Counter snipers among security staff at inauguration

Security was at a maximum Tuesday during the inauguration events surrounding President Barack Obama?s swearing-in ceremony and parade to the White House. Homeland Security Secretary, and New Jersey native,

News 12 Staff

Jan 21, 2009, 3:50 AM

Updated 5,652 days ago

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Security was at a maximum Tuesday during the inauguration events surrounding President Barack Obama?s swearing-in ceremony and parade to the White House.
Homeland Security Secretary, and New Jersey native, Michael Chertoff estimated some 8,000 police officers, 1,000 FBI personnel and nearly 10,000 National Guard troops were on hand to protect the president and those in attendance. One group included in the security staffing was the counter snipers division of the United States Secret Service.
The counter snipers consider themselves the most ?elite? unit in the uniformed Secret Service. They train for nine weeks to develop Olympic-quality shooting skills and are tested monthly to keep them up to standards. According to the Secret Service, half of the agents accepted for training do not make it through the program.
Each counter sniper uses a rifle customized to his height and arm length. The agents always work in teams of two ? one shooter and one agent who gauges wind and bullet trajectory.
The counter snipers positioned themselves along the president?s route inside buildings, among the crowd and on rooftops. According to the agents, they make no effort to hide themselves. They want people to know they are present, armed and ready to shoot if necessary.
Read:Theinauguration of Barack Obama


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