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CAMBRIAN PATROL 2021 – PTE WOOLLEY B COMPANY

Pte Woolley completed Cambrian Patrol very early in his reserve career - having become a trained soldier in the summer of 2021 he joined the team and added value from the word go. The patrol is an annual competition held in the Black Mountains, Brecon Beacons and Sennybridge Training Area each October. Heavily-laden teams compete over a 2-day patrol, meeting stands on the way that test their military skills, resilience and leadership. Here, Pte Woolley gives his thoughts on the patrol…


Our challenge started early, leaving Maindy barracks so we could do the pre-exercise admin before first light. We quickly fabloned maps and prepared weapons before our kit checks. We then deployed onto the ground, built a model and received our orders before setting off.






Our challenge started early, leaving Maindy barracks so we could do the pre-exercise admin before first light. We quickly fabloned maps and prepared weapons before our kit checks. We then deployed onto the ground, built a model and received our orders before setting off.


Our first manned checkpoint was a scenario where a landrover had drifted into a minefield. We had to clear a path before treating and extracting the casualties. We had patrolled for almost 8 hours already, but we got stuck into dealing with the casualties straight away, managing the various injuries and the added complexity of the minefield.


"Staying awake was a significant enough challenge that one of the lads was taking shots of hot sauce!"


We reached our second manned checkpoint just as night fell. This was the river crossing. Traversing the icy water was challenging, but we’d rehearsed well and quickly found ourselves getting dry and pushing on. Between the river crossing and the CBRN stand was by far the most challenging part of the patrol for me. Stepping on babies heads whilst climbing a steep hill carrying 40Kg was no joke, but in hardship we found humour and were able to help each other through.


"In reality, the teamwork, leadership, and sheer determination got us through and the event cemented why I love soldiering"


After the CBRN stand we went to a pick up point to move to the next training area. This meant 30 mins of sleep on an TCV, and we got to change to fighting order, dropping around 15Kg of kit. This took us into the second 24 hours. The patrol from here was mostly on roads. Along with the reduced weight, this was great for morale. We pushed into a woodblock and conducted a close target recce, and gave ourselves time for admin.


We then made our way to a village where we were greeted by friendly forces engaged in a firefight. We made our way to a dark building where we had to identify some armoured fighting vehicles whilst calling in IDF onto an enemy position. After that we patrolled on and eventually reached the final stand where we conducted a section attack. Helped by a gun position on the high ground, we quickly took the enemy positions, dealt with Captured Persons (CPERs) and withdrew to continue our patrol.


After what seemed a very long final stretch, we wrote up a patrol report and had a debrief with some INT types in a hot room. Staying awake was a significant enough challenge that one of the lads was taking shots of hot sauce!


After the debrief we started on the last few km to the extraction. Moving quickly over the hills gave us the opportunity to get some rest before the awards ceremony, which is more than some teams got. I was nervous about attempting Cambrian Patrol so early in my career. In reality, the teamwork, leadership, and sheer determination got us through and the event cemented why I love soldiering.


Pte Woolley

3 PWRR

B Company






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