Pakistan Army won the gold medal yet again at an annual international military patrolling exercise, ‘Exercise Cambrian Patrol’ held in the UK.
The Pakistan Army team shared the first place award with the Royal New Zealand Army, beating 140 teams from armies across the globe. The Indian army secured second place winning a silver medal.
The international military patrolling exercise marks an important event in the British Army’s training calendar. Run by the 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales, over a 140 countries compete in the exercise which puts the soldiers’ military strength to the test.
In order to be eligible to compete in what is internationally regarded as the toughest military test, some overseas entrants are required to win the domestic competition.
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.
This year’s exercise, which was held from October 16 to October 25, saw Bosnia taking part in the competition 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 was split into seven phases with soldiers marching a mind-and-muscle sapping 55km, carrying full personal kit and equipment, weighing in at some 60lbs as part of the two-day patrolling mission. Navigating both by day and night, the patrols were faced with many challenges, including observation and reconnaissance of enemy forces, cold river crossings in full kit without access to boats, first-aid and with threat of an enemy attack. At the completion of the exercise each patrol was given a comprehensive debriefing session on their mission.
Results are based on a system of points, evaluating military skills, stamina and dedication during the patrol. 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.
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.