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Royal Marines dominate annual shooting competition

18 May 2016
The Royal Marines have dominated this year’s Plymouth and Scotland Operational Shooting Competition winning all but one of the 14 trophies available.

A total of eight teams took part in the annual competition held at HMS Raleigh and organised by the Military Training Unit (MTU).  

The Royal Marines team from the Commando Training Centre (CTC) took eight of the trophies, followed by 4 Assault Squadron (4ASRM), based on HMS Bulwark, who won four and a team from 45 Commando in Scotland, who won one.  

For the Royal Navy Leading Hand Simon Gripton from HMS Ramsay won an individual trophy having achieved the highest score in four of the rifle events.  

Representing CTC were members of the Combat Markmanship Team.  Speaking after the event Corporal Jack Varney said: “I’ve enjoyed the pistol shooting because it’s something we don’t get a massive amount of time to do. You have to apply yourself really hard to get good scores, so I like it.”

The competition is held over five days with each competitor having to complete their annual combat marksmanship test at the start of the week.

This event is designed to improve Navy marksmanship throughout the Fleet and instil a little bit of competition between those taking part, but equally it’s to coach and meet together.

Major ‘Tenna’ Hill, the Officer Commanding the MTU at HMS Raleigh

Shooting in teams of four and individually, competitors are tested at firing from various distances, in different firing positions, with time also to allow them to develop their skills. 

Many of the shoots start with a run down the range prior to engaging the targets.  

Royal Navy teams from HMS Sutherland, HMS Somerset, HMS Bulwark and HMS Argyll also took part this year.  Prizes were presented by Commodore Paul Halton, Commander Devonport Flotilla.

The annual skill-at-arms meeting is a pre-cursor to the Inter-Service competition at Bisley and allows the Royal Navy to select a team of 15 to compete at what is the pinnacle of the Armed Forces competition shooting calendar.  

Major ‘Tenna’ Hill, the Officer Commanding the MTU at HMS Raleigh, said: “This event is designed to improve Navy marksmanship throughout the Fleet and instil a little bit of competition between those taking part, but equally it’s to coach and meet together. 

"Peer on peer coaching is a big thing that we’ve been doing here and the week has gone very well. We’ve had some exceptional young, new Able Rates and Leaders, who have proven to be really good marksman and hopefully they’ll go on to Bisley to shoot for the Royal Navy.”

Major Hill was one of five who took part in the Commanding Officers (CO) shoot.

The MTU at HMS Raleigh provides cutting edge weapons training for Naval Service personnel at all levels, ensuring that they are fully prepared to protect themselves or their units on operations at sea and ashore.  

The unit has the most up-to-date facilities available to the Royal Navy, including computer simulators, outside ranges and multimedia classrooms.

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