4th International Pakistan Army Team Spirit Competition (PATS) - 2021 was held in the mountainous terrain near Kharian from March 1-4, 2021 under auspicious arrangements of 37 Division (Sarhang) of Mangla Corps and Junior Leadership Academy Shinkiari.
A total of eight domestic teams of Pakistan Army including Mangla Corps, Multan Corps, Lahore Corps, Karachi Corps, Rawalpindi Corps, Gujranwala Corps, Bahawalpur Corps, Southern Command and international representatives from 12 countries enthusiastically participated in the toughest military competition. Four foreign teams from Jordan, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Uzbekistan participated as competitors in the event and observers from Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Tajikistan and United States of America also witnessed the event.
Pakistan Army Team Spirit competition which commenced in 2005 for the first time has morphed into an international event since 2016. PATS competition played a major role in setting the highest benchmarks for physical endurance, dexterity, and mental alertness. It created a platform for sharing operational experiences with the armies of friendly countries and learning from their experiences. It is organized on the lines of “Exercise Cambrian Patrol’ conducted in the UK. In the recent years it proved its effectiveness, particularly during war against terrorism.
PATS is a special narrative-based competition to test tactical skills in physical and professional domains as well as agility of the participating teams to generate responses in challenging real-time field scenarios. During the 62 hour long event a patrol from every participating team was tasked to infiltrate in terrorist infested area, carry out a task and exfiltrate. Teams were subjected to various cross-domain scenarios and focused tasks including physical endurance, water obstacle crossing, close target reconnaissance and protective approach under chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear environment.
Teams and observers from different countries arrived and were warmly received at Islamabad International Airport. Conduct modalities of familiarization training of allied teams including orientation briefing, Use of Signal equipment, first-aid procedures and use of maps, weapon training and causality recovery were organized in National Counter Terrorism Center, Pabbi before conduct of competition. Moreover, special demonstration of waterman ship and firing at ranges were arranged to acquaint the foreign teams.
The competition started with the teams’ arrival at a rendezvous point after having their equipment checked. From there, teams underwent different tactical tests followed by preparation of a model on ground. Verbal orders were issued by team leaders. On the second day teams participated in endurance test, hideout occupation and quick tactical level battle drills. On the last and final day, teams partook in the most challenging enduring march and water obstacle crossing event.
The closing ceremony was held in Polo ground Kharian Cantt. Inspector General Training and Evaluation Lieutenant General Syed Muhammad Adnan, Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military), who was the chief guest of the occasion, applauded the professionalism, dedication and skills of the participating teams. He said, “Participation of teams from friendly countries provided an opportunity to all the participants to learn from each others’ professional experience in the domain of counter-terrorism. Sharing of best experiences through series of events will improve combat skills and help integrate armies of participant countries.”
Multan Corps won the gold medal in domestic category while Uzbekistan won the gold medal in foreign teams’ category. Gujranwala Corps was awarded with silver medal and the Turkish team took the silver medal in foreign team category.
Senior military officials from Pakistan Army and defence attachés from various countries were present on the occasion.
Performances of Frontier Corps Marshal Troops, Rangers Exhibition Drill Squad (REDS) of Pakistan Rangers Punjab and Brass Band of Pakistan Army Services Corps Center further added to the ceremony’s splendor.
At the end of the competition, a dinner was hosted where souvenirs were presented to international team members on behalf of Commander Mangla Corps, Lieutenant General Shaheen Mazher Mehmood, HI (M) by General Officer Commanding Major General Javed Dost Chandio. Later on, international teams also visited historical and recreational sites of Mangla Garrison.
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