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Cambrian Patrol: What's It Really Like...

Cadet Sgt Dominic Wood from Royal Grammar School High Wycombe CCF gives an account from the premier cadet competition which took place in the Brecon Beacons in April.

Cambrian Patrol: What's It Really Like...

4 May 2022

  • National
  • Buckinghamshire ACF

Cambrian patrol is the premier cadet competition. It is based in the Brecon Beacons which is the birthplace of the infantry. It aims to push cadets, testing them both physically and mentally on the skills they have learnt throughout their time in CCF or ACF. Teams come from the whole of the UK and are pitted against each other as well as an expected standard.

Our competition started on a Friday night with the IC being briefed on orders whilst the rest of the team had a kit check. With 2 kit checks before that you would have hoped we had everything. Thankfully we did and scored the maximum points possible. The following morning began at 0400 with a full English breakfast and by 0600 the 12-hour patrol began.

Our first stand was a military knowledge test. We felt went well and set a good precedent (despite it beginning to snow). The next stand was one of the ones we were looking forward to, the section attack. This was over difficult terrain with a hidden enemy using a GPMG. For much of the attack half the section couldn’t see the enemy until pushing over a few barb-wire fences. To get to the enemy position Charlie fire team flanked and had to jump a few more fences before clearing out the enemy. The section attack was difficult but clearly went well.

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Patrol started at 0600 hours for the Cadets

The next section of the Cambrian patrol was the casevac, which the whole team felt was our best performance. The set up was brilliant - 4 different casualties all with different injuries. It made an all-round defence difficult and tested all our medical skills. There was some brilliant acting from the shock victim, and we quickly learnt how essential a first aid kit is as it was difficult to create a tourniquet using a waterproof coat.

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Cadets administering first aid in the field

The next 2 stands seemed to fly by, despite the long walks before and after them. The observation post and target indication stands were both good fun and allowed us to fire off the last of the blanks we had been given. The final 2 areas to be assessed were a set of orders given by the IC, who had never given a set before and a range without zeroed rifles. Clearly some preparation had been missed. None the less after many km walked and not enough sleep, we found out we had still achieved a silver medal.