Brecon Beacons, 2014 to date
The Cambrian Patrol is one of the toughest events held by the British Army which is open to any Arm, Service or nationality. It takes place across the Brecon Beacons and is run by Headquarters 160 Wales Brigade based in Brecon, Powys.
The event is an exercise and not a competition, that being said a great deal of inter unit rivalry exists between some of he teams and for them speed and accuracy of navigation is the key.
eXtrac demonstrated our system to HQ 160 (W) Bde in 2014 and they consequently tasked us to deliver tracking for the entirety of the event which lasts approximately 10 days.
The Cambrian Patrol organisers very much wanted a discreet system that would not interfere with the patrolling teams or disrupt the exercise ‘bubble’ that is key to the success of the exercise.
The tracking beacon was only to be used in an emergency although ExCON constantly monitored the tracker feed for safety but also to control the tempo of the exercise. This was a huge step forward from previous years as ExCON could deploy personnel when appropriate rather than relying on estimates.
The times the emergency button was pressed ExCON were able to pinpoint locations and get assistance to the patrol faster than they have ever previously been able to do. Previous years have seen staff out on the Beacons for hours looking for patrols that have not reported in.
A key factor of the system had to be simplicity of operation for the tracking beacon, this is an international event and some teams would struggle to understand a complex system in the timeframe given for familiarisation.
eXtrac deliver a partly managed service in that we provide all the equipment and deliver training to enable the ExCON staff to run the system. As part of this service we provided phone support as well as on site when required.
HQ 160 (W) Bde were hugely impressed by the accuracy and reliability of the tracking feed, subsequently eXtrac have been asked to support the exercise again this year (2015) and we look forward to being able to support them for years to come.