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Normandy Company Success at Bisley

Cadets from Normandy Company, Hampshire & Isle of Wight ACF attended the Regional Shooting Competition at the National Shooting Centre, Bisley.

Normandy Company Success at Bisley

1 November 2021

  • Hampshire And Isle Of Wight ACF

Cadets from Normandy Company attended a shooting weekend at Army Training Regiment, Pirbright, in mid-September where three teams of four cadets, supported by coaches, were able to zero their weapon systems and practice in preparation for the shooting competition.

Prior to the Shooting weekend, the Cadets, who formed three teams of four, had never seen the Cadet Target Rifle before. So, they all met together prior to the competition to learn all they could about the Target Rifle, its capabilities and the handling drills. Not like any other weapon system the Cadets will come across during their time with the ACF, the Cadets initially struggled under the sheer weight of the rifle. As the training progressed, they were eventually able to handle the rifles competently and confidently ahead of the competition weekend in September.

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Over the weekend of 11-12 September, the three teams made their way to the Brigade Competition, which was held at Army Training Regiment, Pirbright, to compete against other ACF and CCF teams from the Brigade. The teams of four consisted of:

Team A1: Coach: Lt Col Geernart-Davies

Cpl Davies – 1 (Park Gate) Platoon

Cpl Richards – 1 (Park Gate) Platoon

Cpl Small – 4 (Bishops Waltham) Troop

LCpl Walsh – 9 (Fareham) Platoon

Team A2: Coach: SMI Sinkinson

Cpl Piper – 1 (Park Gate) Platoon

Cpl Toms – 6 (Browndown) Platoon

LCpl Fowles – 1 (Park Gate) Platoon

LCpl Grady – 1 (Park Gate) Platoon

Team A3: Coach: SSI Payne

Cpl Chandler – 4 (Bishops Waltham) Troop

Cpl Holdstock – 4 (Bishops Waltham) Troop

Cdt Handley-Quint – 1 (Park Gate) Platoon

Cdt Pealin – 1 (Park Gate) Platoon

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The day started with the Cadets being given the opportunity for some zeroing to make sure their weapons are on target to their sight alignment; this gives each cadet the best chance when the competition gets underway.

The first competition shoot was an individual shoot and a team shoot at 300m. Each cadet completed this well with support of their team’s coach. The Coaches were able to offer support and advice throughout the competition which included reminding the Cadets about the marksmanship principles and the correct hold in the aim position. Throughout the day this was integral as the cadet’s muscles grew tired at each shooting practice under the weight of the weapons.

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The next day of the competition saw the Cadets move back to greater distances from the targets, up to 600m! At these distances the shooting will be significantly affected by the wind and weather conditions. Its because of this that the Coaches kept reminding the Cadets about their aiming and how to correctly adjust this for the conditions they faced.

The Cadets performed well and there was some fantastic shooting. During the final parade it was announced that the teams from Normandy Company came Second overall which is an amazing achievement based on their knowledge of the weapon at the start of the month! Cpl Richards, however, managed to take Second Place in the individual scored event which meant he was only outshot by one other cadet the whole weekend!

The whole weekend was awesome! From not knowing anything about the Target Rifle to getting Second out of all the cadets there and first out of the ACF cadets, wow! I have my coach and the other adults to thank for that.

Cdt Cpl Richards, Normandy Company

Placing first out of all the ACF teams was Hants & IOW Team A2, earning their place in the National Competition in Bisley in just a months’ time!

The Cadets all enjoyed their weekend and managed to learn and develop new skills on a brand-new weapon system that not many other Cadets can say they have fired.

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The National Competition was held on 30 October at the National Shooting Centre in Bisley. Here eight of the Normandy Cadets made their way to the Shooting Centre along with Lt Col Geernart-Davies, SMI Sinkinson and SSI Payne. The two teams from Normandy Company attended the competition to represent the South East of England in the Inter Services competition.

Unlike the Regional Competition in September, the weather was not as nice! With high winds and rain forecast over the weekend, the cadets faced a hard shoot, much less the gravitas of the competition itself. Despite this, they all put maximum effort into their shooting which took place over 300m, 500m and 600m.

The County’s A Team finished 8th overall in the competition, receiving silver medals for coming second amongst the ACF Teams; while all eight cadets received their Bisley Badges which symbolise their attendance to a National Shooting Competition!

The success of the teams is due to the dedication and support of the Adult Volunteers who trained them. Lt Col Geernaert-Davies, SMI Sinkinson and SSI Payne stepped up and coached the cadets through the competitions. Well done to everyone!

Col Farmer, County Commandant
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