Exercise Cambrian Patrol
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Exercise Cambrian Patrol is an annual international military patrolling exercise that makes its participating units cover a 50-mile (80 km) course in less than 48 hrs while performing numerous types of military exercises placed throughout the rugged Cambrian Mountains and swamp lands of mid-Wales.
Cambrian Patrol was first set up more than 40 years ago, by a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers who designed the training event to feature long distance marching over the Cambrian Mountains culminating in a shooting match on the Sennybridge training area. Since then, the exercise has been rigorously updated to meet the challenges faced by modern soldiers.
In 2006 the event which ran from 27 October to 5 November 2006, attracted 95 teams from the British Army (regular and territorial) and Royal Air Force. Foreign army teams from Pakistan, Canada, Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, India, France and the Czech Republic also took part. A total of 64 teams completed the exercise.
The competition consists of teams of eight men patrolling across some of the most unforgiving terrain. It's a test of leadership, self-discipline, courage, physical endurance and determination. The exercise usually starts with teams arriving at a rendezvous before having their equipment checked to make sure they have everything required. Missing equipment will be replaced by dead weight and will mean points will be deducted. From there the team leader will be taken to orders while the rest of the team set up a quick hide, start their battle prep and prepare to receive orders i.e. prepare a model of the ground which will be covered during the patrol. Many of the teams that enter do not finish, those that do earn one of four distinctions; gold medal, silver medal, bronze medal, or passing.
The exercise is a test of military skills, leadership and physical endurance including:
- Firing of personal weapons
- Obstacle crossing
- First Aid and Casualty Evacuation (casevac) procedures
- Recognition of aircraft, vehicles and equipment
- Artillery target indication
- Patrol Techniques
- Helicopter drills
- Media handling
- Communications skills
- Handling prisoners of war
- Tactical River/Stream crossing
- Ambush/AntiAmbush Drills
- Recce Techniques
- Tunnel Crossing
- Navigation Skills
- rock climbing / repelling
In 2014, a team from the University of London Officer Training Corps became the first all-female team to complete the Patrol, earning a bronze medal.