Fieldcraft & Target Shooting

We don't spend all our time in our blue uniform. A large part of our training is designed around bringing the best out in our cadets. Two great examples of this are our target shooting and fieldcraft training. Both activities take cadets out of their comfort zone and require a particular application of skills. Fieldcraft training especially is excellent for identifying leadership skills you might not think you've got. Target shooting is an important military skill, but it can alsobring through some really skilled people into a sport inherently difficult to access normally.

Target Shooting

Aside from being and important military skill, target shooting requires skill, patience and the application of some very in-depth training. The range is ALWAYS an extremely disciplined environment. We are lucky enough not to have to go elsewhere for our shooting, as we have use of an indoor range which we share with the TA and ACF, meaning we can practice more than some of the other less fortunate units.

Obviously, you can’t just pick up a rifle and shoot! You have to undergo dry training (using DRILL ammunition) and pass a weapons handling test. This qualification lasts six months, but the training can be done over a weekend. Once this is out of the way, you can go on the range with one of our qualified range conducting officers and fire REAL ammunition using our Lee Enfield No.8 / 0.22 rifle.

216 Squadron also has regular visits to larger outdoor ranges where after being qualified on the No. 8 can shoot the more modern L98 rifle, part of the SA-80 family currently in service with the British Armed Forces. This can only be fired by cadets who have already fired the No. 8 /0.22 rifle, passed the 1st class exam and are over 14 years of age.

Once familiar with the L98, the cadets can achieve the Corps Marksmanship, which involves more accuracy and speed shooting. Exceptionally skilled cadets can be nominated to participate in the trails for the Cadet 100, an award for the best 100 shots from the Air cadets, Army Cadets and Sea cadets; a challenge to say the least, but not impossible.


Fieldcraft exercises vary widely and each places emphasis on different aspects of how to survive and conduct yourself in the field. Many involve two teams being pitted against each other. You and your team might need to move quietly, avoiding detection as you sneak upon an 'enemy' installation. Sound easy? Think again. Speed might also be a big factor of your success. Do you risk exposing your position at the cost of achieving your objective more quickly? Decisions like these are challenging and need to be made 'on-the-fly'.

A massive advantage of fieldcraft exercises is that they force you to use your own initiative, sometimes affecting your teammates. What would happen if the commanders of your team ‘went down’? Would you take control?

If you have natural leadership qualities, they'll definitely show themselves here.

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