Unique gunnery competition
Various British Army Regiments took part in the Mounted Gunnery Competition (MGC) this week at Lulworth Ranges. A shooting competition with a difference, the event saw troops firing at targets, sometimes over two kilometres distance using various gun platforms, including Challenger Two (CR2) tanks, Warrior, Jackal and Scimitar Armoured reconnaissance vehicles.
Weapons include the 7.62mm Chain Gun, 30mm Rarden Cannon, 120mm main gun firing High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) and Armour-piercing fin-stabilizing discarded-sabot rounds (APFSDS).
The MG Competition was won by Team A from the Queen’s Royal Hussars (QRH) based with 20 Brigade in Germany. Firing from the CR2 MBT, the QRH scored 72% hits closely follow by the King’s Royal Hussars (KRH) with 70% kill rate.
Top guns in the Armoured Infantry group firing from the Warrior (WR) was the 5th Bn The RIFLES (5 RIFLES) Team B who scored 68% in 16:50 seconds, closely followed by 1st Bn Royal Welsh (1 R WELSH) Team B who also made 68% but in 17:57 seconds.
The Armoured Cavalry (CVR(T)) first position was held by the Royal Lancers (RL) Team B who reached at 75% in 15:13 seconds. Close Recce (CVR(T)) awards was taken by the King’s Royal Hussars (KRH) with a massive 81% in 18:06 seconds. Mechanised Infantry on the JACKAL was won by 4th Bn The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS) with an overall 90% in an average kill time of 12:05 seconds.
Reservists from The Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY) did not fare so well in the competition but they did get the opportunity to fire a lot of ammunition. (Pictured here) Lance Corporal Toby DAVIDSON, aged 29 from Wimbourne who is a nuclear science engineer was pragmatic, he said, “Although we only hit 44% of the targets we did manage to fire over 100 Hesh P and KE rounds down the range which would be normally our total annual allowance in the RWxY.”
Watching the proceedings was the Deputy Commander 3rd (UK) Division Brigadier General Mike TARSA of the United States Army. He was impressed by what he saw. “In my twenty-eight years in uniform I’ve never seen such need for readiness, it’s not just enough to be able to shoot but to be able to hit what you shoot at,” he said.
Adding his agreement with Major General Sanders, Commander 3rd (UK) Division, Brigadier Tarsa commented that, “ there is great value and enthusiasm in competing in these gunnery events. They create a huge sense of pride and comradery among the crews and should be held on a regular basis.”
Brigadier General Tarsa is a highly-decorated artillery officer, having served on multiple tours of Iraq. He has held a number of senior appointments within the US military, most recently as the Acting Senior Commander of 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson, Colorado for which he was awarded the prestigious Legion of Merit.