Ex Cambrian Patrol 2017 CREDITS: MoD/Army

Ex Cambrian Patrol: Is It The World’s Toughest Patrolling Test?

Ex Cambrian Patrol 2017 CREDITS: MoD/Army

More than 1,000 British soldiers and 28 international armies have taken part in the world’s toughest patrolling test in Wales.

Exercise Cambrian Patrol is a unique annual event organised by 160th Infantry Brigade and Headquarters Wales.

The largest of its kind, the exercise sees troops cover miles of the Brecon Beacons and face all sorts of terrain on their two-day patrol.

Cambrian Patrol is both physically and mentally challenging. Soldiers face a 75-metre river crossing with approximately 50 pounds worth of kit each and long marches.

While it's not a competition, points are added or deducted depending on performance and on average, only five percent of patrols gain the top award.

Some foreign entrants have to claim the right to take part in the exercise by winning through their own domestic competition.

This year’s event has seen 131 patrols entered into the mix, including five overseas armies taking part for the first time, with soldiers from Armenia, Uzbekistan, United Arab Emirates, the Philippines and Moldova.

The Pakistan Army won the gold medal for the fourth time. Capt Usman Afzaf said:

"We have a great focus in this challenging patrol. (...)

"We can prepare with the motivation, the dedication and show the professionalism of our army, so that we will be able to understand the mechanism of other armies."

They were joined by troops representing armies from Georgia, Switzerland, Albania, Denmark, Italy, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Lithuania, Chile, Brazil, Pakistan, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Ireland, Serbia, Czech Republic, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Ukraine, Spain and France.

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.