Exercise Cambrian Patrol: Troops take on Army's toughest patrol test

More than 20 foreign armies have taken part in NATO's toughest patrol test in the Welsh Black Mountains.

Organised by the UK's 160th Welsh Brigade, Exercise Cambrian Patrol was held over eight days.

The premier patrolling event of the British Army aims to provide a challenging world-class patrol exercise to enhance operational capability.

During the training, teams of eight soldiers faced a number of specific scenarios involving 'enemy' forces.

Exercise Cambrian Patrol began in 1959 when a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers designed a weekend of mountain marching and shooting.

The event has evolved into a cost-effective, ready-made exercise that commanding officers can use to confirm 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.

All international patrols are paired with British Army units to help prepare for Ex Cambrian Patrol.

This year, 27 foreign patrols signed up, including troops from the US and New Zealand.

Members of the Rifles Regiment patrolling along a track on Exercise Cambrian Patrol 13102022 CREDIT Army, MOD
Members of the Rifles Regiment patrolling along a track on Exercise Cambrian Patrol (Picture: British Army/ MOD).

The international forces have to deal with simulated chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, IED scenarios and more.

Teams are assessed throughout, with assessment starting at the drop-off point and continuing throughout until completion of the exercise.

Each team of eight can only afford to lose a maximum of three members due to injury. If they make it, they are scored on how they coped.

On average, only 5% of patrols taking part in Exercise Cambrian Patrol achieve the top award, with a third failing to finish.

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