Home' Army News : November 24th 2011 Contents FEATURES 29
Army November 24, 2011
TRAGEDY struck a 3RAR
section on its first phase of
the British Army's Exercise
Cambrian Patrol 2011 when
Pte Andrew Murphy slipped and
broke his leg.
A silver medal was still award-
ed to the 3RAR Duke of Gloucester
Cup-winning team after completing
the 80km, 48-hour, long-range recon-
naissance patrolling competition held
in Wales in late October.
After stretcher-carrying the
injured soldier back to the start line,
the patrol restarted the arduous and
challenging mission in the Cambrian
Mountains as their military skills,
stamina and dedication were con-
stantly evaluated and marked on a
Section commander Sgt Simon
Moore said a helicopter evacuation
was not possible for Pte Murphy as
the weather had already closed in
with hailstones and the patrol was
already in the mountainous terrain.
"As we were starting the patrol
again we were allowed to use our
reserve patrol member Pte Shawn
Williams, and it was great for the sec-
tion's morale to see him coming up
the hill," Sgt Moore said.
"Even the terrain was a challenge
and stepping off the 'babies' heads',
or tufts of grass, in the wrong area
could cause to you to end-up waist
deep in mud.
"The patrol was physically
demanding, we only had about two
hours' sleep in the 48-hour period and
we covered a lot of Ks.
"It was hard to keep up a fast
momentum in the rough terrain, but
the guys handled it very well."
Navigating by day and night, the
patrol faced many testing and spe-
cialist challenges, including obser-
vation and reconnaissance of enemy
forces, a very cold river crossing and
a blank-fire section attack.
Completing Ex Cambrian Patrol
is a feat in itself, with many regu-
lar army teams and specialist patrols
teams failing to finish. This year more
Rising above tough patrol
than 40 per cent of the teams failed to
finish the duration of the competition.
The patrol moved to one area they
thought was an extraction point, but it
turned out to be another stand with a
simulated helicopter crash and casual-
ties needing evacuation.
"The realism was also simulated by
the casualties as they were real ampu-
tees we had to carry out by another big
stretcher-carry," he said.
"The skill set of the team made
my job as patrol commander easy;
their drills and procedures were totally
"A difference we noticed was the
format in the way the British Army
gave their orders and we had to deci-
pher how to relate them to our own
procedures before redelivering them."
Cambrian Patrol RSM WO1 Brian
Pratt said this year's exercise was one
of the toughest for many years.
"That's backed up by the fact more
than a third of patrols failed to finish,"
WO1 Pratt said.
"In total, we awarded six gold
medals, 25 silvers and 19 bronze med-
als, with 14 certificates for teams who
completed the exercise.
"Although not the longest of
Cambrian routes, the teams still had
to cover 1800m of climb and 1300m
of descent, in addition to some horren-
dous terrain on the opening legs and
you have a route that is both mentally
and physically demanding and took its
toll on all of the teams.
"Again, the exercise has lived up
to its reputation as one of the sternest
tests a modern-day soldier can face."
There were 104 teams in this year's
exercise, including 89 British Army
and 15 international teams. Of the six
gold medals won, four of those were
awarded to British teams, one to New
Zealand's 2 Engineer Regiment and
one to India's 9 Gorkha Rifles.
At the time of going to print Pte
Murphy was still recovering in the UK
as he was unable to travel, but he was
apparently in good spirits.
The soldiers of 3RAR's Duke of Gloucester Cup-winning section tested their mettle in one of the
world's toughest infanteering competitions and performed strongly. LCpl Mark Doran reports
on the team's efforts on the Cambrian Patrol.
Points awarded for:
Military skills (70 per
cent of total)
Orders (15 per cent
Debrief (15 per cent
First aid and
Recognition of air-
craft, vehicles and
field clearance drills.
Prisoner of war han-
Gold: 75 per cent or
Silver: 65-74 per
Bronze: 55-64 per
pleted the exercise
in the time allowed
and scored less
than 55 per cent.
Hard day's work: 3RAR's silver-
medal-winning section, kneeling
from left, Pte Mat Phillips, Cpl
Dave New and Pte Shawn
Williams. Standing from left, Pte
David Heffernan, Pte Samuel
Inachio, Pte Tom Massey, Sgt
Simon Moore, LCpl Benji Hames.
Inset, the section sets out over hilly
terrain in Wales.
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