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Spanish Cavalry participates in a RECCE Patrol Competition

By Sgt. Michael Maddox
First published in
SFOR Informer #94, August 16, 2000

Mostar - Soldiers from the Spanish Cavalry recently took part in a day celebrating their Patron Saint, Santiago, by holding a Reconnaissance Patrol Competition July 20-22.
Three patrols from the Spanish squadron and one from the Federation Army took part in the competition. Each patrol consisted of one officer, one non-commissioned officer, eight privates and two Cavalry Reconnaissance Vehicles.
The first event during the competition was a driving test on July 20. The teams were required to drive along a lap while under attack. This included skills like parking or passing a simulated minefield. This event required a lot of skill.
The second event was a shooting competition with individual weapons. Every patrol had to run 200 meters and when they reached the line of fire, shoot. This event was also timed.
The soldiers began July 21 with an obstacle race where they covered 6.5 kilometres. Later that afternoon, the soldiers took a material identification test where they had to name vehicles and weapons that were shown to them by slide.
The last day was the culmination of the competition - the tactical reconnaissance. It was carried out in the neighbourhood of Ljubuski. The patrols had to stay in a waiting area where their orders concerning the tactical route were given. During this event, the patrols came across material and vehicles that they had to identify. They had to solve different problems along the way as well. Upon the conclusion of their mission, they had to report what they found. That evening, prizes were awarded to the teams for their performance.
The soldiers benefited from the competition in several ways, said Capt. Pedro De la Pisa, Cavalry commander.
"The competition was, I think, very interesting for my soldiers because they learned about materials, vehicles and weapons of the Bosnian and Serb Armies," he said. "The other task of tactics and recognition, I think was very interesting for them.
"Sometimes they are in the barracks and it is very difficult to prepare. This test is very important in order to prepare them for patrols," he added.
Spanish Pvt. Carlos Domingo, a CRV (What is this?) gunner, said he enjoyed the learning opportunity the competition provided.
"This competition was very interesting because we could exchange experiences with a Federation Army patrol," he said.
Others said they just enjoyed the spirit of competition.
"I liked very much the good rivalry among the four teams," said Cpl. Jose Solana.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Spain
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