His Excellency Dr Suresh Chandra Chalise, the outgoing Nepalese Ambassador to the United Kingdom was dined out at a Brigade of Gurkha’s Curry Lunch held at 101 Logistic Brigade Mess at St Omer Barracks, Aldershot on 21 Feb 14. Dr Chalise was accompanied by the Nepalese Military Attache, Colonel Bishwanath Ghimire and the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr Tej Bahadur Chhetri. Senior representatives from Gurkha Units, including the Hindu and Buddhist Religious Teachers, were also present.
Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, Colonel James Robinson, highlighted the significance of the historical relationship between Great Britain and Nepal in the context of the Brigade of Gurkhas and acknowledged the important contribution the Nepalese Embassy has made to support the settlement and integration of ex-Gurkha communities in the United Kingdom. Dr Chalise, in return, thanked the Brigade of Gurkhas and highlighted its importance in underpinning the unique relationship, built on trust and friendship, between the two countries.
Dr Chalise has been the Nepalese Ambassador to the Court of St James since January 2010 and is due to depart for Nepal with his family in early March 2014.
PM David Cameron visited 2 RGR during their deployment on Op PITCHPOLE which took place from 16 to 22 February in support of the the civil authorities to relieve those affected by flooding in the Lower Thames area. The Battalion executed the military Bronze HQ command from Chertsey, one of the worst affected places in the UK, under command of 2 (South East) Brigade at Silver HQ based in Guildford. 2 RGR was responsible for 421 personnel drawn from Support Company 2 RGR, R Welsh, 1 Royal Horse Artillery, 19 Regiment Royal Artillery, 2 PARA, 36 Engineer Regiment, 3 Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment (Reserve), 103 Battalion REME (Reserve).
During the deployment, 2 RGR supported 280 vulnerable people through the delivery of sandbags to their homes. It utilised 15,000 sandbags to protect in the region of 500 properties. Concurrently, it filled additional sandbags with 800 tons of sand, supported the Fire Service with boat operations, and the Environment Agency in the UK’s first ever employment of new mobile damming technology from Sweden and Germany. This latter task has received widespread positive national media attention.
2 RGR completed their Op PITCHPOLE task on 17 February, in time for their deployment to Kenya where they will train as a battle group, augmented by a company from 3 Scots.
As part of the military’s support to the flooding, soldiers from 2 RGR have deployed to the Chertsey area to assist the local community deal. 2 RGR Battalion Headquarters are helping command the contribution with troops from a number of units working together on a combined operation in support of the local authorities. Elsewhere soldiers from the Queen’s Gurkha Engineers have been providing assistance in Kent.
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The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas travelled to Nepal as a part of Op SANGITIK YATRA, MOD(UK) Defence Engagement to train musicians of the Nepal Army Band, Nepal Police Band and Nepal Armed Police Band immediately after their India tour; where they performed and trained 11GR Band and entertained the crowd in British Embassy, New Delhi.
For the first time in the history of Nepal, a Joint Tattoo from all four services was held at the Army Sports Stadium in Lalitpur on 28 December 2013. There were more than 600 personnel participated in the Tattoo. There were also dancers, the pipes and drums, drill display teams and Nepalese actors perform as a grand finale. The Tattoo was attended by many government officials and high ranking officers including Nepalese Chief of the Army Staff, General Gaurav SJB Rana.
A small team from 2 RGR in Shorncliffe visited France to train with 4eme Regiment de Chasseurs. The team was hosted by Colonel Dirou and his Regiment. The 4eme paired with 2 RGR and this was the first opportunity to get together as part of the UK’s Defence Engagement. The 2 RGR team, led by Lt Carl Schroeder, joined in the skiing competition with their French counterparts.
Rfn Suraj Yakha and LCpl Anil Chhetri 2 RGR put in especially good performances in the team slalom competition, finishing 12th & 16th respectively from the 100-odd competitors. Their result was commented on by many of the French Teams who have been skiing for quite a while!