31 October 2011
A team from New Zealand Army's 2 Engineer Regiment has won gold at one of the toughest international military competitions in the world.
Linton-based soldiers from New Zealand Army’s 2 Engineer Regiment who won gold at the international Cambrian Patrol competition in Wales (AW-11-1031-1).
The Cambrian Patrol competition is held in the rugged mountains in Brecon, mid-Wales, and is attended by teams from throughout Europe and the Pacific. The competition involves pure military skills, and is held over two days, covering about 55 km of mountainous terrain.
Each patrol usually focuses on close target reconnaissance, with every member of the patrol carrying around 40kg of equipment. The patrol scenarios involve extensive navigation, medical skills, Prisoner of War handling, mine awareness, dealing with the media, recognition of foreign weapons and aircraft, and, most importantly, physical endurance.
Each team member has two ration packs for the duration of the patrol they were only allowed to eat one. They also need to have enough water left to last them another 12 hours.
Speaking from Wales, Warrant Officer Class Two Ed Haerewa said the result was "absolutely fantastic".
"It was announced at the awards ceremony that a gold medal goes to 2 Engineer Regiment, and there was a lot of pride and mana amongst them when they received their medals in front of the ten other teams that competed alongside them in the same phase.
"The team did exceptionally well over the 48 hours of competition. Their spirits were high when they awoke at 0330 hrs Oct 11 and crossed the start line at 0545 hrs. They finished still with their spirits high at 290230hrs Oct 11 despite the sore and tender feet, tiredness and feeling the worst for wear.
"They arrived back at the Command Post to a well deserved shower and rest until they were awoken at 0930hrs to conduct rehearsals for the award ceremony. They were confident that they were in the hunt for at least a medal but were a bit apprehensive about their chances to nail gold.
One hundred and ten teams competed in the competition and only four teams achieved gold medals. These included the NZ team, the Indian Ghurkas, and two British teams. The Indian Ghurkas were in the same phase as our team during the competition. Asutralia achieved a silver medal but were in the phase prior to the New Zealand team.
With the exception of one engineer from 2 Field Squadron (Sapper R Hargreaves) all other members of the team are from 25 Engineer Support Services. They are Lt DC Vruink, LCpl MH Knight, Spr TIC Motley, Spr IA Andrew, Spr AJ Onekawa, Spr ML Noddings, and Spr AD Williams. 25ESS