The IDF held its first sniping championship in five years last Thursday, and the largest such championship in 14 years. While the military's most elite of elite units – including Sayeret Matkal and Yamam – were represented, it was the Givati Brigade that received the most accolades among military units. Its reconnaissance battalion defeated more famous units like Maglan and Egoz to take first place among the elite infantry units, while its Shaked and Tzabar infantry battalions took first and second places among the infantry battalions.
The championship trophy was won by the Yamas, however – a special police unit that works undercover, disguised as Arabs. Yamas took first place among the non-infantry special units, with second and third places taken by the Shayetet 13 naval commando and the IAF's Shaldag unit, respectively.
The IDF Website's Idan Sonsino reported that the competition gave representatives from every infantry, commando, and Special Forces unit the opportunity to test their shooting capabilities in combat simulations, and compete with fellow soldiers for precision and skill.
The competition was held last week at the Adam Facility, home of the Israeli Counter-Terror School and the IDF’s Sniper Course.
Head of the Counter-Terror School, Lt. Col. Lior Kenan, said IDF snipers have benefited from recent changes and improvements. “We added new armaments, including the Barak sniper rifle, which has a longer range and is more reliable. We also made the training course longer and refocused on how to improve professionalism.”
Maj. Ofer, head of the IDF Snipers Department, seemed highly pleased with the results: "Today the level of our capabilities is very high, and that has allowed us to maintain a fantastic standard across all units from the infantry to the Special Forces," he said.
“The competition gives us a chance to see the state of our sniping capabilities on a large scale," he added. "We are performing well beyond expectations and are more than ready for the next conflict.”