Barnsley Air Cadets Crowned Small Bore Champions!
On the weekend of the 16th November 2019 a training weekend and competition was held for the L144 rifle. The Saturday began with an early morning start, at Queen Elizabeth Barracks Strensall, whereby we had to arrive at 0945. Our training was conducted by Flt Lt Sutcliffe, The Wing Shooting Officer. He showed cadets of all ranks how to safely conduct normal safety precautions and when to carry these out, as these are fundamental principles of handling weapons. A demonstration of the stripping and cleaning process was in order. Following on from this important lesson, we were shown how to use the weapon in the prone positions, how to load and unload the rifle and other drills.
Lunch followed and after that we were tested on our morning session, our weapons handling tests. Once everyone had completed our tests successfully, we were shown to the range. The range was huge, a whopping 5x longer than the range I was so accustomed to, for me a staggering 25m long. The competition consisted of 25 rounds, 5 zeroing rounds followed by the 20 round competition. As part of detail 3 I was spotting for the first group of cadets to shoot, helping the shots become more consistent and closer to the bull. We had to shoot 2 rounds at 10 different bulls. To be fair, I was a little nervous. As I picked up every round I took off the safety catch making sure that the weapon would fire when my finger squeezed the trigger. As the last detail to shoot, we went and collected our target sheets and subsequently cleaned up the empty shells. Sqn Ldr French commended the Squadrons efforts upon seeing our targets.
After returning from the range, we were informed by the RCO, CI Melia that as a Squadron we were on top for the scores on Saturday and won the Small Bore Competition, which was fantastic. An added bonus for myself was being the best shot on the range. All in all an excellent day and we are proud we did so well. Thanks go to CI Melia, the Squadron Shooting Officer and Sgt Smedley for training and taking us to the event.
By Cdt Ryan Joys