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Cambrian Patrol

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A week(ish) long test of skill and stamina set in the lush rolling tundra of Wales. This is probably the closest many will get to SAS selection - and all the traits are there: you will be cold, wet, hungry and totally skull-fucked on the snooze front.

Essentially a test of patrolling skills, the event tests team ability on such soldiering essentials as river crossing, infil/exfil, CTR, NBC etc. Despite the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps fielding a team this year, it is no cake walk and should not be underestimated.

There are plenty of experts who will tell you the right way of going about undertaking the Cambrian Patrol, but precious few who'll give you the low down on how NOT to do it.

Reproduced below [with slight grammatical corrections], is BFPO's infamous ARRSE thread entry on how to blag that elusive win over the UOTC. Enjoy:


There are two ways to approach this competition, the legal way and the illegal way.

First the legal way:

Get your team well up on command and control (C2) situations and swat up on the ITDs. Tab like mad day and especially night, and do your very best.

The general gist of the patrol starts with an O group where you have to extract your orders and give them to your patrol. Most of the time it is a recce patrol and the Elan valley in Wales is a top place for this.

Your kit is weighed at the start and you need to carry a load of unnecessary stuff you normally wouldn't. You set off and at each check point you will have tests on the majority of ITDs (I think stuff like Moral Understanding is excluded). The team that does the best does this by collecting points and successfully submitting a recce report with all the team intact.

Now how to cheat:

Prep additional 'alternative real' bergans that can be carried as soon as the weigh in has been done; these can be switched quite easily from your admin/safety vehicle. Leave the heavy stuff behind.

You will have with you a number of items that are banned such as a mobile phone (to contact your admin/navigation team, who can collect and transport you parts of the way with hot food and drinks and reserve soldiers if required) and GPS. Never ever leave home with out one! Getting lost on this patrol is for suckers and there is nothing better to kill morale than an another five clicks added to sore feet!

Take a decent watch with an alarm clock, every one is to take a light doss bag with Gore-Tex bivi bag, and half way through make every one sleep for a few hours. Don't post sentry and go non-tactical, all you need to do is cam up well (as in hide!), set your alarm and try to switch off for some zeds.

Most teams try to do the patrol in a one-er and find themselves over-stretched and over-tired. Know you're going to sleep at the start of the patrol; most teams who complete the patrol will have to sleep any way but won't have appreciated this in their plan.

The recce report can be pre-written, just look at the map of the area and find the key points that may be the recce target. Take an instant camera with you and Gucci stuff like soil and water samples (pre-made of course all in nice little Tupperware containers). Your team should consist of work horse soldiers who can tab without sleep. Only one or two need to be switched on!

At the end of the patrol you have to drive off the training area and back to Sennybridge Camp. Stop off at the cafe first for a breakfast and wash & brush up and at this time write the complete recce report! This way you won't have a time limit and you'll have nice, neat, presentable reports, along with sketches, notes and photography - not forgetting your soil and water samples (no one will check that it's from the back of the 25m range at Sennybridge!).

Sleep deprivation is a big factor; swap over for fresh soldiers at the cafe: it looks great if you're all washed, shaved and looking fresh. At the end of the day you have to finish. You can 'waste' a percentage of your team (two I think) before you get disqualified. Everyone cheats, and the ones who don't get certificates to say they participated, just like the Scouts.

The next biggy is intel. Arrive early. Recce the DS the week before. Talk to the drivers and medics. We are not talking James Bond just common sense. Follow the DS out onto the area, there are only a few scenarios that can be given in a rural area. Think like the DS.

Your back up team will act as your knowledge base and a lap top with all the ITD packages on - along with maps and recce reports, sit reps (and the like) make it easy for you to 'phone a friend'.

And finally:

Lastly, don't get caught - and if anyone has a problem with the above then warfare and soldiering is not for you. Dirty tricks are part and parcel of war. Some say all you need for slaughter is bullets and water? Not quite. Good luck.

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