All cadets at the Squadron will all have the opportunity to participate in the sport of rifle shooting. When the ATC was originally formed, it was a recruiting organisation for the Royal Air Force, as such it made good sense for marksmanship to be on the training syllabus. While this is no longer the case, shooting remains one of the most popular cadet activities.
Safety is paramount in shooting, and training is an integral part of the process. Cadets are fully trained on the rifle they will be using. All supervising staff are trained to deal with any eventualities and to ensure that the range is run safely and efficiently.
All shooting takes place on specialised ranges. A “range” is a location designed so that people can take part in shooting under controlled conditions. Ranges come in many shapes and sizes. The first shooting a cadet will train in will involve shooting at a target 25m away from the firer. This may be on an indoor range, or at a military barracks – an outdoor range. As the cadet advances, they will progress to shooting on longer ranges, 50m, 100m or more!
There are many different rifles used in the organisation, initial weapons training will be on air rifles or the No. 8 Enfield Rifle. The cadets will undergo a period of training on the specific rifle after which they will be assessed to ensure they are competent and safe to fire the rifle. Once cadets are trained in the safe handling of the rifle they can then be taught marksmanship principles, to improve their performance and confidence.
Once a cadet reaches the age of 14 they are eligible to train on the L98 rifle. Before a cadet can begin training, they will need to have shown competence in the No.8 rifle. The L98 differs from previous rifles in that the ammunition is held within a magazine.
If a cadet shows particular competency on the L98 and is a good marksman, they maybe considered for training on the L81 rifle. This is a highly accurate rifle and is only used in marksman competitions.
As cadets undergo training on the rifles, and gain experience, they can earn marksmanship awards for each rifle. This involves assessment on accuracy and consistency whilst firing a set number of rounds into the target.
There are 4 different levels of award, starting at Squadron Marksman and building up though Wing, Region to Corps. Marksman standard.
|Squadron Marksman||Wing Marksman||Region Marksman||Corps Marksman|
There are several competitions each year, in which cadets can compete against other teams. Cadets who participate in the inter Corps shooting competition are also eligible to obtain a Cadet 100 award, signifying they are one of the 100 best shots or the Cadet 50 award, signifying they are one of the 50 best shots.