Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

Exercise Tiger Gold –

2 Royal Gurkha Rifles have recently been training on Exercise Tiger Gold. This exercise involved working closely with the Malaysian Army.

The exercise took place in the Sarawak jungle. This exercise was a great example of bi-lateral training with the Malaysian Army, and by doing so is underlining the UK’s commitment to the region.

Part of the Exercise involved ‘Survival Training’ where both units shared their knowledge on the topic over a three days period.  The images show this exchange of knowledge taking place. Both the British Army Gurkhas and the Malaysian Army soldiers learnt something from this shared experience and will be better soldiers in the future. 

 

We have two Gurkhas competing in the Invictus Games 2018 in Sydney and both have performed extremely well winning medals in the sitting volleyball and T100 sprint. 

Congratulations to both Netra Rana and Kushal Limbu their results are below.

Kushal Limbu received medals for the T100 Sprint and sitting volleyball and Netra Rana in the sitting volleyball. 

 

 

We hope to bring you more details and images once they return to the UK and Brunei.

Soon after the Army Operational Shooting Competition(AOSC) 2018 in Bisley, the British Army is invited to compete at Canadian Armed Forces Small Arms Concentration (CAFSAC).

 CAFSAC is a world-class event that recognizes the world’s top military shots.  From the Chief of the General Staff quote “we will once again send a selected group of marksmen from the field army to compete against the best of the international competition”.  By representing the British army as part of the British Army Combat Shooting Team (BACST) in Canada, soldiers and officers develop vital military skills which aid their professional development and enhances the combat effectiveness of their units.

We attended the selection phase which was 2 weeks in Warminster. The selection phase (30th July-10th August 2018) was not easy as we 26 shooters from across the army who were further down selected to 12 best shots on Exercise SHARPSHOOTER to compete in the CAFSAC. The competition was held at Connaught ranges, Ontario, Canada.

We were extremely excited to be in Canada to represent the British Army team and team Great Britain (GB). We were informed that the Nations taking part including us were; US Army, US National Guard, US Air Force, Dutch Army and Marines, Australian Army, Canadian Army, Canadian Reserve, Royal Air Force (RAF) Canada and Canadian Rangers. No teams were less experienced than any other as they were the best selected shooters from across their armed forces and country.

After training in the UK, we departed from London Heathrow on 3rd September for Ottawa lead by Lieutenant Kirkham (team captain) and Warrant Officer Class 2 Grierson (coach). We started our training in Ottawa Ranges for a couple of days before the competition.

The competition took place from 12th – 22nd September 2018. Major-General Stephen Cadden (Commander Canadian Army), Lieutenant Colonel Peter St Denis (Director of the CAFSAC) addressed us on the opening ceremony on the 10th September 2018 wishing good luck to the participants. 

As there were around 350 competitors, the range days were slow compared to the UK and we hardly completed two shoots a day. During the match, we met so many people who praised our shooting skills and there were people enthused by the history of the Gurkhas. We got an opportunity to have conversations with competitive shooters from different countries with whom we shared our skills, techniques and knowledge of shooting. They were equally skilled and demonstrated interesting shooting techniques but we had to trust our own shooting skills and be confident with our weapon system. The most challenging part during the shoot was the weather which would take no time to change and would impact on our shooting.

After a week, I was in third place overall behind two Canadian shooters, and was just nine points behind first place. There were just two matches remaining for the final of Stage two. Before Stage two started, there were international matches (17 and 18) where an eight-man team from the RAF, Army Reserve and Army were selected where I performed extremely well and finished just three points behind the first place. Team UK came top amongst 5 nations beating the second placed team by approx 90 points which was the best UK result in last 15 years.

I managed to become the overall top shot through my shooting in the final match, overtaking all competitors. Rifleman Egget from our team came second, and Sergeant Yam (1 Royal Gurkha Rifles) came 20th overall. Everyone in the team was extremely supportive and was incredibly proud of the results we achieved. It was a tremendous honor to receive the top shot trophy (Lieutenant K Ferguson Trophy) from Major General Stephen Cadden, Commander of the Canadian Army.

  • The Vanier Trophy- stage one overall top (International)
  • The Fire team trophy- Sergeant Yam, Rifleman Nischal, Rifleman Sujan, Rifleman Kiran
  • Lieutenant K Ferguson trophy – Top shot with a service rifle
  • Colt Canada Trophy (Team)
  • The Squad Competition trophy (Team)
  • Falling plates international (Team)
  • Match 15 (Top International)

It would have never been possible without the support of my platoon, company and the battalion and the bond we shared between our team.

On 26th September 2018, we departed Ottawa for return home. It was one of the most precious and proud moments for us to be welcomed by Commanding Officer, Gurkha Major and Regimental Sergeant Major Sahebs’ along with all senior Gurujis’ in our Battalion with Khadas.

Written by Rifleman Nischal Thapa Magar, 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles, A (Delhi) Company

 

 

 

 

On 18th October Brigadier WSC Wright OBE, Commander Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS), along with Academy Adjutant Major D Alkin, visited the Gurkha Company Sittang (GCS) in Nepal Lines. They were received by the Officer Commanding GCS Major Chandra Pun and the Command team.

The afternoon was spent at GCS where he received a brief update about various issues, capabilities and the future role of GCS.  His visit also included a prize giving ceremony where he awarded medal and trophies to individual and Platoon winners of RMAS Shooting Competition run by Sergeant Uttam Pun. He also did congratulate RMAS Exericise Cambrian Patrol Team who won silver medal. 

The visit provided a great opportunity for all soldiers to express their views and concerns to the Commandant.

 

On the 8th October 18, Officers and Senior Non Commissioned Officers of 70 Gurkha Field Squadron Queen’s Gurkha Engineers visited the Gurkha Museum at Winchester on Exercise GURKHALI SAATHI 2018. 

The training included presentations on Brigade heritage, the Siege of Delhi in 1857 and group discussions. At the end, Captain Khadka Gurung presented a framed photograph of “The Gurkha Commando Reunion 2018” to the Museum.

On the auspicious occasion of Bijaya Dashami 2075 Bikram Sambat I send to the Brigade and our families my warm wishes for good health, a prosperous and peaceful year ahead.

I would also like to convey my wholehearted gratitude to all the listeners and a special dhayabad to BFBS Gurkha radio for inviting me to relay my Dashain message.

For the last couple of months, 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles has been training exceptionally well for their forthcoming 6 months deployment to Op TORAL 7.  I was able to visit 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles  (RGR) with the Colonel Commandant Brigade of Gurkhas Lieutenant General Nick Pope CBE during their training and I have full confidence that they will deliver positive outcome, make a difference, demonstrate our professional agility to adapt and succeed.  Thank you for all your hard work and effort throughout this period.

Likewise Queen’s Gurkha Engineers (QGE) officers and soldiers are currently deployed to South Sudan on Operation TRENTON and I wish them warm wishes on the Brigade’s behalf.  Last year QGE members returned from a successful operational deployment to Caribbean Islands where they assisted the local government with humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

Queen’s Gurkha Signals (QG SIGNALS) continue to be deployed to on many successful  overseas tours.  Our priority must be to deliver the high standards of operational effectiveness for which the Brigade is renowned. The Gurkha Staff and Personnel Support Company (GSPS) as ever plays a pivotal role in providing Brigade units with administrative support adding value to all activities undertaken by our units.  I must not forget to mention the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, who have conducted countless engagements with their usual professionalism spreading our Gurkha brand worldwide. 

Without doubt, our Brigade have maintained the high level of discipline, humility, professional output and character on training, military exercises and sporting events within the UK and overseas.

Last month Recruit Intake 2018 Trainee Riflemen were allocated their future capbadges.  It was a proud moment for the Trainee Riflemen as well the Regiments/Battalions which was attended by the Commanding Officers and the Gurkha Majors.  Those allocated to RGR will join the Battalions straight from Catterick but the rest will proceed to conduct their Phase 2 trade training respectively. 

The Brigade is looking forward to recruiting Gurkha female from Intake 2020 which I believe is a great achievement for the BG as we keep our pace with rest of the army.

The Brigade continues to grow at a pace, and the recent formations of Taveleto and Babaji Company in Warminster and Catterick respectively are part of the BG growthQOGLR have successfully completed Tranche 1 growth with Squadrons each at Hullavington and Abingdon.  QOGLR further plans to grow into its full operating capability on completion of Tranche 3 in 2020.  QGS will also grow in size with additional 2 Squadrons in the coming years.  Brigade is expanding its current footprint and offering more capability to the Army, which means career opportunities in BG units have never been better.

The Brigade once again were successful in winning the Queens Medal and majority of the Bisley Operational Shooting trophies in 2018.  It was a proud moment for the BG.  This outstanding achievement was a result of our true identity, hardwork, teamwork and strong leadership.  The units must keep on working hard to retain the coveted trophies and medals which also underlines our operational effectiveness.

Lastly, I remain indebted to you, the serving officers and soldiers of the Brigade, for your strength and fortitude which enables us to be who we are – the Gurkhas.  I am honoured to mention our veterans and their families, either living in the UK, Nepal or any part of the world.  During Dashain we must focus on our loved ones and thank them for their love, support and commitment. 

Once again, to all members of our Brigade and Regimental Associations, our families and our friends wherever you might be, I send you my warmest wishes on this auspicious occasion for a happy Dashain, and a peaceful and fulfilling year ahead.  And for those deployed on operations – safe return home.

Jai Brigade of Gurkhas!

With the weather firmly against the teams in this year’s Cambrian Patrol the Gurkhas once again dug in deep and secured a number of medals. 

The exercise is unique, world class and the largest of its kind with some foreign entrants having to claim the right to take part in the UK by winning through their own domestic competition. Exercise Cambrian Patrol itself began in 1959, when a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers designed a weekend training event, featuring long distance marching over the Cambrian Mountains, culminating in a shooting match on the Sennybridge Training Area.

This year there were 132 patrol taking part in, among them 33 International Teams.

Storm Callum hit Wales on the first weekend of the Patrol causing flooding, landslides and road blocks which has resulted in the cancellation of the first phase patrol to all.  The Second phase of the Patrol was stopped after almost nine hours on the first day due to the worst weather condition.

Brigade of Gurkhas Medal winners were:

  • 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles – Gold Medal
  • Queens Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment – Gold Medal
  • 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles – Silver Medal
  • Allied Rapid Reaction Corps – Silver Medal
  • Queen’s Gurkha Engineers – Silver Medal
  • Gurkha Company Sittang – Silver Medal

We would also like to congratulate the Nepalese Army team on their fine achievement on securing a Bronze Medal. The team has been in the UK training with the Brigade Training Team. After their success they were invited to visit the headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas to be congratulated on their success by the Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas. 

And the 2/8 Gorkha Rifles – Indian army for achieving an excellent Silver Medal. 

We will post updates on this webpage for all the Gurkha prize winners.

The Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas took part in the Corps of Army Music football cup (CAMUS Cup) on 11 October 2018. 

They had to play seven hard thought games with different bands to reach the final. The 8th game was against The Band of The Prince Of Wales Division and after an intense final the Gurkha band took the win and the cup.

Well done and another fine example of Gurkha ability through sport. 

On the 10th October key staff from the Family Support Unit at Headquarters Regional Command visited the Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas for a brief and discussion on Gurkha family issues.

In attendance were Lieutenant Colonel Duncan Attwell, Karen Webster and Alistair Boon.

They were greeted by the Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas, (Colonel James Robinson) and Deputy Chief of Staff (Major Naren Gurung) in the traditional Nepalese style. A brief introduction was delivered by the Colonel and he gave explanations on some of the many Gurkha photographs and paintings around the corridors of the Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas in Robertson House at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

The Deputy Chief of Staff then delivered a brief about the Gurkhas and Nepal. Discussions were then held about Gurkha family issues. We hope the Family Support Unit found the visit useful and informative and it will go someway in helping them understand Gurkha culture and issues for service in the British Army. 

Tough Mudder is a 10 mile mud and obstacles course designed to drag us out from our comfort zones by testing our physical strength, stamina and mental grit.

With no podiums, winners, or clocks to race against, it’s not about how fast we can cross the finish line. Rather it’s a challenge that emphasizes teamwork, camaraderie, and accomplishing something almost as tough as we are.

Five members of Gurkha Company Sittang took part in the event on 29th September 2018, which was held in South London. The main aim was to raise funds for the Gurkha Welfare Trust and Royal Gurkha Rifles Trust to help Gurkha Veterans, their families and communities. Our charity goal was to raise approximately £1250 and we succeeded in doing so.

People from across the world took part in the event. Many of them were taking part to raise funds for different charity organizations and a few were just for fun. As the name of the event itself says it was tough but we were glad we had the opportunity to experience it.

We completed the ten mile long course crossing more than twenty plus obstacles such as Electroshock Therapy, Arctic Enema, Hero Walls, Underwater Tunnels, Funky Monkey, and many more. The medical service was at the highest level which was monitored by the management team of the event. 

Finally, it was a great opportunity to represent GCS in Tough Mudder 2018 and be part for a noble cause.

By Lance Corporal Bishal Wonem – Gurkha Company Sittang

 

 

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