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'Deadly' Canadian snipers cut down enemy fighters
The Globe and Mail ^ | March 14, 2002 | DANIEL LEBLANC

Posted on 03/14/2002 6:16:37 PM PST by Black Powder

OTTAWA -- A team of six Canadian snipers shot dead heavily armed Taliban or al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan over the past week -- the first confirmed enemy killings in combat by Canadian troops since the Korean War.

Speaking about the fighting as part of Operation Anaconda, Vice-Admiral Greg Maddison said the snipers "suppressed enemy mortar and heavy machine-gun positions with deadly accuracy."

That information emerged yesterday as 600 Canadian and U.S. soldiers launched a new combat mission, called Operation Harpoon, in eastern Afghanistan. Under Canadian command, the soldiers were flown in by helicopter from the Bagram air base, up to a mountainous area where they will chase down Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.

The coalition troops encountered no resistance as they set up their positions early in the day, getting ready for a mission that will last two to seven days.

Canadian officials estimate that there are fewer than 100 enemy fighters hiding in caves and mountains in the area that they call the Whale Back.

It was during the Operation Anaconda phase that Canadian snipers felled enemy fighters while defending U.S. troops that were under fire.

"As the American battalion was moving down the ridge and dealing with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda fighters that they were encountering, the snipers were there to provide defensive capability," Adm. Maddison said.

He would not say how many enemy fighters the snipers killed or provide any other details of the incident.

There have been no Canadian casualties in the operations so far.

While Canadians soldiers have killed people during peacekeeping missions, the last time the country's military used lethal force in combat was in 1953.

Operation Harpoon is commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Pat Stogran of the Canadian Forces. He is leading 500 soldiers from the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and about 100 U.S. troops from the 10th Mountain Division.

The mission is called a "mopping up" -- finding and eliminating pockets of resistance after a major operation. Hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaeda members were killed as part of the U.S.-led Operation Anaconda, which is winding down.

Some fighters survived, and have fled northwest to the Whale Back.

Commodore Jean-Pierre Thiffault, the top Canadian officer at Central Command in Tampa, Fla., said that Operation Harpoon is "a combat operation to clear out the remaining al-Qaeda and Taliban pockets in caves and other sites in the mountainous areas south of Gardez, near the Whale Back."

Adm. Maddison said this will be a risky endeavour in a dangerous area: mountainous and rough terrain that is filled with caves and holes where the enemy might be hiding.

"It is not a benign environment. Whilst our folks are well-trained and they're well led, and they're prepared for this sort of mission, the risks are high," he said.

Operation Harpoon started with intense bombing of the Whale Back area by U.S. bombers, followed by the "insertion" of Canadian troops under the protection of gunship helicopters.

"There was a heavy amount of air cover that was used to soften the terrain, if you will," Adm. Maddison said.

Operation Harpoon is much smaller than Operation Anaconda, although both are happening in the same general area.

Operation Anaconda focused on an area called Shahi Kot, in which hundreds of Taliban or al-Qaeda fighters had congregated.

Two teams of Canadian snipers, or sharpshooters, are with the coalition fighting in Afghanistan, both from the Princess Patricia's regiment.

Snipers are part of a battalion's reconnaissance platoon. Their job is to figure out how to get as close to the enemy as possible. They are experts in camouflage and concealment, and can pick off human prey with rifles from as far away as 900 metres, or the length of nine football fields.

Canada's snipers -- there are only a few dozen -- learn their trade at the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick. In addition to six snipers, the Canadian contribution to Operation Anaconda included an indefinite number of commando troops from the Joint Task Force 2 and 10 others members of the Princess Patricia's regiment.

The JTF2 members are back at their home base now. It is Canadian policy to release almost no information on their activities. Adm. Maddison said the JTF2 engaged in combat, but didn't say if they killed anyone.

Canada has contributed 2,400 troops so far to the war on terrorism.

It has almost 900 soldiers in Afghanistan, while the others are working on ships and planes in the area.

Canadian Alliance MP Leon Benoit -- a frequent critic of Canada's defence policy -- praised the work of troops in Afghanistan.

"I'm proud of the snipers and the important role they provided in giving cover to the other soldiers moving in, and I'm proud of the mission led by Canadians."


TOPICS: Canada; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; banglist; canada; canadian; military; talibanlist; veitnam; warlist
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1 posted on 03/14/2002 6:16:37 PM PST by Black Powder
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To: Black Powder
Click here for same
2 posted on 03/14/2002 6:21:18 PM PST by Pharmboy
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To: Black Powder
Let's hear it for the Canucks! Thanks guys, you're great.
3 posted on 03/14/2002 6:28:00 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: Black Powder
Thanks Guys, One Shot, One Kill
4 posted on 03/14/2002 6:33:53 PM PST by Sir Beowolf
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To: Black Powder
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry

Damn, but that's an awful name for a military unit.

"Ooooooh, thargent! Thereth one over there! Ssshoot him! Ooooh, you got him!"

5 posted on 03/14/2002 6:38:01 PM PST by r9etb
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To: Sir Beowolf
Thanks Guys, One Shot, One Kill

Remember how bin Laden complained about the daisy cutters and claimed that 7 grams is all one needs to kill a man? The Canadians have tested his theory and happily report that he is correct.

6 posted on 03/14/2002 6:42:21 PM PST by Black Powder
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To: Black Powder
Good shootin' fellas!
7 posted on 03/14/2002 6:44:09 PM PST by oldvike
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To: McGavin999
Way to go, guys. Now I'm going to re-watch my VHS tapes of "Sniper" and "Enemy at the Gates" in your honor.
8 posted on 03/14/2002 6:44:30 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: r9etb
Damn, but that's an awful name for a military unit.

....And I put the odds of you walking away upright from telling them that at...ohhh.....slim to none....leaning real heavily towards none...

heh heh

9 posted on 03/14/2002 6:44:51 PM PST by Tennessee_Bob
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To: Black Powder
Out of curiosity, you wouldn't happen to know (as a rough guesstimate) what the average muzzle velocity is of a standard sniper rifle?
10 posted on 03/14/2002 6:46:06 PM PST by oldvike
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To: Black Powder
Strike up the band for a rousing chorus of "O Canada..."
11 posted on 03/14/2002 6:49:57 PM PST by ikanakattara
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To: Black Powder
I wonder if some of those guys were at the Wilson matches last October. I might have met some of them.
12 posted on 03/14/2002 6:51:23 PM PST by Tailback
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To: Black Powder
What was true on Iwo Jima is true now. Slogging it out with rifles, mortars, grenades and flame throwers is the way to clean 'em up.
13 posted on 03/14/2002 6:52:30 PM PST by GOP_1900AD
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To: oldvike
I believe the 168 grain .308 has a muzzle velocity of 2,650 fps but don't quote me on that cuz I've never been to sniper school. They might have the new 175 grain stuff over there but I don't know the velocity of that.
14 posted on 03/14/2002 6:54:26 PM PST by Tailback
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To: McGavin999
Thank You Canada! That's a few less scumballs taking up our air.

Note to self: stop making fun of Canada's military, by insinuating a well armed Boy Scout troop could take over the entire country now will ya?

15 posted on 03/14/2002 6:54:30 PM PST by usconservative
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To: Black Powder
While Canadians soldiers have killed people during peacekeeping missions, the last time the country's military used lethal force in combat was in 1953.

Now tell me, boys, I know it's been a long time...but don't it feel good?
16 posted on 03/14/2002 6:57:24 PM PST by bourbon
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To: Black Powder
Go Canada, wheew. Don't you wish we could see some of this?
17 posted on 03/14/2002 6:57:43 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: usconservative
Note to self: stop making fun of Canada's military, by insinuating a well armed Boy Scout troop could take over the entire country now will ya?

Don't do that, if we stop teasing them they'll think we don't love them anymore.

18 posted on 03/14/2002 7:00:27 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: belmont_mark
Out of curiosity, you wouldn't happen to know (as a rough guesstimate) what the average muzzle velocity is of a standard sniper rifle?

Depends on the caliber but for a 170 grain VN era 3500 ft/sec.

19 posted on 03/14/2002 7:02:31 PM PST by IncredibleHulk
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To: McGavin999
The tradition continues...
20 posted on 03/14/2002 7:03:40 PM PST by KurzeHaare
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To: IncredibleHulk
Those figures are for sea-level too. These guys are operating at lots higher altitudes.
21 posted on 03/14/2002 7:04:10 PM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: IncredibleHulk
3500? Seems a bit steep. Are we talking .308 here?
22 posted on 03/14/2002 7:04:27 PM PST by KurzeHaare
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To: Black Powder
You've tasted the kill.............knocking down the bad guys who wish you harm. There's no going back.

Glad to have you on OUR side, Canada.

23 posted on 03/14/2002 7:08:25 PM PST by RightOnline
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To: KurzeHaare
I think 3500 is too fast, the 55gr M198 .223 round is only 3,250 fps and that's a pretty hot caliber.
24 posted on 03/14/2002 7:08:34 PM PST by Tailback
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To: Tailback
Thanks for the info. I had some fanciful idea that it would be over 3000 fps, but your figures probably make more sense. I think I'll go consult my back issues of American Rifleman and see if they've got anything in there. I'd also be curious to see a "distance vs. drop" graph for one of those rifles.
25 posted on 03/14/2002 7:09:49 PM PST by oldvike
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To: Black Powder
Operation Harpoon is commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Pat Stogran of the Canadian Forces. He is leading 500 soldiers from the Edmonton-based Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, and about 100 U.S. troops from the 10th Mountain Division.

I'm a little surprised that no one's commented on this yet.

26 posted on 03/14/2002 7:09:59 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: KurzeHaare, Tailback
.338 Winchester Magnum is right up there --- well into the mid 3000s.
27 posted on 03/14/2002 7:11:35 PM PST by The KG9 Kid
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To: ikanakattara
O Canada!
Our home and native land!

True patriot love
in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts
we see thee rise,

The True North
strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada,

We stand on guard for thee

God keep our land
glorious and free!

O Canada,
we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada,
we stand on guard for thee.

History

"O CANADA" was proclaimed Canada's national anthem on July 1, 1980, a century after it was first sung on June 24, 1880. The music was composed by Calixa Lavallée, a well-known composer; French lyrics to accompany the music were written by Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier. The song gained steadily in popularity.

Many English versions have appeared over the years. The version on which the official English lyrics are based was written in 1908 by Robert Stanley Weir. The official English version includes changes recommended in 1968 by a Special Joint Committee of the Senate and House of Commons. The French lyrics remain unchanged.

Link

A great national anthem for a great people. I last heard it sung when Trudeau was given an honorary doctorate at Notre Dame. My wife and I lived in Canada and loved it.

28 posted on 03/14/2002 7:14:30 PM PST by Chemnitz
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To: KurzeHaare
168 grain .308 has a muzzle velocity of 2,650 fps

3500 is on the high end but remember we're talking 30-06 not .308. They are both .30 caliber but the .308 is measured to the bottom on the lands rather than the barrel diameter to denote the different shell casing. The sniper rifles were using the highest capacity casings available with the best load available on 170 grain boattail bullets. The only hotter .30 caliber available was the Weatherby .300 Magnums. (I still have mine.) Each sniper was given 100 rounds at a time and they were hand loaded by some of the best gun smiths in the world.

29 posted on 03/14/2002 7:18:51 PM PST by IncredibleHulk
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To: Black Powder
Good Shot Hoser... Ay! :-)
30 posted on 03/14/2002 7:19:06 PM PST by NormsRevenge
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Comment #31 Removed by Moderator

To: bourbon
While Canadians soldiers have killed people during peacekeeping missions, the last time the country's military used lethal force in combat was in 1953.

Now tell me, boys, I know it's been a long time...but don't it feel good?

Damned right it does. Every 3 dead enemy counts.

The Dept of Defense said today that we've killed in this war before these latest 3 kills. The reporter couldn't have heard that (and who knows what JTF2 has done). Also, Canada dropped a lots of bombs on enemy positions during the Gulf War and the Kosovo War. Surely we killed somebody then too. I guess these must be the first confirmed kills since 1953 [and I haven't heard anybody here whine about it yet either].

32 posted on 03/14/2002 7:25:01 PM PST by Oxylus
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To: usconservative
Yes, I'm quite sure now, that it would take at least two, possibly three, well armed Boy Scouts to take over Canada:)
33 posted on 03/14/2002 7:27:11 PM PST by Cleburne
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To: usconservative; coteblanche
Go Canadians!

All right, Pens. But, hockey's still cool!

34 posted on 03/14/2002 7:29:59 PM PST by JamesWilson
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To: Black Powder
"I'm proud of the snipers and the important role they provided in giving cover to the other soldiers moving in, and I'm proud of the mission led by Canadians."

Me too, and I'm not Canadian.....Way to go!

35 posted on 03/14/2002 7:33:27 PM PST by lewislynn
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To: IncredibleHulk
"Depends on the caliber but for a 170 grain VN era 3500 ft/sec."

Hodgdon claims a max of 2565 fps w/ 168 gr Boat tail and a charge of 43 gr. of ball-c w/47,600 copper-units pressure. Always not quite an '06, but close.

36 posted on 03/14/2002 7:37:42 PM PST by nightdriver
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To: Black Powder

37 posted on 03/14/2002 7:38:17 PM PST by Consort
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To: Black Powder
They are experts in camouflage and concealment, and can pick off human prey with rifles from as far away as 900 metres, or the length of nine football fields.

---------------------

That's the only way to do it. Hoorah, somebody finally has it right.

38 posted on 03/14/2002 7:47:19 PM PST by RLK
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To: Black Powder
"Canada's snipers -- there are only a few dozen -- learn their trade at the Combat Training Centre at CFB Gagetown in New Brunswick. (Globe & Mail)

Just more of an admission about why Canada cannot be taken seriously as a nation.

Canuckistan is affluent and all that - but its land military doesn't add up to what you'd find in the 82nd Airborne down here at Ft. Bragg alone.

39 posted on 03/14/2002 7:50:02 PM PST by glc1173@aol.com
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To: Oxylus
I think that the rough and tumble, masculine side of Canadian culture has been dormant for too long as has Canada's military tradition.

It is my greatest hope that these valuable Canadian traits will soon be reawakened and reinvigorated. Perhaps, lamentable as it may be, a good war is what we all need.
40 posted on 03/14/2002 7:54:36 PM PST by bourbon
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Comment #41 Removed by Moderator

To: oldvike
Out of curiosity, you wouldn't happen to know (as a rough guesstimate) what the average muzzle velocity is of a standard sniper rifle?

Here are some links to Canadian C3 and C3A1 sniper rifles. These are being fazed out for a more modern weapon, but I know that the Canadians in Afghanistan are still using the Canadian variant of the Parker Hale M82.

Parker-Hale M82

Canadian C3A1 (Parker-Hale M82)

Parker-Hale M85 (German) This site gives us the muzzle velocity of the M85 as 1,160 m/s.

42 posted on 03/14/2002 8:02:07 PM PST by Black Powder
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To: Black Powder
WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO for our Canadian friends!!! God bless you!
43 posted on 03/14/2002 8:51:28 PM PST by brat
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To: mosby
Good note mosby..I did a little checking and they are credited for service at Flanders in France...In Flanders Fields was written by Canadian John McCrae...

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

44 posted on 03/14/2002 8:52:59 PM PST by in the Arena
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To: Gonzo
bttt
45 posted on 03/14/2002 8:54:04 PM PST by Travis McGee
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To: Black Powder
The Taliban should have learned from history what the devil's brigade did to the Germans.
46 posted on 03/14/2002 8:54:43 PM PST by Mat_Helm
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To: MissAmericanPie

47 posted on 03/14/2002 9:13:53 PM PST by Black Powder
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To: IncredibleHulk
30-06 M2 ball ammo is a 152 grain bullet going 2740 Feet Per Second.

.308 M59 and M-80 ball ammo is a 150 grain bullet going 2750 Feet Per Second.

Since I'm only punching paper, my favorite for both is the Sierra 168 Grain Match King bullet. I think my speed for both is around 2700 FPS.

48 posted on 03/14/2002 9:36:37 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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To: Black Powder
"Parker-Hale M85 (German) This site gives us the muzzle velocity of the M85 as 1,160 m/s."

I think that 1,160 figure refers to the overall length of the weapon in millimeters. The muzzle velocity appears to be the 810 figure in meters/sec.

49 posted on 03/14/2002 9:47:32 PM PST by nightdriver
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To: Black Powder
The picture said that the rifle was a c-3. From what I can see of it, it looks like a Parker-Hale .308. The caliber is always in question but that's what the Brits are using.
50 posted on 03/14/2002 9:49:40 PM PST by Shooter 2.5
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