What are snipers doing on duty

We started our service together with the mountain hunters in April 2015 and as a team we got the opportunity to specialize as snipers. We were selected for this and had to prove ourselves in a special training course. We only exist in pairs and together we go through thick and thin as a team. For us it means: "Not my commitment, but our commitment".

When we are out with our patrol, we take on a lot of tasks. We mainly observe our surroundings very closely and ensure the safety of the other soldiers. The most important thing is seeing, recognizing and identifying people or vehicles from a distance. We are trained to recognize and assess possible threats and can use our weapons to fight targets at great distances.

The sniper squad has taken a stand and is watching the environment: Jonas and Maximilian secure the others.

Photo: © Bundeswehr / Uwe Weber

Typically our day starts shortly before six o'clock in the morning. It's about morning exercise to maintain the fitness we need as snipers. Then we have our morning meeting, in which the jobs for the day and the week are discussed and planned.

Immediately before operations, we carefully prepare our equipment, update maps and get our vehicles ready to go. When we're out as a sniper squad, it gets exciting. Jonas is the sniper who observes the environment and fends off any attackers. I also have my gun with me, watch and take Jonas' shot at the target. That means that I give Jonas the information he needs to adjust his rifle. For example, it is about the exact distance to the target or influences from the weather. The special climatic conditions here demand a lot from us snipers. In addition to the physical exertion, it is good that we can support each other in every situation and blindly rely on each other.

As part of the MINUSMA mission, the Bundeswehr is present in Mali. We think this is a strong signal to the people here. We want to do a bit to ensure that they can return to normal and help stabilize Mali. Our presence should make the population feel safer.

During the readiness phases there is time for sporting activities in the camp.

Photo: © Bundeswehr / Uwe Weber

Most of all we miss our friends and privacy. Everything is a bit limited here. An extensive shower is also at the top of our wish list. But everyday things like shopping or preparing your own food are also missing here. As avid skiers we are cut off from our hobby here in the desert over the winter months. Fortunately, we have the opportunity to keep fit with sport. Jonas is more likely to be found in the fitness area and I do my jogging laps in the camp.

We hope that everyone stays healthy for the rest of our time. Hopefully the corona measures in Germany will be relaxed a little after our return so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we had to do without here again.