Page 63 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 63

   Battalion Shooting Team
The 2 RIFLES shooting team this year took part in the two main events on the shooting calendar. With a compressed timeline following independent company deployments and then Exercise ASKARI STORM the shooting team assembled in late May 2019. We knew the events would be based around the advanced marksmanship tests in the Opera- tional Shooting Policy and this formed the backbone of our training package leading up to the Divisional shooting competition.
The first competition was held in Catterick in late May 2019, and with most of the team new to the competitive environment it proved to be a vertical learning curve. Luckily the weather in North Yorkshire was good which meant that the team performed well, most notably Rifleman Ford of A Company who placed 39th out of 80. The natural talent of the Riflemen in the team over shadowed the lack of experience, with the overall result being a placing of 6th. This competition served to identify the weaknesses within the team and meant that a focused training programme could be put together in preparation for Bisley in the ten-day gap between competitions.
The fresh sense of enthusiasm coupled with confidence meant the team maximised preparation time on the Ballykinler ranges. Our weaknesses were in transition shoots and pistol shooting, which would be assessed on the Urban Contact Assessment. The team received extra tuition and coaching from Corporal Reed of C Company and Corporal Tabaiwalu of B Company. The team were able to practice Pistol CQM and Urban Contact assessments in this period to develop muscle memory which was crucial if we were to do well at Bisley. In addition, the Riflemen focused on the rural
assessment shoot, engaging targets of up to 500 metres to supress, and shooting from the kneeling and sitting positions at 400m. The stand out performers were Rifleman Jenkins of A Company and Rifleman Gerrard of B Company. This grew the confidence of the team and we were ready to tackle the rigours of Bisley.
This competition provided unique challenges for the team with the varying range layouts and structure. This tested the team in firing from awkward positions and requiring constant adjustment of the point of aim. Despite these conditions the Riflemen were not fazed and conducted themselves in a professional and enthusiastic manner throughout the competition. The highlight was undoubtedly the section attack assessment which involved contacts of up to 500m interspersed with casevac drills and supply runs. The team placed 35th with the highest placing of 180th going to Rifleman Jenkins of A Company.
The competitions were tough, but the team conducted themselves to the highest standards and acknowledged the privilege of competing at a high level. It also provided some invaluable lessons to bring back to Battalion on how to train the shot and learn what is possible when time and resources are used effectively. Special mentions must go to Lance Corporal Stock, who newly arrived to Battalion was invaluable in ensuring the team were prepared for the competitions and to Serjeant McDowell who greatly helped the team on the administration side of the house.
Lt Louis Long C Company
The team at the end of the Operational Shooting Competition
 Riflemen on the range in the kneeling position at 400m
        Casualty evacuation as part of the section attack range

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