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Posted: 1/1/2006 2:27:13 PM EDT
Sniper shot that took out an insurgent killer from three quarters of a mile
Toby Harnden in Ramadi
(Filed: 01/01/2006)

Gazing through the telescopic sight of his M24 rifle, Staff Sgt Jim Gilliland, leader of Shadow sniper team, fixed his eye on the Iraqi insurgent who had just killed an American soldier.

His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barrelled Kalashnikov. Instinctively allowing for wind speed and bullet drop, Shadow's commander aimed 12 feet high.


A single shot hit the Iraqi in the chest and killed him instantly. It had been fired from a range of 1,250 metres, well beyond the capacity of the powerful Leupold sight, accurate to 1,000 metres.

"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Alabama from the age of five before progressing to deer - and then people.

"He was visible only from the waist up. It was a one in a million shot. I could probably shoot a whole box of ammunition and never hit him again."

Later that day, Staff Sgt Gilliland found out that the dead soldier was Staff Sgt Jason Benford, 30, a good friend.

The insurgent was one of between 55 and 65 he estimates that he has shot dead in less than five months, putting him within striking distance of sniper legends such as Carlos Hathcock, who recorded 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam. One of his men, Specialist Aaron Arnold, 22, of Medway, Ohio, has chalked up a similar tally.

"It was elating, but only afterwards," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, recalling the September 27 shot. "At the time, there was no high-fiving. You've got troops under fire, taking casualties and you're not thinking about anything other than finding a target and putting it down. Every shot is for the betterment of our cause."

All told, the 10-strong Shadow sniper team, attached to Task Force 2/69, has killed just under 200 in the same period and emerged as the US Army's secret weapon in Ramadi against the threat of the hidden Improvised Explosive Device (IED) or roadside bomb - the insurgency's deadliest tactic.

Above the spot from which Staff Sgt Gilliland took his record shot, in a room at the top of a bombed-out observation post which is code-named Hotel and known jokingly to soldiers as the Ramadi Inn, are daubed "Kill Them All" and "Kill Like you Mean it".

On another wall are scrawled the words of Senator John McCain: "America is great not because of what she has done for herself but because of what she has done for others."

The juxtaposition of macho slogans and noble political rhetoric encapsulates the dirty, dangerous and often callous job the sniper has to carry out as an integral part of a campaign ultimately being waged to help the Iraqi people.

With masterful understatement, Lt Col Robert Roggeman, the Task Force 2/69 commander, conceded: "The romantic in me is disappointed with the reception we've received in Ramadi," a town of 400,000 on the banks of the Euphrates where graffiti boasts, with more than a degree of accuracy: "This is the graveyard of the Americans".

"We're the outsiders, the infidels," he said. "Every time somebody goes out that main gate he might not come back. It's still a running gun battle."

Highly effective though they are, he worries about the burden his snipers have to bear. "It's a very God-like role. They have the power of life and death that, if not held in check, can run out of control. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

"Every shot has to be measured against the Rules of Engagement [ROE], positive identification and proportionality."

Staff Sgt Gilliland explains that his Shadow team operates at the "borderlines" of the ROE, making snap judgements about whether a figure in the crosshairs is an insurgent or not.

"Hunters give their animals respect," he said, spitting out a mouthful of chewing tobacco. "If you have no respect for what you do you're not going to be very good or you're going to make a mistake. We try to give the benefit of the doubt.

"You've got to live with it. It's on your conscience. It's something you've got to carry away with you. And if you shoot somebody just walking down the street, then that's probably going to haunt you."

Although killing with a single shot carries an enormous cachet within the sniper world, their most successful engagements have involved the shooting a up to 10 members of a single IED team.

"The one-shot-one-kill thing is one of beauty but killing all the bad dudes is even more attractive," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, whose motto is "Move fast, shoot straight and leave the rest to the counsellors in 10 years" and signs off his e-mails with "silent souls make.308 holes".

Whether Shadow team's work will ultimately make a difference in Iraq is open to question. No matter how many insurgents they shoot, there seems no shortage of recruits to plant bombs.

Col John Gronski, the overall United States commander in Ramadi, said there could not be a military solution. "You could spend years putting snipers out and killing IED emplacers and at the political level it would make no difference."

As they prepare to leave Iraq, however, Staff Sgt Gilliland and his men hope that they have bought a little more time for the country's politicians to fix peace and stability in their sights.

Link
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:31:27 PM EDT
With a M24

THAT is impressive.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:32:39 PM EDT
"Hey man, nice shot"
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:34:35 PM EDT

"We're the outsiders, the infidels," he said. "Every time somebody goes out that main gate he might not come back. It's still a running gun battle."


I thought Iraq was the opposite of what the news media portrays it as, and that our soldiers aren't needed there, freeing them for an invasion of Iran?
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:35:17 PM EDT
I wonder if insurgents will target him based on his kill ratio (thinking of Enemy at the Gates).
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:35:35 PM EDT
wow...
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:35:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tostitos:

"We're the outsiders, the infidels," he said. "Every time somebody goes out that main gate he might not come back. It's still a running gun battle."


I thought Iraq was the opposite of what the news media portrays it as, and that our soldiers aren't needed there, freeing them for an invasion of Iran?



It is, this article was written by mainstream media.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:37:46 PM EDT
Id buy him a beer.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:38:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By Tostitos:

"We're the outsiders, the infidels," he said. "Every time somebody goes out that main gate he might not come back. It's still a running gun battle."


I thought Iraq was the opposite of what the news media portrays it as, and that our soldiers aren't needed there, freeing them for an invasion of Iran?



It is, this article was written by mainstream media.

\

Damn those lying soldiers who tell the mainstream media those whoppers about the state of things!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:39:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tostitos:

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By Tostitos:

"We're the outsiders, the infidels," he said. "Every time somebody goes out that main gate he might not come back. It's still a running gun battle."


I thought Iraq was the opposite of what the news media portrays it as, and that our soldiers aren't needed there, freeing them for an invasion of Iran?



It is, this article was written by mainstream media.

\

Damn those lying soldiers who tell the mainstream media those whoppers about the state of things!



I doubt that a soldier told them that.

They dont say such things on their own websites,

you obviously have never been to millblogs.com
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:41:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Midnight-Sniper:
I wonder if insurgents will target him based on his kill ratio (thinking of Enemy at the Gates).



Were fighting disorganized crap, not Nazi Germany. Besides, the fact that we are the superior force means that they dont have the lead on intel like we do, if they had a sniper hero then you could bet we would send our guy to take him out, but that isnt the case.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:42:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By nf9648:

Originally Posted By Midnight-Sniper:
I wonder if insurgents will target him based on his kill ratio (thinking of Enemy at the Gates).



Were fighting disorganized crap, not Nazi Germany. Besides, the fact that we are the superior force means that they dont have the lead on intel like we do, if they had a sniper hero then you could bet we would send our guy to take him out, but that isnt the case.



Have you seen the video made by the Iraq sniper? I'd say they have one, but his dirty ass is probably dead already.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:43:23 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:44:04 PM EDT
Kick ass!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:44:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Midnight-Sniper:
I wonder if insurgents will target him based on his kill ratio (thinking of Enemy at the Gates).



I'd rather hear about this sort of thing when they are back on American soil...
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:46:10 PM EDT


His quarry stood nonchalantly in the fourth-floor bay window of a hospital in battle-torn Ramadi, still clasping a long-barrelled Kalashnikov.



I wonder if it was the dreaded "juba"...............

Doubt it, but we can hope........
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:48:04 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Tostitos:

Originally Posted By ArmdLbrl:

Originally Posted By Tostitos:

"We're the outsiders, the infidels," he said. "Every time somebody goes out that main gate he might not come back. It's still a running gun battle."


I thought Iraq was the opposite of what the news media portrays it as, and that our soldiers aren't needed there, freeing them for an invasion of Iran?



It is, this article was written by mainstream media.

\

Damn those lying soldiers who tell the mainstream media those whoppers about the state of things!



If you knew even half as much as you think you know, you'd realize that the Colonel in question is talking about RAMADI, not Iraq in particular.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:49:07 PM EDT
[Han Solo] Way to go, kid! That shot was one in a million! [Han Solo]
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:51:48 PM EDT
Everytime they drop a hammer, another life is saved.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:53:32 PM EDT
Nice.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:53:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BluDragon:
[Han Solo] Way to go, kid! That shot was one in a million! [Han Solo]



"Now don't get cocky"...
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 2:57:53 PM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:
"The one-shot-one-kill thing is one of beauty but killing all the bad dudes is even more attractive," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, whose motto is "Move fast, shoot straight and leave the rest to the counsellors in 10 years" and signs off his e-mails with "silent souls make.308 holes".




I doubt he writes that in his e-mails or anywhere else.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:01:18 PM EDT
Why can't that story be on the sheeple's Network News. Great shot mate!!!!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:03:41 PM EDT
awesome shot

thanks for your service
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:07:35 PM EDT
White Feather would be proud.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:17:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:
Outstanding



+1
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:17:58 PM EDT
Damm.
just for fun, go pace out 1200 steps, then turn around and look back.
Impressive doesn't even cover how awsome that is
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:19:19 PM EDT
Kick ass!
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:19:51 PM EDT
Now that is a sniper.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:20:10 PM EDT

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
Damm. Damn
just for fun, go pace out 1200 steps, then turn around and look back.
Impressive doesn't even cover how awsome that is



Fixed for spelling errors
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:27:33 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/1/2006 3:55:44 PM EDT by Backstop]

Originally Posted By raven:
"He was visible only from the waist up. It was a one in a million shot. I could probably shoot a whole box of ammunition and never hit him again."


No G; I do believe you'd hit him every single time.




"The one-shot-one-kill thing is one of beauty but killing all the bad dudes is even more attractive," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, whose motto is "Move fast, shoot straight and leave the rest to the counsellors in 10 years" and signs off his e-mails with "silent souls make.308 holes".

Well part of that looks vaguely familiar.

Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:28:32 PM EDT
DAMN!



very nice !
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 3:31:30 PM EDT
TAG
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 8:42:30 PM EDT
Damn nice shot. Congrats. Every insurgent knocked down saves US soldiers. Good job.
Link Posted: 1/1/2006 8:51:37 PM EDT
.308 holes make empty souls!
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 8:18:02 AM EDT
All those long-range shots by Allied snipers give you the feeling that they are showing off. I bet the terrorists are just really pissed that our side is so much better than them and an affront on "muslim pryde".
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 8:35:23 AM EDT
incredible.

very well done.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 8:38:22 AM EDT
"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Alabama from the age of five before progressing to deer - and then people.

WTF is that about.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 8:41:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JaredB:
"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Alabama from the age of five before progressing to deer - and then people.

WTF is that about.



Your liberal media in action.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:17:13 AM EDT
and smack some more Down!
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:36:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tostitos:
Have you seen the video made by the Iraq sniper? I'd say they have one, but his dirty ass is probably dead already.



Any soldier will tell you that there are a lot of Dragunov rifles over there, but the insurgents are not able to field a true sniper like the US is. Our guys are the most highly trained snipers in the world and in Iraq they are getting combat experience that makes them better with every pull of the trigger.

The insurgents are largely untrained and are comparitively unorganized. Their equipment isn't as good and their skills are no match for a trained Army, Marine or NSWG sniper.

The insurgent approach to snipers is a lot like the Russian approach was. They didn't spend a lot of time or effort training snipers, but sent lots and lots of people out with scoped rifles and sought to create the desired effect through quantity rather than quality.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:39:43 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By JaredB:
"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Alabama from the age of five before progressing to deer - and then people.

WTF is that about.



Your liberal media in action.



He's a sniper, he hunts people for a living. Guess I don't see a problem with that line.....
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:42:17 AM EDT
Outstanding.

Max
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:43:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Zakk_Wylde_470:

Originally Posted By RikWriter:

Originally Posted By JaredB:
"I believe it is the longest confirmed kill in Iraq with a 7.62mm rifle," said Staff Sgt Gilliland, 28, who hunted squirrels in Double Springs, Alabama from the age of five before progressing to deer - and then people.

WTF is that about.



Your liberal media in action.



He's a sniper, he hunts people for a living. Guess I don't see a problem with that line.....




Yep! It is the liberal press in action. But I rather like the line, myself.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 10:43:01 AM EDT

Originally Posted By JaredB:
WTF is that about.



It's about a libbie reporter who doesn't have a damn clue about how the world works. One that doesn't understand that some of the most moral people in the world tote weapons and will kill the bad guys without remorse.

Taking a kill shot on a guy you just watched waste a fellow American isn't nearly as difficult from an emotional or moral standpoint as many think. You realize it's either shoot him or watching another coffin get loaded onto a transport jet and some poor mother or wife and kids back home get a defense dept. letter.

Before you can even read two words of the preceeding paragraph an American sniper will have taken the shot. Snipers save lives. Period.

They ought to get a friggin' cash prize for every shot they make.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 11:41:52 AM EDT
I always liked: Replacing warm body fluids with cold air, myself.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 11:47:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By squeezecockerp7m8:

Originally Posted By BluDragon:
[Han Solo] Way to go, kid! That shot was one in a million! [Han Solo]



"Now don't get cocky"...



"The Force is strong with this one."
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 11:49:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sixgunsblazing:
Damm.
just for fun, go pace out 1200 steps, then turn around and look back.
Impressive doesn't even cover how awsome that is



1250 meters = 4101 feet

1250 meters = 1367 yards



1250 meters = 8.35572668 × 10-9 Astronomical Units

The astronomical unit (AU or au or a.u. or sometimes ua) is a unit of distance, approximately equal to the mean distance between Earth and Sun. The currently accepted value of the AU is 149 597 870 691 ± 30 metres (about 150 million kilometres or 93 million miles).

Link Posted: 1/2/2006 11:51:22 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 11:54:08 AM EDT
Damn good shooting. For the uninitiated, here's how complex that shot was:

The M24's scope, the Leupold M3A, has a maximum adjustment range of 1000 yards on its BDC. As a result, the sniper would have had to dial his BDC to 1000 yards, then use the mil-dot reticle to perform the necessary hold-over. Crunching the numbers, M118LR would drop around 110 inches from 1000 to 1250 yards. Converting this to minutes gives you a 9 MOA holdover. Converting MOA to mils gives you a 2.6 mil holdover. He would have had to do this series of calculations before the target moved, as well.

The above example also does NOT take into account the effect of wind at 1250 yards either. Long way of saying - it was a hell of a shot, and a good time to have a little bit of luck.
Link Posted: 1/2/2006 12:02:03 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NickN:
"Hey man, nice shot"



great song
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