CCF on the Range

On Friday 3rd May, our Middle Fifth cadets travelled to Duke of York’s RMS, for their first experience of live, full bore firing.

Having successfully negotiated their weapon handling tests, on the cadet general purpose rifle. Then, rehearsed range protocol on the Dismounted Close Combat trainer, our cadets had earned the right to fire live. This, being a genuine highlight of cadet training.

The minibus, on the journey down, was full of nervous energy and anticipation as cadets debated how firing a live round may differ to what they had previously experienced. Staff had told them that with good drills, they would thoroughly enjoy and gain from the experience. And this they duly did.

First up, zeroing of the weapons and revision of firing drills, ahead of the scored shoots. Staff were greatly impressed with the pupils application of previously taught skills, and their attentiveness to commands. Rifles zeroed, all pupils swiftly moved onto the grouping practices.

The ten round grouping practice produced some impressive results. Artem Geskin leading the way with 50mm, closely followed by Molly Suckling, 85mm, and Jildou Chappell and Sophie De Giorgio with 90mm.

A subsequent check group, and competition shoot, produced similar results. Artem and Molly, this time, tied for the lead with 40mm each. Luca Tusquets coming close behind with 50mm.

Whilst Capt. Jones struggled with some basic arithmetic, translating group sizes to scoring standards, attention turned to the staff head to head. Lt. Stubbings, representing PE, lost the first shoot to the Science department’s Lt. O’Connor. However, the second, in the kneeling position, saw roles reversed, to ensure a tie overall.

With Major Hawkins & CSgt French’s help, Capt. Jones had finally worked out the overall scores. Pleasingly all pupils had passed, with four high pass marks. These being Jildou Chappell, Artem Geskin, Molly Suckling and Sophie De Giorgio. And so, to find an overall winner, these four went head to head, with 25 rounds each. Scoring was very close but, again, Artem Geskin topped the table.

Overall, an excellent day, and pupils can now look forward to firing live, on the longer ranges, as they progress through the syllabus. Very well done to all involved.

Capt. A. R. Jones, Contingent Commander CCF