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Culdrose Marksmen are Top Guns

14 June 2017
Culdrose personnel recently took part in the Fleet Air Arm Operational Shooting Competition (FAAOSC), with 829 Naval Air Squadron (NAS) winning 5 trophies.

This shooting competition provides an opportunity for all members of the Fleet Air Arm to gain experience and confidence in handling both the SA80 A2 5.56mm rifle and the Glock General Service pistol.

They also improve their combat marksmanship skills. These may be called upon to be used in their front line role when deployed defending the nation’s interests and working with our military partners anywhere in the world.

The three members of 829 NAS were Petty Officer Air Engineering Technician (AET) Craig Sharpe, AET Chris Quigley (recently selected for promotion) and AET Ben Cartwright.

The competition, which involved advanced marksmanship practices, was held at Alexander Barracks, Pirbright.   During the week, all competitors took their Annual Combat Marksmanship Test for rifle and pistol.

They then took part in competitions based on combat scenarios encompassing rifle marksmanship between 25 to 500m and combat pistol matches between 10 to 25yds.

I’m sure you will agree that the 829 NAS competitors are pretty formidable!

Lieutenant Commander Kay Burbridge

Along with the 829 NAS personnel, representing RNAS Culdrose were AET Benjamin Whetton from the Merlin Aviation Support Facility and Naval Airman Samuel Fry from the Fire Station.

The trophy cabinet at 829 NAS is now pretty full. They came away with the Top Team trophy for Rifle on the Electronic Target Range, the Top Team on the Rifle Gallery, Top Team Service Pistol and Top Team overall.  AET Ben Cartwright also won the Top Novice Individual on the Rifle Gallery.

As a result of their fantastic achievements, they have all been selected for the Fleet Air Arm Operational Shooting Team and will compete at the forthcoming Royal Navy and Royal Marine Operational Shooting Competition in Jun 17.

The Commanding Officer of 829 NAS, Lieutenant Commander Kay Burbridge is delighted:  “The 829 Naval Air Squadron team’s achievement in the competition was absolutely outstanding and I’m sure that they will be equally successful at the Royal Navy and Royal Marine competition next month.  And for AET Ben Whetton and NA Sam Fry, it was a great experience for them too and representing RNAS Culdrose as well.

"Everyone always thinks that it’s only the Army who handle rifles and pistols but they forget that it’s part of our basic training too.  Our aircrew and sailors need to be proficient in the use of rifles and pistols in their operational front line role.

"They can find themselves deployed defending the interests of the UK anywhere in the world, working independently or with some of our allies.  I’m sure you will agree that the 829 NAS competitors are pretty formidable!”

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