With the lads coming off a well earned long weekend, we were excited for what the next couple of weeks had in store. With just a short coach journey, we arrived at the long awaited Straight Point Ranges. As the coach parked up we got our first glimpse of the enclosing area, which wasn’t much to look at, other than a couple of small buildings and some ropes which we knew we would be climbing sometime over our stay. Once we had our new pit spaces, in what resembled a garage, with the showers being on the other side of Straight Point (ideal!), we received a tour of the range complex itself. This is where we became aware of our 24 hr sentry duties, which alarmed some people.
Finally we got down onto the gallery range and shooting commenced at 100m. Our first task was to zero our rifles. This proved harder than imagined due to the strong winds we were experiencing but by focusing and applying the four marksmanship principles, the majority of the Troop were achieving reasonable groupings through the different firing positions. This was only going to get harder though as the weather was forecasted to be gale force winds and heavy rain for the rest of the week.
Through the next two weeks, the Troop progressed through the shoots, continuing to develop and build up their firing positions which enabled us to consistently and accurately hit the targets. No doubt this was because every night we used the DCCT indoor shooting range. By the end of the shooting package we had gained enough shooting experience and knew our individual points of aim at every range and with the weather finally giving us a break we were able to get onto the Electronic Target Range or ETR. This was challenging to say the least as not only the pressure of hitting the target under certain exposure time limits but to pass first time and achieve Marksmen. It all seemed to go very fast, trying to apply what the training team had installed in us.
We all passed our Annual Combat Marksmanship Test or ACMT and many did achieving a marksman badge as well for outstanding accuracy. With the 2 week package coming to an end the Troop realised that we had come a long way in a short space of time and as the gates closed behind us we were eager to return and crack on with training.