TERRITORIAL Army soldiers from Wrexham were among more than 100 to take part in Exercise Commanders Challenge.
The team from A Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Welsh wereŠLance Corporals James Lovell, 34, and Geraint Jones, 25, with Fusiliers Lee Grimes, 20, and Chris Ellis, 18.
The exercise was so named as it tested the team leader’s decision making and motivation skills as they led their four man teams around the course.
Taking place over 48 hours and a distance of more than 20 km, they crossed unforgiving terrain where if you put a foot wrong, a badly sprained ankle is the least you can expect.
Starting with the boat crossing at night in ideal conditions, the weekend weather soon changed every few hours but the soldiers took it all in their stride.
The soldiers carry full kit to survive the time plus webbing and weapons to carry out the tasks they are given at a series of stands. These include map reading, vehicle checkpoints, house clearing, PoW handling, first aid, shooting and river crossing.
The final leg of the challenge was a shooting competition and speed march that stretched the teams to their limit.
Organiser WO1 Brian Pratt said: “This exercise was designed specifically to test junior commanders who often don’t get the chance when anyone senior is around, they tend to take control.
“They have done very well, we have put them under a lot of pressure at times but they responded and that was good to see.”
All the units are part of 60 (Wales) Brigade which hosted the event after the internationally known patrol competition Cambrian Patrol was cancelled this year.
The best two teams from Commander’s Challenge will go forward to represent the brigade at Exercise Lombardia 2009 in Italy next May.