European Best Sniper competition pairs Guardsman with Lithuanian sniper

Photo credit Photo by Spc. Christian Carrillo

The relationship between sniper teams is especially tight. Each two-man sniper team consists of a shooter, who is behind a long gun, and a spotter, who looks through a high-powered scope to call shots and make corrections for the shooter. For the first time in an Army sniper competition, an American and a Lithuanian soldier have teamed up as a sniper team.

The European Best Sniper competition, "tests marksmanship skills, physical prowess, land navigation, and mental agility while engaging in a team building competition. More than 25 sniper teams from 15 nations compete annually," according to the U.S. Army.

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This year Sgt. Dalton Weist of the Pennsylvania National Guard teamed up with a Lithuanian soldier to compete at the Hohenfels Training Area in Germany this month, the team up coming about through the National Guard State Partnership Program between Lithuania and Pennsylvania.

Previously, I’ve dealt with a lot of the Lithuania National Guard units,” Weist said in an Army press release. “The guys I’m with today are active duty. They seem like really good people, and I’m very confident in their abilities and hope I don’t let them down.”

During the two-day event, sniper teams were tested on marksmanship, stalking, pistol fire, night operations, and aerial platform shooting from a helicopter in an event dubbed the "Mogadishu."

Multi-national competitions between allied partners have always been designed to build interoperability and camaraderie, but usually, these competitions feature each country participating in fielding their own team. Weist and his sniper partner are taking it to the next level by forming a multi-national team.

Despite some challenges in breaching the language barrier, Weist said that "once you get to this level, the one thing that is universal is weapons."

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