CUMBERNAULD’s Fiona Thompson displayed superior speed and accuracy when she won a heap of trophies in an RAF shooting competition.
Fiona, a 24-year-old Flying Officer, won the RAF Women’s Service Rifle Cup, placed second in the Air Command RAF Women’s Service Pistol and third in the Young Officer and Airman (25 and under) competition during the RAF 2012 Group Operational Shooting competition held last month at Pirbright Ranges
Former Kilsyth Academy pupil Fiona says her firearm skills have developed with experience gained as a cadet. “When I was 13 my dad Jim Thompson, who is still Warrant Officer at 2496 Squadron, Cumbernauld Air Training Corps brought me to the cadets and I loved it. I started shooting .22 rifles then moved to the L95 rifle which is similar to what I was shooting in the competition.”
Fiona founded the RAF Boulmer Operational Shooting Team which excelled on its debut in the competition, despite some of the wettest weather seen at the event. They participated in eight live fire operational competitions over the course of four days, in events which used electronic, gallery and moving target ranges.
Fiona explained the importance of firearms skills: “Competitive target shooting within the military has continued to make a significant contribution towards raising efficiency in weapon handling and marksmanship abilities. The sporting results are self-evident in impressive and varied individual and team successes in both national and international events. Setting their sights ahead, the RAF Boulmer Operational Shooting Team is now training for the Royal Air Force Small Arms Association Competition where members will compete for individual and station honours in addition to representing the Royal Air Force in tri-service competitions against the Army and Navy.”
Fiona is based at RAF Boulmer where she is stationed at the garages housing the fleet of vehicles needed to keep the base running. From cars to fuel tenders, all are under her care. She says the RAF was always where she wanted to work.
“I was always interested in joining the military so when I was 13 he took me to his ATC. I was hooked from the start - absolutely loved it. I later joined the university air corps and went into officer training after I graduated.”
Her mum, Fiona’s Mum, Morag Lines, also lives locally. She said: “I am exceedingly proud of her, she’s done so well.”
Staying close to her roots, Fiona remains in close contact with her former cadet squadron too: “I’m actually going to visit the Cumbernauld ATC on Thursday,” she said. “I’m looking forward to it.”