Pakistan Army has won the Gold Medal in the prestigious Cambrian Patrol held in the UK beating around 140 teams, the award is shared with the New Zealand Army. Whereas, Indian Army has secured silver.
Soldiers from around the world descended on Wales for their toughest military test yet – Exercise Cambrian Patrol.
The international patrolling exercise, an annual event organised and run by 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales, is both physically and mentally demanding and is a highlight in the British Army’s training calendar.
Internationally, it’s regarded as one of the toughest tests the modern-day soldier can face and some overseas entrants have to claim the right to take part by winning their own domestic competition.
This year’s exercise, Friday October 16 – Sunday October 25, have seen Bosnia taking part for the first time, aiming to navigate their way through some of the harshest terrain in the Welsh Black Mountains.
Patrol commanders were given a set of orders based on a specific scenario, for onward briefing to members of their patrol before they are taken to a number of drop-off points in the hills.
The exercise is split into seven phases with soldiers marching a mind-and-muscle sapping 55km carrying full personal kit and equipment, weighing in at some 60lbs, on the two-day patrolling mission.
Navigating both by day and night, the patrols face many testing and specialist challenges, including observation and reconnaissance of enemy forces, cold river crossings in full kit without access to boats, first-aid and an enemy attack. At the completion of the exercise each patrol faces a comprehensive debriefing session on their mission.
Military skills, stamina and dedication are constantly evaluated during the patrol and marked with a system of points. Teams that successfully complete their mission are awarded a gold, silver or bronze medal or certificate of merit, depending on the total number of points they have gained.
Exercise Cambrian Patrol began in 1959, when a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers designed a weekend training event featuring long-distance marching over the Cambrian Mountains and culminating in a shooting match on the Sennybridge training area.
On arriving at the assembly area, teams are subjected to a thorough check to ensure that they are in possession of the correct kit, equipment and clothing required for the exercise.
This year there was a record number of international patrols, with teams from New Zealand, Poland, Pakistan, Czech Republic, France, Denmark, Australia, Holland, Ireland, India, Canada, Chile, Brazil, The Royal Army of Oman, USA, Poland, Switzerland, Lithuania, Nepal and Georgia all represented.