Cadets hone their military skills

MILITARY skills were in focus for 1349 (Woking) Squadron Air Training Corps at camp this summer.

For two days, a group of 12 learned how to use the L98A2 rifle, the cadet version of the Army’s SA80, completing a two-day Initial weapons training course before passing a weapons handling test.

WEAPONS TRAINING – Cpl Hallam and Cdt Mootoosawmy with their rifles in front of their basha

Those cadets were later joined by others with the relevant qualification, and spent a day shooting on the 25-metre RAF Regiment range at RAF Odiham, in Hampshire.

While they shoot, each cadet is overseen by a range supervisor, with the range commanded by the Range Control Officer and further staff controlling the ammunition and providing medical cover.

BARRELS OF FUN – All the rifles have a yellow blank firing adaptor and, when attached, yellow magazines which can hold only blank rounds. On this exercise no blanks were issued

Finally, more than 20 cadets, plus staff, went to a Ministry of Defence training area for three days and learned and practised fieldcraft – the weapon with them the whole time.

They slept under bashas a simple shelter made from a waterproof sheet or tarpaulin – and ate ration packs cooked on a military hexi-stove while conducting day and night exercises.

Cadet Sgt Samuel Baker, 16, from Knaphill, said: “I thoroughly enjoyed the squadron’s military skills development camp.

“As a section commander, I had great fun improving my ability on how to plan, delegate and execute my section’s allocated missions during operations.

“Having the L98A2 rifle added a large deal of realism to the scenario overall, making it a very enjoyable and exciting experience.

“I look forward to future exercises with blanks and pyrotechnics.”

Cadet Cpl Lily Hallam, 15, from Horsell, added: “I was so excited after waiting a year to finally be trained on and shoot the L98A2.

“It was super fun and interesting, although keeping it with us at all times over the next few days was challenging! We took the rifles on a fieldcraft exercise, where we trained with them.

“Overall, the camp was a great experience and something new which we all thoroughly enjoyed.”

Cadets on a series of exercises designed to hone their military skills.

Fifteen-year-old Cadet Rogue Mootoosawmy, from Knaphill, said: “Shooting was really fun, the food wasn’t bad and it was great spending time with friends.”

Based in Woking Park, 1349 (Woking) Squadron’s activities include adventure training, camps, flying, shooting, fieldcraft, gliding, first aid and personal development. Their activities can be followed on Facebook @Pride1349 and Instagram 1349woking.

* 1349 (Woking) Squadron are recruiting now for their October intake. To find out more or to register an interest, email 1349@rafac.mod.gov.uk.  To join, you must be in Year 8 or above and aged 12 or over.

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