Mission Preparation

The sniper team uses planning factors to estimate the amount of time, coordinating^ and effort that must be expended to support the impending mission. Arms, ammunition, and equipment are METT-T dependent.


Planning and coordination are essential procedures that occur during the preparation phase of a mission.


The sniper team may receive a mission briefing in either written or oral form (FRAGO). Usually, the team mission is stated specifically as to who, what, when, where, ana why/how. On receipt of an order, the sniper analyzes his mission to ensure he understands it, then plans the use of available time.


Normally, the sniper team receives the mission briefing. However, if the sniper receives the briefing, he prepares to issue a warning order immediately after the briefing or as soon as possible. He informs the observer of the situation and mission and gives him specific and general instructions. If the sniper team receives the mission briefing, the sniper should still present the warning order to the observer to clarify and emphasize the details of the mission briefing.


The sniper makes a tentative plan of how he intends to accomplish the mission. When the mission is complex and time is short, he makes a quick, mental estimate; when time is available, he makes a formal, mental estimate. The sniper learns as much as he can about the enemy and mission requirements and applies it to the terrain in the assigned area. Since an on-the-ground reconnaissance is not tactically feasible for most sniper operations, the sniper uses maps, pictomaps, or aerial photographs of the objective and surrounding area to help formulate his tentative plan. This plan is the basis for team preparation, coordination, movement, and reconnaissance.


Coordination is continuous throughout the planning phase of the operation (see coordination checklists) (for example, aircraft, parachutes, or helicopters). Other items are left for the sniper to coordinate. He normally conducts coordination at the briefing location. To save time, he assigns tasks to the observer and has him report back with the results. However, the sniper is responsible for all coordination. He uses coordination checklists to verify mission-essential equipment for the mission. He coordinates directly with appropriate staff sections or the S3, or the SEO will provide the necessary information. The sniper may carry a copy of the coordination checklists to ensure he does not overlook an item that may be vital to the mission. Coordination with specific staff sections includes the following:

NOTE: Items may need coordination with more than one staff section; therefore, some items are listed under more than one heading.

a. Intelligence. The S2 informs the sniper of any changes in the situation as given in the OPORD or mission briefing. The sniper const lan with current information.

(2) Weather and light data.

(3) Terrain update. Aerial photos.

• Trails and obstacles not on map.

(4) Known or suspected enemy locations.

(7) Probable courses of action.

(8) Recent enemy activity.

(9) Reaction time of reaction forces.

(10) Civilian activity in area.

(11) Priority intelligence requirements and information requirements.

(12) Challenge and password.

b. Operations. The sniper coordinates with the operations section to receive the overall status of the mission.

(1) Identification of the unit.

(2) Changes in the friendly situation.

(3) Route selections and LZ and PZ selections.

(4) Linkup procedure.

(5) Transportation (other than air).

(8) Departure and reentry of forward units.

(9) Special equipment requirements.

(10) Adjacent units operating in the area of operations.

(11) Rehearsal areas.

(12) Method of insertion/extraction.

(13) Frequencies and call signs.

c. Fire Support. Usually, the sniper coordinates fire support with the fire support officer.

(1) Identification of the unit.

(2) Mission and objective.

(3) Routes to and from the objective (including alternate routes).

(4) Time of departure and expected time of return.

(6) Fire support means available (artillery, mortar, naval gunfire, and aerial fire support to include Army, Navy, and Air Force).

(7) Ammunition available (to include different fuzes).

(8) Priority of fires.

(9) Control measures for fire support.

Fire support coordination measures.

• No-fire areas. Precoordinate authentication.

mary and alternate means, emergency d. Coordination with Forward Unit. A sniper team that must move through a friendly forward unit must coordinate with the unit commander for a smooth, orderly passage. If there is no coordination time and place, the sniper sets the time and place with the S2 and S3. Then, he informs the forward unit and arranges assistance for the team's departure. Coordination is a two-way exchange of information.

(1) Identification (team leader, observer, and unit).

(3) Time(s) and place(s) of departure and return, location(s) of departure point(s), IRPs, and detrucking points.

(4) General area of operation.

(5) Information on terrain and vegetation.

(6) Known or suspected enemy positions or obstacles.

(7) Possible enemy ambush sites.

(8) Latest enemy activity.

(9) Detailed information on friendly positions (for example, crew-served weapons or final protective fire).

(10) Fire and barrier plan.

(11) Support the forward unit can furnish. How long and what can they do?

Fire support.

Litter teams.

Navigational signals and aids.



Reaction units. Other.

(12) Call signs and frequencies and exchange of Vinson cryptographic variables.

Pyrotechnic plans.

Challenge and password.

• Emergency signals and codewords.

Relieved unit (pass information to the relieving unit).

e. Adjacent Unit Coordination. Immediately after receiving the OPORD or mission briefing, the sniper coordinates with other units using the same area. If he is not aware of other units, he should check with the S3 to arrange coordination. The sniper exchanges the following information with other units or snipers operating in the same area:

(1) Identification of the unit.

(2) Mission and size of unit.

(3) Planned times and points of departure and reentry.

(5) Fire support (planned) and control measures.

(6) Frequency, call signs, and exchange of Vinson cryptographic variables.

(7) Challenge and password and or number.

(8) Pyrotechnic plans.

(9) Any information that the unit may have about the enemy.

f. Rehearsal Area Coordination. The sniper coordinates with the S2

(1) Identification of own unit.

(3) Terrain similar to objective site.

(4) Security of the area.

(5) Availability of aggressors.

technics, live ammunition.

(8) Time the area is available (preferably when light conditions are close to the expected light conditions for the mission).

(9) Transportation.

(10) Coordination with other units using the area.

g. Army Aviation Coordination. The sniper coordinates with the supporting aviation unit commander through the S3 or S3 Air. (1) Situation:

' r- es:Location, activity, probable course of action, and decision time/POC any delay for the mission. (c) Friendly forces: Main mission, activity, boundaries, axis of movement.

(2) Mission: Task and purpose.

(3) Execution:

(a) Concept of the operation: Overview of what requesting unit wants to accomplish with the air assault/air movement.

(b) Coordinating instructions (PZ operation):

• Direction oflanding.

Time of landing/flight direction. Location of PZ/alternate PZ. Loading procedures.

• Marking of PZ (panel, smoke, smoke munitions, lights).

Flight route planned (start point, air control point, rally point).

• Formation of landing/flight/landing (LZ).

• Code words: PZ secure (before landing); PZ clear (lead plane, last plane); alternate PZ (at PZ en route, at landing zone); names of PZ/alternate PZ.

• Number of passengers/planes for entire lift. Equipment carried by individuals. Secure PZ or not.

Marking of key leaders (LZ operations).

• Direction of landing.

Time of landing, false insertions.

Location of LZ or alternate LZ.

Marking of LZ (panel, smoke, SM, lights).

Formation of landing.

Codewords: LZ name, alternate LZ name.

TAC air/artillery preparation, fire support coordination.

Secure LZ or not.

(4) Service support:

(a) Number of aircraft, times, number of lifts.

(b) Refuel/rearm during mission or not.

(c) Special equipment/aircraft configuration for weapons earned by unit personnel.

(5) Command and signal:

(a) Frequency and call signs.

(b) Location of air mission commander.

h. Vehicle Movement Coordination. The sniper coordinates with the supporting unit through the S3.

(1) Identification of the unit.

(2) Supporting unit identification.

(3) Number and type of vehicles and tactical preparation.

(4) Entrucking point.

(5) Departure/loading time.

(6) Preparation of vehicles for movement. Driver responsibilities.

Sniper team responsibilities. Special supplies/equipment required.

(7) Availability of vehicles for preparation/rehearsal/inspection (time and location).

• Primary. Alternate. Checkpoints.

(9) Detrucking points.

Primary. Alternate.

(10) March interval/speed.

(11) Communications (frequencies, call signs, codes).

(12) Emergency procedures and signals.

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