FORT HOOD, Texas -- They are trained to walk into the line of fire. But what American soldiers face on the battlefield is changing. And that's where Austin Police snipers can help save their lives. They spent the day training on Fort Hood. But in this case the police officers are the instructors.
"You never know when a target may appear," said Specialist Cody Hibbard with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment.
On Thursday SPC Hibbard got a lesson from Austin police.
"That was awesome. That's the first time I'd ever done some of those alternate positions," he said.
Snipers like Hibbard are learning the art of urban warfare.
"Being an army sniper; we're used to doing things in our set ways. So seeing a whole new aspect of it is another thing you can put in your tool bag," Hibbard said.
"When the military is taking over a country it becomes more of a policing operation. It very much mimics what happens in a major metropolitan police department," said Operation Enduring Support President John Roure.
Roure started Operation Enduring Support eight years ago. He says unlike the traditional countryside battlefield, many snipers are now working around buildings, cars, and innocent bystanders.
"It takes a military force. And it takes stuff that a major metropolitan police department utilizes every day," he explained.
"A lot of these guys have been to the school, sniper school. But they don't get a lot of urban training. For us, that's kind of our expertise," said Austin Police Officer Jeff Dwyer.
Dwyer is also former military. He's teaching the soldiers to aim at a much closer range than they're used to.
Austin Police are giving the training, but the instructors say there's also something they can take away from the experience.
"We can tell war stories, so to speak, and they can tell us theirs," Dwyer said. "Half of our team is probably military, half aren't. But it's our way to kind of give back to the military for their service to our country."
These soldiers say the new techniques will come in handy down the road.
"Just doing them for the short period of time I'm feeling a lot more comfortable about them. And they're definitely useful positions you can use down range," SPC Hibbard said.
Though the military snipers are training all week, Thursday was the first day Austin Police joined them on Fort Hood. The training is provided free of charge.
See our photos from the scene and watch KVUE News at 5 and 6 for more on their training.