Orton and Peterborough Squadrons join forces to hit the target.

On Saturday cadets and staff from Peterborough’s two Air Cadet Squadrons joined forces to give a number of new cadets their first experiences of target shooting as a member of the Air Training Corps.

Cadets and staff from 51 (Orton) Squadron and 115 (Peterborough) Squadron met at 51’s headquarters at Nene Park Academy for a day’s shooting on the BSA Scorpion air rifle. Many of the 24 cadets were new and having never fired anything in their life before were rightly a little nervous. Following on from initial training and handling tests from weapons instructor and Officer Commanding 115 (Peterborough) Squadron, Flight Lieutenant Stephen Dalton, they were left in the capable hands of Flight Lieutenant Andy Mason, Officer Commanding 51(Orton) Squadron to put them through their paces on the range.

ShootingThe cadets all received some coaching as they took to the platform from two experienced cadets who have used the rifles many times before. For the first time shooters, there were some remarkable results, which saw the cadets walk away with some rather large smiles as they realised it was not something to be frightened about at all. This will be their first of many chances to shoot the air rifle before they progress on to the No8 .22 rifle and the L98A2 further in their cadet careers.

The practice shooting is all great experience, especially as 51 squadron have two teams entered in the Air Cadets National Air Rifle Competition this year and are currently sitting 6th after the first of 5 rounds. This is a competition that both squadrons will enter and co-operate with in 2014 so all the practice will see them in good stead for the future.
Adult Flight Sergeant Kev Foxcroft from 115 (Peterborough) Squadron said, “having watched the cadet’s from both squadrons get on well together and achieve some great results on the day it made the whole thing worthwhile. I know we will continue to work together in the future with 51 Squadron on the shooting and other things to benefit both Squadrons and cadets in the long term” Flight Lieutenant Andy Mason, Officer Commanding 51 (Orton) Squadron said “Working with 115 squadron was great today, all the cadets and staff had a fantastic time learning to shoot following from the joint communications training yesterday and I hope it will just be the start of a lot of joint training efforts for both units to see the cadets experiences broadened and enhanced for the better”.

51 (Orton) Squadron are currently recruiting cadets so if you are aged 13-17 and would like to take on a new challenge, meet new friends and learn a great deal then please get in touch. We also are on the look-out for adult staff, both civilian and those who wish to become uniformed staff. The Squadron can be contacted either on parade nights on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 9.15pm telephone 01733 567895 or email ortonsqnatc@btinternet.com .  There will be an open evening for all parents and cadets to come along and see the squadron, its cadets and staff and get a taste of what Air Cadet life is about on the 23rd February from 7.15pm, why not come and see for yourself. 115 (Peterborough) Squadron can be contacted at oc.115@aircadets.org