Brunssum, the Netherlands - From the 17th to the 20th of July, 24 members of the JFC Brunssum Allied International Marching Team (AIMT) participated in the 102nd 'Nijmeegse Vierdaagse'.
The 'Nijmeegse Vierdaagse' (Four Days Marches in Nijmegen), is the greatest walking event in the world and, this year, involved more than 50,000 participants (of which more than 5,000 were military). Following their participation in a number of marching events prior to Nijmegen, the well-prepared military AIMT members enthusiastically embraced the challenge of marching 40 kilometres for 4 consecutive days, wearing standard combat clothing and carrying at least 10 kilograms of weight in their backpacks.
The week was characterised by high temperatures and by Friday more than 3,000 marchers had been forced to retire. Although these participants withdrew because of the extreme weather conditions, the majority pushed on and 23 members of the AIMT successfully completed the 160 kilometre march, being awarded the 4-Day Marches Cross by the JFC Brunssum Assistant Chief of Staff J2, Brigadier General Gino van der Voet.
On completion of the awards ceremony the AIMT, proudly carrying all NATO member national flags, set out upon the 6 kilometres 'victory parade' along the Via Gladiola. The pride and emotion of team members, as they marched for one final time having completed the challenge, was clear for all to see.
The AIMT is a 42 year old entity that represents JFC Brunssum in marching events in the Netherlands and elsewhere. For those who wish to join the team for the next year, please be aware that the next cycle will commence in September.
Story by JFC Brunssum Public Affairs Office