How to Prepare for Air Force Sniper Training

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The Air Force has its own security forces whose mission is to protect vital Air Force resources such as aircraft, bases and fellow Airmen. Part of this protection may need to include the ability to find and remove enemy snipers. Because of this, the Air Force has counter-snipers that are specially trained to complete this task.

US Air Force solider with sniper in hand
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Step 1

Get in Army shape. The Air Force does have fitness standards, but the Army is doing most of the military’s sniper training. Therefore, it is required that you meet its fitness standards, which are more stringent. For example, a male between 22 and 26 years old would have to complete the 2-mile run in at least 17 minutes and 36 seconds.

Man jogging
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Step 2

Slow down your heart rate by adjusting various aspects of your lifestyle. This could include removing caffeine from your diet, getting regular exercise and generally reducing your stress levels. Yoga and deep breathing exercises might assist you. The more calm your heart rate, the better you’ll be able to hit your target in sniper school.

Man practicing yoga
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Step 3

Join a shooting range and practice your rifle shooting skills. It’s good to start with the very fundamentals of shooting and different shooting positions. Air Force sniper students can expect to lie in prone position in not-so-comfortable spots as they learn to spot enemy snipers.

Marksmen at shooting range
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Step 4

Acclimate to shooting in different kinds of weather. Just like the real world, war zone temperatures aren’t always room temperature with low humidity. Air Force snipers may face the dry, cold air of the mountains or the desert heat of Iraq. Sniper school is year round as well, so you could find yourself training in similar conditions.

Sniper practicing in the snow
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Step 5

Learn to create mental maps of your surroundings. A significant factor in Air Force counter-sniper training is the ability to quickly spot an enemy sniper. This can be done through analysis and memorization of their possible hiding spots. Your chances of success in school can be increased if you've already trained your mind to heighten your awareness of your surroundings.

A camouflaged sniper with gun
Andrea Fidone/iStock/Getty Images

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