Indian Army team wins gold medal in gruelling Cambrian Patrol exercise
Team 2/8 Gorkha won the gold medal after a series of grueling tasks across the Cambrian Mountains in Wales.
A team from the Gorkha Rifles, a regiment of the Indian Army, claimed the gold medal in the Exercise Cambrian Patrol, one of the most excruciating exercises in the world. The eight men of the Second Battalion of 8 Gorkha Rifles, from India, triumphed in the exercise organised by the British Army and were awarded gold medals for their commendable efforts on 22 October 2016.
The British Army in Wales confirmed the news when they posted a video of the Indian soldiers receiving their medals on Twitter earlier. Team 2/8 Gorkha, who won the exercise, also presented the British a memento and a traditional khukri, which the regimental insignia of the Gorkha Rifles bears as its central element.
The Cambrian Patrol, an annual military patrolling exercise, is an international event that is held in the rugged terrain of the Cambrian Mountains in Wales. Being one of the most gruelling tests for the modern soldiers, the team’s performance is nothing short of extraordinary.
The 55-km course snakes across the Cambrian Mountains, which in itself is one of the most daunting ranges in the world. The exercise is a kind of a mission, or more precisely a task-oriented mission, where a team must complete all the tasks assigned to them with the time limit being 48 hours. The regulated rules also state that the patrol must carry their own personal kit and equipment as they embark on their mission through the meandering course.
Points are awarded to the teams on the basis of the performances in the several military tasks, with the absence of any equipment from the kit resulting in replacement by dead weight and a loss of points. The teams are assessed on their military skills and accomplishment of orders and debriefs.
The other factors which also come into assessing the teams include obstacle crossing drills, dismounted close combat skills, recognition of aircraft, first aid procedures, vehicle and equipment, IED and minefield clearance drills, prisoner of war handling (PoW), patrol techniques, helicopter drills, media handling, radio communications skills and artillery target indication procedures, among others.
This gargantuan task, viz. the Cambrian Patrol, is not a competition, and the medals are awarded on the basis of the points acquired on the completion of the course. 75 percent of the points adhere to the gold medal while 65-75 percent and 55-64 percent ensure the silver and bronze medals respectively.