All cadets have the opportunity to take part in the Number 8 rifle training which teaches you the safety procedures that are required to take part in a range day and enter competitions. To obtain a Squadron Marksman Badge you must accurately group 20 shots on 4 different targets at a range of 25 metres. Once you are proficient with the Number 8 rifle you are then able to progress on to the L98A2 training course. In order to participate in rifle training you must be a first class cadet and to train on the L98A2 you need to be over 14.
Fieldcraft is a range of activities which take place outside of the squadron. These include the basics of fieldcraft, camouflage, concealment, communications, cooking in the field, constructing shelters and movement techniques. There are fieldcraft camps where you can live in the outdoors for a few days. These skills can be transferrable to Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.
Operation Rudolph, December 2016
2016 saw another successful year of Operation Rudolph, a night organised by Sgt (ATC) Broughton-Smith focused on field craft. Cadets were given the brief that hostiles were holding hostages captive in the Sqn building, they needed to enter the building, save the hostages, gather information and then take the hostages to the pick up point. The hostages were a medic, an inventor and the leader, this saw the return of our ex-CWO, though how happy he was about this after being tied to a chair by the hostiles I’m not sure.
The cadets were led to the back of the field behind Poynton Sqn while the building fell into darkness, the hostages and hostiles were split between rooms. I have to admit, it was a long time waiting to be rescued and what really didn’t help was turning to look out of the window to see Cpl Brenninkmeijer’s face staring back at me!
Meanwhile , the cadets stealthily made their way over the field and once in the building set about gathering the hostiles so they could rescue us hostages. The lights flooded the building, Cpl O’Mara (hostile) was grabbed from the office and taken into the main hall with the other hostiles, there was lots of commotion at this point and what sounded like people trying to escape. In the meantime they had left me on my own for a good 10 minutes before they realised, at which point I could hear them asking “where’s the other hostage?”. I decided to keep them guessing but eventually they found me.
The rescuing cadets then asked us for information about why we had been held captive and whether we had handed any information over, before taking the leader to the pick up point where he would be flown by helicopter to a safe place, while leaving ‘the inventor’ and ‘the medic’ to wait for the next ride.
Over all it was a very enjoyable evening, many thanks to Sgt (ATC) Broughton-Smith for organising.
By CI S.W.