"This was the hardest patrol I’ve done, harder even than Cambrian Patrol”.
From Right to left LCpl Avis, LCpl Rist, Pte Woolley and Pte Pryor all from B Company 3 PWRR
A team from 3 PWRR has successfully completed the Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge (APRC) in Lääne-Viru County Estonia, placing 3rd amongst International Teams in a terrific result for the battalion. The competition, run by the Estonia Defence League, is open to
teams from Estonian & Allied Regular & Reserve units. The 3 PWRR team are the first British Army Reserve Team ever to complete the patrol, and only the 2nd British Army team to do so. Lance Corporal Avis, the patrol commander, summed up the challenge
Pte Woolley, when asked to reflect, said "don’t underestimate the APRC, whilst it may not be as heard of as other patrol competitions its every bit as gruelling and is certainly a test of soldiering ability”.
The arduous patrol was conducted over 3 days, with the team travelling over 100Km by foot, pursued by an aggressive OPFOR from the Estonian Defence Force & French Army. The team was tested continuously throughout the patrol – clearing trenches, firing Estonian Weapons and navigating across varied & arduous terrain, including a river crossing. The event ended with a 2-mile speed march, which the team completed strongly despite the enormous strain of the previous 3 days.
The event was international in nature, with teams from NATO countries including Poland, the USA & France taking part alongside our soldiers. Most of these teams came from units with specialist reconnaissance roles, meaning the standard of soldiering on display was exceptionally high. This gave a great opportunity to meet & befriend NATO peers, learn from each-other & build shared understanding.
The 3 PWRR team were complimented by the umpires in their closing remarks for their highly professional conduct and positive attitude throughout the competition, having already made a significant contribution to the weapons training prior to the competition start. All four patrol members finished, despite badly blistered feet and the largest collection of mosquito bites the battalion has ever seen!
The Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge is not to be taken lightly; it is a highly challenging event over difficult terrain and includes challenging & diverse stands distinct from those usually encountered in similar UK competitions, such as Cambrian Patrol.