1 RGR complete Ex PACIFIC KUKRI in New Zealand

The Gurkhas and NZDF in a group photo after the Final Attack
The Gurkhas and the NZDF in a group photo after the Final Attack

C Company and some specialist platoons from Support Company, 1st Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles (1 RGR), have just completed their one-month long training exercise in New Zealand.

The exercise, known as Ex PACIFIC KURKI rotates each year between Australia and New Zealand.  This year, 1 RGR deployed to New Zealand and worked alongside the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF). The training area was located at Tekapo, an area of stunning scenery on New Zealand’s southern island.

A Machine Gun post at the ready
A Machine Gun post at the ready

The training was undertaken to train and practice a Rifle Company (C Coy) in how to operate up to Company level in unfamiliar terrain whilst working alongside Support Coy assets (Recce, Mortars and Anit-Tank specialists) and with partners from another nation (the NZDF).

There is a great history between The Gurkhas and the New Zealanders.  They fought alongside each other in The Gallipoli Campaign in World War I. The Gurkhas saw action alongside the 22nd Battalion during the bloody battle of Monte Cassino, Italy in World War II and they worked side-by-side during the Malayan Emergency and the Borneo Confrontation.

CO 1 RGR watching C Coy moving into the assualt
CO 1 RGR watching C Coy moving into the assault

1 RGR Senior Platoon Commander Lieutenant Jamie Dick said training with the New Zealand Army was very rewarding:

“Our tactics and procedures are very similar but we have both been learning from each other a lot. The history between New Zealand forces and the Gurkhas runs all the way back to Gallipoli in 1915 and many times since. Training together is worthwhile and continues to foster an already strong relationship.”

C Coy Rifleman preparing to move
Preparing to move

There is always a great exchange of military knowledge and moreover, of cultures.

C Coy 1 RGR are now preparing to return to Brunei from Queenstown where they are conducting some Adventurous Training.

A great article from the NZDF about Ex PACIFIC KURKI 2016, can be found here.

Maj Shields, Capt Babindra and 2Lt Sears enjoying themselves
Maj Shields, Capt Babindra and 2Lt Sears enjoying themselves