Canadians win Welsh Guard March and Shoot

Capt. Rhoda Frampton
First published in
SFOR Informer#141, June 20, 2002

Soldiers from the Canadian Battalion Group 2e Royal 22e Regiment (CA BG 2e R22eR) walked away with top honours after completing the gruelling Welsh Guard march and shoot competition held at Manjaca Range.

Manjaca - "The initial part, the eight-mile route march, is based on our basic combat fitness test which we have to do annually," said Maj. Guy Bartle-James, Welsh Guards Battalion 2IC and co-ordinator of the event. "The only difference here are the hills."

The fastest time
The thirteen, twelve-person teams from Multinational Division Southwest had to cover eight miles with 35 pounds of kit in two hours. They then had to cover two miles as fast as possible with their 15 pounds of webbing, rifle and helmet. At the end of the two miles they went straight to a shoot, firing at falling metal plates at a distance of 200 metres.

The team with the fastest time from the start of the two miles to knocking down all their plates was declared the winner. Compensation was made for those that did not have magnified sites.
The prestigious first place honour went to the lone Canadian team comprised of soldiers from A, B, C Coy and Q Battery from CA BG 2e R22eR. "I think that it just goes to show that Canadian soldiers are the best, that when the time comes to make an effort we can match any nationality," said Lt. Col. Pierre Lessard, commanding officer, CA BG 2e R22eR. "We have the people, we have the equipment, we have the training, and the results just speak for themselves."

It was an early rise for the competitors as the day began with kit weigh in at 4:30 a.m. The first team stepped off at 5 a.m., at twenty-minute intervals both days. With summer temperatures rising quickly it was important to have the competition completed by mid-morning.

Rough terrain
The eight-mile long route was not without challenge. The competitors faced rough terrain immediately after their departure from the camp on a path that took them to Route Donkey, up to Han Kola, and onto Route Smudge with a steep march to the end of their eight miles. Each team had a minimum five-minute break before facing the tough two-mile run to Manjaca south onto the range.
"We had one week of training, we didn't have time to train a lot but we tried to shoot a lot," said Lt. Jean-Benoit Garneau, CA BG B Coy Platoon Commander for 4 Platoon and team captain for the March and Shoot. "We practised shooting at 100 metres but here it is 200 metres so we had to zero our weapons yesterday and practise shooting at the iron plates."

Related links:
Nations of SFOR: UK, Canada

Training and Exercises

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Photos: Cpl. Lee Purvis

Soldiers from CA BG 2eR22eR march the first eight miles of the Welsh Guard March and Shoot held at Manjaca Range. The remainder of the competition required them to run an additional two miles, and shoot at falling plates at a distance of 200 metres.

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Lance Cpl's Mark Goulbourn and Andrew Griffiths Number 3 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards take part in the Welsh Guard March and Shoot Competition held at Manjaca Range.

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Pvt. Sébastien Tremblay CA BG C Coy Platoon 5 calls out to his fellow teammates at the 200 metres firing point at Manjaca Range.

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Guardsman Mattew Evans 07 Number 2 Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards completes the last of the two-mile run after having completed the eight-mile march.