I recently returned back to the states working with various special operation snipers in Finland. My time there was spent instructing the units on sniper theory, tactics, precision, counter sniper, and HELO operations.
When arriving in the Helsinki capital, one thing came to my immediate attention, the extremely cold weather! Living in south Texas for the past three years, I had become accustomed to the extreme heat and had forgotten what is was like to feel cold. The only memory I have of being anywhere remotely that cold, was my time in Daholnega Georgia, Mountain phase of Ranger School where the temperatures were around 30-35 degrees, but with no food and losing 35 pounds, it felt worse.
After getting somewhat getting accustomed to the weather, and recovering from a Jack Daniel’s self induced sleep coma on a long flight, I had a chance to meet some of the guys and hear some of their backgrounds. Without giving any unit names away (as they asked not to), I came to understand that they were equivalent to the US Green Berets, Army Rangers, HRT, and 1st SFOD. The average time spent within their units was around 10 years, half of that was serving as snipers.
The first day of consisted primarily of long range sniper theory for the .308 and their primary caliber of choice, the .338. The classroom portion of the day went well, with an the outside temperature that neared -11 degrees Fahrenheit! I wasn’t sure what exactly to expect from the class of 15 shooters, in regards to their level of precision shooting knowledge, after all the last time Finland saw any conflict was 1939-1944.