member for 15 years who works as a detective in the Port Arthur (Texas) Police Department, has established a program to support snipers serving in the War on Terror. The goal is to "help real snipers get the real gear they need to help keep us safe." From the "Adopt a Sniper" FAQ:

Q: Why isn't the government buying these things?

A: The commitment in OEF/OEF is huge. Snipers need different and expensive gear than is required by many other troops. This can cause problems when the military tries to maintain a perfectly uniform dress code and the snipers end up doing without. The logistics of running the US military are staggering and snipers are just one small spoke in a very big wheel. We just try and relieve some of the burden from the snipers themselves and also from their families.

Q: How did this organization begin?

A: A group of SWAT snipers in the US were all too aware that they (the police snipers) often have to make do without the things they need to get their jobs done. Often misused and misunderstood, the police snipers correctly figured that the military snipers were operating under the same circumstances. The police snipers established contact with the various military sniper school cadre and began sending items they could spare right out of their own gear bags and also making personal purchases. An article on the organization later appeared in Stars and Stripes overseas. The military snipers began networking with the police snipers more and more and the rest is as they say ... history.

Q: What are the most asked for items?

A: One item of note is the Blackhawk STRIKE Commando Recon Chest harness. This item allows the sniper to wear the strike plates out of his issue body armor but remain unhindered for shooting a precision rifle. The various pouches available for the harness allow the sniper to configure his gear depending on the mission he is assigned to. Leica, Bushnell and Nikon rangefinders that work out to at least 1000 yards are often requested as are Kestrel wind meters and Safariland 6004 drop leg holsters.

Q: Is there a particular color of gear that is needed?

A: Yes. Coyote tan or desert colors are best, followed thereafter by Olive Drab and Woodland camouflage. There ARE green areas of Iraq and the snipers are given some flexibility here as to what gear they can use.

Q: I thought snipers, being specialized operators, would have everything they need. Why don't they?

A: In every war it seems that the military must re-learn the lessons of the past. The war on terror is ideally suited for the tactics of the sniper. With the convoy escorts and house to house fighting, the US military is using snipers in numbers not seen in modern history. It seems like a no-brainer but a man with a rifle that knows how to use it, is in much demand in a war. Soldiers and Marines that have not been to a formal sniper school but who shot "Expert" on the range are being issued special rifles and basically doing the same job as the school trained snipers in some cases. Adoptasniper makes no distinction between these two types of operators and offers assistance equally. We currently support snipers on each end of the spectrum; from the very well trained and equipped who normally request smaller, specialized items to the marksman soldier with little to no support that needs "everything" to do the job asked of him ... and every variant in between...

Other requested items include:

* Decent quality mini binos and mini spotting scopes
* Leica 1200 rangefinders
* Aimpoint Comp M2s
* Garmin 12SL GPS* Kestrel 4000 Weather Meters (Any is better than none)
* Mil dot masters
* Tactical Sling for DMR Rifle (M14)
* Beretta 9mm pistol magazines (preferably factory mags) or Wolff-brand replacement magazine springs for same
* Quick Disconnect Bi-Pod Adaptors - ARMS # 32 for Ned - Mention this project)
* Heavy duty foregrips for M16s

Also needed: all kinds of batteries, including AAs - Home Depot $ 13.99 for 36; 123A 3-volt Lithium; and DL13N - Duracell - a little larger than watch battery size. And, yes, snipers have requested body armor, illumination tools, Blackhawk Strike gear, gloves, goggles, carabiners, and comfort items such as powdered hot chocolate, baby wipes, Chapstick and film.

More info on what and how to donate here and here. Read letters from snipers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan here. (Hat tip: Jen Martinez.)

I think this is a great cause. What else can we do to help out?

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