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Do you remember the days when BAOR regiments used to send teams back to the UK on the Cambrian March Patrol competition? We initially thought that it was a ruse to get a few days back in the Motherland, until we saw the actual details of the challenge – at which point our envy of those taking part turned to utmost respect! Here is the Army press release about this year’s competition. TMT

Army press release

Exercise CAMBRIAN PATROL is the premier patrolling event of the British Army which is held in Wales and hosted by Headquarters 160th (Welsh) Brigade, 11-20 October 2019.

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The Cambrian Patrol

The aim of The Cambrian Patrol is to provide a challenging patrols exercise in order to enhance operational capability.

Patrol Overview

The Cambrian Patrol is run on an annual basis with applications accepted from all three Services (Regular and Reserve Forces), and a variety of overseas military units.

The event has evolved into a cost-effective, ready-made exercise that Commanding Officers can use to test the basic training standards of their soldiers, in preparation for future operations. It is mission focused and scenario-based, with role players used to enhance the training benefit. We seek to encourage wider participation from across all the arms and services and stress that the entry standards are not based on any specialist skills but on MATTs.

Cavalry regiment involvement in the Patrol Competition was not that common in the days of BAOR. In a move that was not supported by everyone, the 14th/20th King’s Hussars entered a team in 1982. They were somewhat nervous about other teams such as the Gurkhas, but, led by their commander, the then Captain Rupert Wise, they did very well. Some thought that the infantry battalions had had rather a belly-full of this sort of thing as some had recently returned from the Falklands War. Photo copyright; Rupert Wise

Patrol Composition

Each patrol is to have a non-participating Patrol Manager and driver and the composition of the patrol is to be:

Ptl Comd: Offr (OF Grade 1-2)/WO/SNCO (OR Grade5-7).
Ptl 2IC: JNCO (OR Grade 3-4)
6 x Ptes/OR1-2: This group may include no more than one x JNCO (OR Grade 3-4).

However, specialised units and international squad make-up will be considered on a case by case basis.

Assessment Criteria

Cambrian Patrol is a Mission and Task Orientated exercise. The fundamental criteria used to assess the performance of the patrol is by determining whether or not it completes the various tasks and achieves its Mission. This is assessed by awarding marks for:

Military skills (approx 70% of total marks)
Orders (approx 15% of total marks)
Debrief (approx 15% of total marks)

The other military skills that may be assessed during Cambrian Patrol are:

Dismounted Close Combat Skills
Obstacle crossing drills
First aid and CasEvac procedures
Recognition of aircraft, vehicles and equipment
C-IED/Minefield awareness
Patrol Techniques
Captured persons (CPERS) Handling
Helicopter drills
Media handling
CBRN drills
SERE skills
Radio communications skills
Artillery Target Indication procedures
Working with vehicles.

The competition is international: the Pakistan Army (seen above), won Gold Prize in 2015, sharing that position on the podium with New Zealand. India was second that year.

Cambrian Patrol 2019

The date for Cambrian Patrol 2019 will be from the 11-20 Oct 2019. The DIN will be released on 3 February/or on the first Monday after 3 February each year.

Contact details

The initial point of contact for all entrants is the Cambrian Patrol WO on 94351 2280 / 01874 613280. 

Words and images copyright MOD unless otherwise indicated.

Comments on Exercise Cambrian Patrol 11-20 October, 2019

There are 2 comments on Exercise Cambrian Patrol 11-20 October, 2019

  1. Comment by C . Phillip

    C . Phillip

    You mention the cavalry but I remember a newspaper headline in the 70s, “cooks whip the cream* when they won the Cambrian marches,…. No mention of that or is it still that much of an embarassment?

    1. Comment by Murray Hammick

      Murray Hammick

      Quite possibly you are right!

      We can find no public record of that victory. Please do let us know if you have any more info about that win – were you in the team or did you have friends who competed? We would love to hear more about it if you can provide any details. Ed.

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