The 574 Dakota Royal Air Cadet Squadron made the move from Choiceland to Martensville in October of 2016 and has since seen exceptional growth. The local squadron participated in their first zone shooting competition recently, and cadets were excited to take part. “Each cadet unit is able to submit a team of five cadet shooters for every 60 cadets that are members of the squadron. We have five cadets compete on behalf of 574; three junior cadets aged 13 to 14 and two senior cadets over the age of 15. These cadets competed throughout the year within the squadron to make the team,” Captain Davies of the 574 Dakota Royal Air Cadet Squadron explained.
The zone shoot is held each year throughout the province for all squadrons to partake in. It is organized by the Marksmanship coordination team for the region based out of 17 Wing Winnipeg, and locally organized by the Martensville squadron, 702 Lynx Squadron and 45 Jervis Bay Sea Cadets, both based out of Saskatoon.
“As we have only been in the community for just over a year, our biggest hurdle has been developing within our cadets the aspects of our marksmanship program. As we hold regular training each week, we have to coordinate additional dates and times for our cadets as well as the coaching staff to conduct practices,” added Davies.
Davies explained that there are numerous benefits to the zone shooting competition, such as; teaching the cadets comradery in working with others, keeping them focused, learning proper breathing techniques, focusing on task at hand and providing them with a sense of accomplishment.
The results for the province wide event will be published on March 8th, and if the cadets from the 574 squadron are successful in placing, they will advance to the provincial competition. From there, if successful, cadets will move on to the national competition. “Within our squadron we will continue to work with our cadets to improve via practices for the remainder of the training year. The zone shooting competition takes place in February each year, and we will be submitting a team again next year,” Davies stated.
The Martensville squadron is very active in training, exercises and within the community. Upcoming events include; Gliding – where cadets are taken up in the air cadet program run gliders piloted by qualified cadets, Aviation and Air Skills Day and Spring Field Training Exercise.
More information about upcoming events and the 574 Dakota Royal Air Cadet Squadron can be found at www.574dakota.ca, or under ‘574 “Dakota” Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron’ on Facebook. “We try our best to include many pictures so that the public can check out this great program,” Davies said.