Page 95 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 95

  The Success of the Regimental Shooting Team
The 4 RIFLES shooting season began with the shooting team selection held in Feb 19 which saw the recruitment of seven new members to the team and marked the start of the training pipeline. Hence the challenge was set – could the Fourth Battalion shooting team finally defeat the Royal Gurkha Rifles’ stranglehold on British Army Shooting Competitions?
The shooting team trained in a vast number of locations on their road to Bisley, but the standout vista was from Akotiri Ranges in Cyprus. The team were required to shoot in a multitude of weather conditions to ensure that they were ready for the Army Operational Shooting Compe- tition (OSC). Robustness to weather conditions was certainly achieved through shooting on the ranges near the sea, whilst being accommodated on Troodos Mountain; seeing a temperature change of over twenty-five degrees from day to night.
The pressure began to increase for the team as the competitions began. The first stop was the 20 Brigade operational shooting competition, where the team accompanied 5 RIFLES to compete. 4 RIFLES achieved the results that they required but were only competing for honours, as a non-brigade unit, and therefore had the pleasure of watching the 5 RIFLES team claim the prize.
The next stop was the first real challenge for 4 RIFLES, the 3rd UK Division competition. Here they would face their arch rivals of the 2018 season, 2 RGR. The competition was as close as it was windy with an incredibly high standard shown by both teams. The final scores saw less than a 1% difference overall as 2 RGR
claimed the 3 UK Div OSC prize. 4 RIFLES were ready for the next bout.
The greatest competition of the season is, of course, the Army Operational Shooting Competition held at Bisley. 4 RIFLES arrived and were immediately set to task competing with 1 RGR and 2 RGR. Everyday the scores were as close as ever, with a clear increase in the standard from 2018. 2 RGR fell to the consistency of 4 RIFLES but it unfortunately wasn’t to be for another year. 1 RGR claimed the first place. 4 RIFLES finished a narrow second, the fourth year in a row. Though the team was sore from the defeat, they already have their sights set on the 2020 season which we are certain will be our year!
Capt Nathan Murphy
  The Regimental Shooting Team with their silverware following the 2019 season
 Time spent drinking tea is seldom wasted
    to Company level, and CSjt Navunisaravi delivered sustainment lessons to the Saudi senior NCOs.
Due to the battalion’s role, a focus on developing a language capability amongst our Riflemen has been at the core of what we are trying to achieve. Rfn Donovan, who recently completed a long language course at the Defence School of Languages in Shrivenham, demonstrated the fruits of his labour. During the course, he delivered most of his lessons in Arabic and acted as an embedded section 2IC during training serials, demonstrating that 4 RIFLES brings a capability to tasks like this that other parts of the army are unable to provide in the same way.
All in all, it was an enjoyable and insightful experience in a country the battalion has not yet been persistently engaged in. Hopefully there will be future opportunities in Saudi Arabia for the Specialised Infantry, and particularly 4 RIFLES. Capt Franklin D’Souza
Team 9 practice patrolling skills with their Saudi counterparts

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