The Royal Air Force Charitable Trust (RAFCT) has generously supported the RAF Air Cadets for many years and in many ways. This generosity has recently manifest itself within the Central & East Region.
Three squadrons, 2(F) Watford, 231 Norwich and 1220 March, have been granted funds for the provision of Air Rifle Ranges that will greatly enhance those squadrons ability to safely train cadets in the skill of target shooting.
Flight Lieutenant Karen Ryan, Officer Commanding 231 (Norwich) Squadron, is over the moon with the range; “The Cadets enjoyed the experience of shooting as this is something that has been lacking on the Squadron since the No 8 rifles were withdrawn from use. The cadets started off with some basic grouping practice, whilst being reminded of the marksmanship principles. One of the Cadets has hopefully managed to achieve a blue badge from this first of many shoots planned at the Squadron”.
Wing Commander David Miller, Officer Commanding Norfolk & Suffolk Wing, was invited in to see the range set up and spoke to the Cadets to find out how they were enjoying the experience. The Cadets were enthusiastic and were enjoying honing their target shooting skills on their own range.
Another range has been installed at the Central & East Region Small Arms Training Team (CESATT) facility at RAF Wittering. This will be used, initially, in the training of Air Rifle Range Conducting Officers (RCOs).
Officer Commanding CESATT, Squadron Leader Neill Ovenden stated; “Plans are progressing to have a location on Wittering for us to have it set up, both for use during courses, and also as additional activities to be conducted during weekends when we are on station. The intention is to have the range available to local units, and visiting camps, once we have the room approved. We currently travel to 115 Squadron at Peterborough to utilise the range for our Air Rifle RCO course, and having this set up on station would be a tremendous advantage. The rifles themselves have been invaluable during course weekends to ensure that students and staff are current on the rifles, and for use during the live firing phases of the course on a different type of range”.
Once again the contribution of the RAFCT is proving to be of huge benefit to the training of the Air Cadets in many fields and the Cadets are extremely grateful for grants made available.