Cadets take their first steps to shooting success!

Air Cadets from across Thames Valley Wing, came together at 211 (Newbury) Squadron’s Cadet Forces Centre to take part in a joint weapons training event.  The Cadets from Newbury, Wallingford, Wantage, Abingdon & Burghfield Squadrons undertook a comprehensive training package covering safety around the range, as well as specific training on one of two rifles according to their age and experience.

A number of cadets experienced an introduction to target shooting; spending the weekend learning about the No. 8 rifle, small bore bolt action rifle similar to those used during the First World War.  Meanwhile, more senior cadets were trained on L98A2, a semi automatic fullbore rifle, similar to that used by the current Armed Forces.  The training was delivered by Air Cadet staff from various Squadrons in the Thames Valley.  Following the training, the Cadets were tested on their knowledge of the rifles and the various procedures involved in firing them to ensure they are safe and competent.

WO Ian Lowe, one of the Qualified Weapons Instructors who delivered the course, said “It was great to see so many cadets able to attend the event.  The support from other staff within the Thames Valley Wing was excellent and demonstrated the value in joint operations for delivering specialist training to the cadets.  Splitting the course into streams worked out really well; it enabled some cadets to take their first steps into the world shooting, whilst the more experience cadets were able to progress further with their marksmanship skills”.

One of the course participants Sgt Oliver Omar, 16, said “Last month I finally achieved my Squadron Marksman award on the No 8 rifle. I used this as a staging point to move on to the L98A2 rifle. The course was really thorough and comprehensive, but very rewarding. I’m really pleased that I passed the weapons handling test and I’m now looking forward to going to a Wing Shoot next month to put my training into practice.”

Target Shooting is just one of many activities the Air Training Corps do, the ATC is a youth organisation open to anyone aged 13-17. If you are interested in finding out more about Air Cadets in the area visit us as