The German Soldiers patrol through the Welsh Hills

When I heard that the German Army was planning to attend this year’s Cambrian Patrol I thought it was a story too good to miss.  They were being hosted by 104 Regiment Royal Artillery; a Newport based Territorial Army Regiment.  So I travelled over to Newport to interview them before they attempted the internationally famous military event.  I met their Patrol Leader Lance Corporal Gunter Stengl who told me how important it was enter such events and to train in a multi-national environment. By doing this they would be able to learn from other nation’s experiences and improve their own military skills.

The Cambrian Patrol is an arduous annual Military Skills competition that is held at the Sennybridge Training Area (SENTA) about an hour’s drive north of Cardiff.  Teams enter from almost every element of the British Army enter including Territorial and University Officer Training Corps units. 

I visited SENTA to watch the patrol for myself and to get an idea of what they were going through.  I witnessed the night ambush stage of the competition, where the teams patrol through a mock village.  They are then ambushed by British Soldiers acting as enemy insurgent forces.  The teams must then win the fire fight and extract themselves to safety.  A difficult task made even harder by the fact that the teams must do this in the complete darkness.

After the German soldiers had returned from Welsh hills I met up with them in Cardiff Bay to hear about how they had done.  Unfortunately they did not complete the patrol, but their Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Jurgen Schutz was adamant that they would enter the event again next year, hopefully a little wiser and better prepared.

This story also gave me an opportunity to make my first audio report.  It was a very much experimental recording as it was the first time I had used the sound recorders and editing software.  It was a great chance to practice following a story through and to try and produce a piece of audio that made sense? Let me know what you think.

All images are courtesy of Andrew Chittock.

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One response to “The German Soldiers patrol through the Welsh Hills

  1. Florian Apler August 29, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    I just got this link from a friend who had been in the army with me and joined our squad in Wales twice. It was a great memory to read about the Patrol.

    I am a former german soldier (Gebirgsjäger) and we completed the Cambrian Patrol 2004 and 2005. It was a really hard challenge for us and in my opinon for anybody completing this excercise in Wales. We were hosted in the Royal School of Artillery for the preparation. I would recommend the Cambrian Patrol to any soldier who`ll wants to challenge his tactical but also physical skills. You should be mentally really strong to succeed. I guess the germans who failed, weren´t prepared like they sould be. Best regards from Austria

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