Shooting

At our Squadron we have an indoor range where we regularly fire the No.8 .22 rifle. Cadets at all levels of the ATC have the opportunity to participate in shooting using the No.8 .22 rifle or the Cadet General Purpose Rifle L98-A1 5.56mm weapon. A "range" is a location designed so that people can take part in shooting under controlled conditions and ranges come in many shapes and sizes. Initially, shooting takes place with the target 25m from the firer, either on a 25m indoor range or a 25m barrack (outdoor) range. Cadets can aim to achieve various marksmanship qualification badges to wear on their uniform. The cadets can then progress onto long range shoots on Gallery and ETR ranges. Every month there is a Wing Shoot where cadets have the opportunity to hone their marksmanship skills. Cadets whom prove to be excellent marksmen, can go on to the Inter-Service Cadet Small Bore Competition at Bisley, against Sea and Army Cadets. The top 100 marksmen of this tri-service competition gain a Cadet Hundred badge.

Safety is paramount with all ATC activities and shooting is certainly no exception. Training is an integral part of the system and each cadet is fully trained in whichever rifle they will be using before they shoot. Staff whom undertake shooting with cadets are all course qualified Weapons Instructors (WI) which is a military qualification gained by having attended and passed a number of weekend courses with South West Small Arms Training Team (SWSATT) at either a Royal Air Force station or at an Army camp, before they can train the cadets in their charge. Every range has to be run by a Range Conducting Officer (RCO) who is regularly assessed and has total control over what happens.

Weapon Instructors have to remain current on the weapons they instruct on and take regular Weapons Handling Tests (WHT's). They also attend refresher courses every few years to ensure they maintain their qualification. Each cadet also has an annual weapons handling test to prove that they can safely handle the weapon. Should they fail this test, they are given refresher training and are re-tested before they are allowed to shoot on a range.