In March, a team of four fine individuals from 299 Para Sqn RE travelled to Riga, Latvia to compete in the Oskars Kalpaks Cup, a shooting competition run annually by the Latvian National Guard. On arrival, we didn’t get much chance to acclimatise to the -19°C temperatures before jumping into a taxi and heading in search of the ‘Latvian Shooting Federation’, which was conveniently hidden inside a Volleyball school on the outskirts of the city.
Once we’d given our team name at the door we were handed one 1950s Sig P210 pistol and one Carl Gustav M45 Submachine gun. We went exploring to find three indoor ranges running and worked out that we were being allowed to practice all three shoots prior to the competition the next day. The next day we fired the three shoots again with scores to count in Practical Pistol, Target Pistol and Submachine Gun. Following the days shooting a ‘friendship dinner’ was held that evening, which was an excellent event which provided an excellent opportunity to engage with other nations.
The team managed to avoid the wooden spoon and there were some impressive individual performances. The standard of marksmanship at the competition was extremely high with a semi-professional team from Sweden clearing up throughout. We had some opportunities to explore Riga by day and by night with our self-appointed guide from the National Guard and the city impressed us to the point we all agreed we’d pay our own money to go back! Thanks go to the RFCA for funding many aspects of the trip and without whom the competition would not have gone ahead.
Photo (L-R): Lance Corporal Greenwood, Sapper Johnson, Sapper Watson, 2nd Lieutenant King
Report courtesy of 299 Para Sqn RE
299 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers is an Army Reserve unit that provides support to 23 Parachute Engineer Regiment , the dedicated regular army engineer regiment in 16 Air Assault Brigade. They have detachments in Hull, Wakefield and Gateshead. For further information please contact [email protected] or 01904 668328