Is the main issue not that SASC need to be present to validate a course, which limits the flexibility we can offer?
No. If we want a week course, and can generate the students and DS for it, the SASC will support.
I think lots of us want a 2-day course for small-bore RCO only. Will they support that?
I would suggest that, that could be the same as the 2 day Air Rifle RCO Course.
What would really be different between the 2 in the greater scheme of things?
Rather than get into a Q&A on here, why not ask the question on the Shooting Portal?
Surely we’d ask through the chain of command instead?
Good point well presented! However, asking a question on the Portal isn’t circumventing the chain of command!
This is similar to what we used to have, except people came back enabled to do everything.
This is what is required, for small bore only, including air rifle, which would accommodate probably 90% of cadet shooting.
Two days is one weekend which is more suitable for people than 2 weekends or a week. There is then scope for people to gain experience, which benefits the cadets, with the small bore by virtue of greater exposure and then if they want to. do a course to do full bore. Which what used to happen. The majority stayed as .22 only which was fine and cadets did lots of shooting. I seem to recall that the same problems of getting to do enough .303/7.62 range details to remain current, dogged those people.
Ah but the shooting fraternity is L98 obsessed, which is why we are using L98 drills or variations thereof for bolt action weapons like the .22 and the Air Rifle rather than L81 drills with the L98 as the exception as apparently it’s progressive!
This obsession as you put it with the L98 is what has been killing shooting. There was never anything similar with .303/7.62 and by comparison to the last few years and shooting flourished as an activity. The whole progressive thing is misplaced and something dreamed up by people at HQAC. When I was a cadet we just thought shooting was fun and doing .303/7.62 was an extension of the fun. As soon as there is a ‘progressive’ notion and people get too excited about pushing it, it turns into school. If the cadets have a hankering to do something more, they will do it, hence the moan from Wing Shooting people that the same cadets seem to do full bore shooting. In all my years as cadet and staff it is apparent that cadets will find and do the things they are interested in and not do the things they have little interest in. Which is the same as the workplace.
The powers that be (SASC?) need to completely revamp their ideas about single shot rifles - they apparently see them as weapons of war. Furthermore, the mish-mash of drills (bolt open, bolt closed, safety catch yes, safety catch no, breech flag yes, breech flag no) goes against all common sense. Move to simple trg that could (heresy!) be conducted by someone RCO-qualified on the rifle type. Move to simple NSPs that are in line with NRA / NSRA guidelines (breech inspected - insert breech flag, rifle safe). Yes, L98 is much more complicated & needs “military” drills. I have repeatedly asked the HQAC Shooting Team (wg cdr level) about such issues.
Progressive trg - sorry, that has caused huge difficulties. If nothing else, it greatly expands the range time needed to get to a specific level, where previously the same detail could be used for differing standards - for example, you could have firers shooting for a sqn marksman badge (2 x 5 shot groups) at the same time as wg marksman (5 x 2 shots per diagram). Yep, mentioned that to HQAC too.
Admin - RAMs for air rifle (AR)? Bane of my life. If even one cadet can’t make the planned weekend shoot for a competition, then a full RAM / Bader procedure with Wg Shooting Officer approval, etc, is required for one firer. Overload of paperwork. Scrap RAMs for AR. Complained to HQAC several times.
We tried to get candidates on an AR-only RCO Cse. Not possible as they didn’t have SC. Not allowed even if application would have been pending. SC for AR - really??? Yep, asked about that too
It all adds up - & not in a positive way.
Oh, & scrap the L144! The chance to move cadet target shooting into the 21st Century was missed completely.
Progressive training is a great thing, and a good idea to implement in an organisation that’s as varied as ours.
The problem is that in some areas - and shooting in particular - they’ve misunderstood “progressive” as “sequential”.
Giving opportunities to participate at a wide variety of levels is great, but forcing people through a syllabus - especially where the early stages might not be able to easily access - really isn’t helping things at all.
Pretty sure it will scrap itself in due course…
I don’t think it will take as long as that!
We have always been progressive; classification, DofE, promotions, ‘flying’ and even shooting (you started on .22 and progressed to full bore), but it was always done and still is on ability, merit or interest. There is little point in having cadets do things, if they don’t have a modicum of interest.
Access is largely governed by available staff and therein lies the problem. There is a fault in that it seems to be almost expected that staff give up all their free time (weekends) to do parts of the progressive training as parts of it need squadrons to do it together, rather than just on the squadron, which could be easily managed on parade nights.
Our CO got a knuckle rap as we set up a YFA just for the squadron where some of us instructed and some of us assessed. The Wing Fist Aid bod got far too excited and said we had to get others in to assess, which then delayed the YFA.
Just to throw my hat in the ring. I am an RCO SR and LR and SAAI. We hvae 2 SAAI in the wing and 1 WI.We had a WgShO previously who wanted sectors to organise shoots so shooting died. He was replaced by another who did well but buckled and left. He has been replaced by a pleasant person who has been to two shoots as they only qualified last year. I was advised by our WSO not to apply, I understood something about faces and fitting.
Having said that I am an RCO at a local rifle club, under 18’s can join for £10, £1.50 a shoot plus ammunition. I used to have around 10 cadets who joined as members. I supplied the county with two over 18 shots and we won the wing shooting one year. I am also a FC instructor. Last time I offer FC training I had two cadets, I now have only seven in a class. I have army cadets at the rifle club and 1 ATC cadet. Moral- Dedicate, work hard and do it for the pleasure of training those who appreciate it, its hard but worthwhile and don’t forget modern cadet apathy. .
As Ibbi has already said, I know of quite a few opportunities where a whole week course could be put on during another Cadet camp period on suitable estate so get people passing this need up the CoC and the SATTs will respond.
As an idea, 7 SATT recently delivered training in Cyprus including SA(AR)12 and a K Qual, all during the week to the the RAF AC unit, ACF and service instructors.
We have dedicated and successful coaches who due to poor organisation from higher up have their recency lapsing as we never have rifles and ammo in the same place at the same time.
This is not through lack of trying. We also have a range on site, but still can’t use it. It’s incredibly frustrating.
What you need is an RCO, who along with managing the Range on the day, runs the whole activity, and organises the Arms/Ammo, moving from the parent station to/from the range is a 3 person job, and not as restrictive as it has been in the recent past.
Unfortunately, this isn’t taught on the on the RCO course…
Is the need for currency given that having the right people in the right place is creating another set of problems?
Does this happen everywhere, staff needing to be requalled and then cadets before starting? I know we have problems keeping cadets current and it normally ends up with flap and spin a week or so before a shoot.
Reading this an ‘all in one’ approach is needed for just small bore and Air Rifle, to get cadets shooting and staff enthused without needing more and more courses.