News

June 10th 2015

Nottingham-based Reservists take part in NATO Patrol Competition

Two teams of four Army Reservists from 350 Field Squadron (EOD) have successfully completed a NATO Patrol Competition in the Italian Alps, North of Milan, an exercise that tested their fitness, navigational and problem solving skills.

350 Field Squadron (EOD),  Royal Engineers, train in Chilwell, Nottingham on a weekly basis and those taking part in Exercise Lombardia have been preparing for the challenge for a number of months.

Sergeant Dan Waterfield organised the two Nottingham-based teams joining NATO military teams from around Europe and the USA to take part in the 48 hour event.

Dan, aged 30, who lives in Borrowash, explained: “The competition included 58 teams who all came together to complete the military patrol competition designed to test fitness, navigation and problem solving abilities as well as our tactical military knowledge.

“The event started with a live firing assessment, which allowed us to use a variety of weapons and compare what we use in our UK training with weapons used by other nations. After this, each of the teams was released at intervals during the night to complete the patrol starting with an overnight mission; this led on to a surprise river crossing the next morning.

“As we approached the river we had to improvise so all our kit went in to a Bivvi Bag and we put on our waterproof jackets along with some flip-flops-held on with green tape. We lifted up the ‘giant sausage’ to the bemusement of other various teams and made our way through the water. Both our teams scored highly in this as we used our experience to ensure our basic soldering techniques were maintained whilst negotiating the crossing.

“Later in the exercise having conducted a variety of military scenarios, we found ourselves 300 metres above sea level looking up at the next checkpoint which was 1000 metres above sea level. Tasks at the top of Mount Orsa included abseiling and search tasks to find enemy weapon stashes. We continued down the mountain to the Swiss border, finally hours later we arrived at Check Point Lima. Here we were preparing for a sniper targeting stand, but unfortunately the teams still at the top of Mount Orsa were caught in poor weather which meant that the competition was terminated early.

“Out of 58 teams only 11 made it to the finish including our first team, but unfortunately the 2nd of our teams was told to stop just one stand from the end. Huge congratulations go to the Swiss Military Academy for winning the event, our teams finished 9th and we will look forward to taking part in this competition again next year.”

The military competition took place from 22nd to 24th May 2015.

350 Field Squadron (EOD), Royal Engineers are recruiting. To learn more about the Army Reserve visit www.army.mod.uk

“The competition included 58 teams who all came together to complete the military patrol competition designed to test fitness, navigation and problem solving abilities as well as our tactical military knowledge."