Exercise KHUKURI DRAGON 2018 was a Type 2 Squadron led multi-activity Adventure Training package that was held in Bavaria, Germany. The exercise involved a total of 45 personnel from 248 Gurkha Signal Squadron.
Organizing such a package involves a great amount of background planning, this task fell to Corporal Bhesh who, along with his small team, planned and executed the package on a short notice. A warm and sunny afternoon on the 22nd July 2018 saw us deploy to Bavaria to begin the package. After an extensive 24hr period of travel, we finally arrived at the Drei Muhlen Lodge in Wertach, Germany.
A wide range of activities awaited us, including white water rafting, a waterpark visit, via-ferrata, rock-climbing, mountain biking, hill-walking, distributed training (a rock-climbing foundation course). Adventure training is designed to build a fear factor and put soldiers out of their comfort zones whilst developing the basic core skills and values of the Army.
Although we were having lots of fun, everything we were doing was contributing to us being better soldiers as the skills that we were learning can transfer into our day to day job.
This was an outstanding week of exhilarating and heart-racing activities, we were certainly pushed and challenged, yet the relaxed atmosphere and glorious weather certainly meant that this was an extremely fun experience. To extend our German knowledge and culture, we were fortunate to attend a cultural program in the heart of Wertach.
Likewise, as our stay was just a 30mins drive away from the renowned Neuschwanstein Castle, better known as the Disney Castle, we had the opportunity to visit and learn the history of this historic building. Similarly, we had a full day reserved for a visit to the beautiful city of Munich and the home of one of the European giants of football, FC Bayern Munich, the Allianz Arena.
To put the icing to the cake, we were in for the treat of a delightful barbecue in the scorching sunshine followed by a quiz night led by Lance Corporals’ Gaurav and Dhabindra before an outstanding performance from our very own ‘Go Crazy Band’ led by Signaller Ashes, who played splendid music to entertain a crowd of nearly 50 personnel.
Nepalese MP Ms Nabina Lama visited elements of the Brigade of Gurkhas on Monday 26th November 2018. She is in the UK as part of the International Leaders Programme (ILP) run by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Ms Lama requested that a day of visits to serving and retired members of the Brigade was arranged to give her the chance to meet and talk to a variety of people from the Nepalese communities who are resident in the UK.
Ms Lama’s day began at the Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas where she was welcomed in traditional style with a khada by the Chief of Staff, Major Shane Burton, Gurkha Brigade Association Regimental Secretary, Major (Retired) Manikumar Rai MBE, and SO2 Personnel Policy, Major Dammar Shahi. She was given a tour of the Headquarters before receiving a brief on the Brigade, its current construct and lay down and some of the recent activities of the units.
Following this the party moved to 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment in Aldershot where they were greeted by the Gurkha Major, Major Chakra Khatri and a Regimental Piper before Ms Lama was shown the temple and had a chance to talk to both Punditji and a group of young soldiers about their lives in the UK and the support offered by the MoD and the Brigade to meet their needs. Lunch then followed with the opportunity to hold discussions with senior Gurkha Officers and gain their perspectives.
The final stop of the day was the Gurkha Welfare Advice Centre in Aldershot where Captain (Retired) Mahendra Limbu and his team briefed Ms Lama on the services and help offered by this joint funded Ministry of Defence/Gurkha Welfare Trust enterprise specifically for Gurkha veterans and their families and she had the opportunity to also speak to a group of pensioners about their lives since settling in the UK.
A (Delhi) Company, 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles recently deployed on Exercise FALCON AMARANTE, South France.
This was part of the 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment’s Battlegroup to conduct a joint training as part of Airborne Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (ACJEF) commanded by French 2* General. Across two demanding weeks in south west France, the Exercise tested the Airborne Combined Joint Expeditionary Force (A-CJEF) – a partnership between 16 Air Assault Brigade and 11e Brigade Parachutiste. The two brigades provide the airborne rapid reaction forces for their respective armies, and the A-CJEF has been trained and ready since 2013 to deploy on short-notice operations ranging from war fighting to disaster relief.
Exercise Falcon Amarante is the A-CJEF’s annual test exercise, taking place this year under 11e BP’s command. Some 650 British soldiers and 170 vehicles of the 3 PARA Battlegroup – built around the airborne infantry of 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, bolstered by artillery, engineers, medics, signallers and logisticians – are taking part.
British troops paired with the 3e Regiment de Parachutistes d’Infanterie de Marine as the A-CJEF, with US paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade working alongside it. After mission planning and reconnaissance, the exercises started on 14th November with some 600 British, French and US paratroopers jumping onto the Caylus training area near Toulouse. From there, a series of simulated missions tested the skills and capabilities of the 2,000-strong force.
The first few days of final exercise comprised of conducting offensive, defensive and Rapid Air Landing operations which included a number of challenges including response to CBRN threat. The exercise was concluded with A company conducting an airborne operation into occupied villages of Saizet in south France. The exercise which unfolded various offensive actions, saw A Company conducting a joint training (including introductions to French weapons, vehicles and parachutes) before being deployed on a testing final exercise.
Corporal Yogendra Dewan played for the A Team and won the Division Two Championship. Corporal Hari Ghimire and Lance Corporal Gopal Rai, both played for B Team and were runners-up at Division Three Championship. All three players from 2 RGR played an important role in their teams to earn promotion for the Infantry A and B Teams to Division One and Two respectively.
Chairman Infantry Squash, Lieutenant Colonel K Philip, said that all three players from 2 RGR played outstandingly despite this being their first attempt at this level. He said that Corporal Yogendra’s performance was particularly noteworthy. This was the fifth Division Two win for the Infantry since 1968.
Although squash is a relatively new sport in 2 RGR, the sport is slowly gaining momentum in the Battalion. This however is not the first success for the 2 RGR Squash Team. 2 RGR have been runners-up at the Inter Unit Squash Championship back to back in 2017 and 2018. This is particularly noteworthy since they started the sport only five years ago.
Corporal Hari said, “The next challenge for the 2 RGR team is to win the Unit Championship in 2019”. The passion of these players and their current form have certainly made 2 RGR favourites at next year’s Inter Unit Squash Championship.
Dear all Gurkha Brigade Association friends, please find below the link to all online version of Parbate.
This is October-November’s edition and it covers some events including:
The Brigade of Gurkhas Media Team.
A new squadron of Gurkha soldiers has been welcomed to MOD Stafford with a Regimental Parade by 16th Signal Regiment.
247 Gurkha Signal Squadron will be the second squadron of Queen’s Gurkha Signals’ (QG SIGNALS) soldiers to be based at Beacon Barracks. The other QG SIGNALS squadron is 248 Gurkha Signal Squadron which is part of 22nd Signal Regiment.
The reformation of 247 Gurkha Signal Squadron sees the QG SIGNALS increase from three to four squadrons.
The vast majority of the new squadron are Gurkha soldiers, drawn from existing squadrons, as well as being bolstered by an increase in Gurkha recruitment from Nepal.
Lieutenant Colonel Ben Davenport, Commanding Officer 16th Signal Regiment, said the reformation of the fourth QG SIGNALS Squadron will continue the tradition of Royal Corps of Signals soldiers serving alongside their Gurkha compatriots: “When I joined the Army back in 99, there was only one QG SIGNALS Squadron. To establish the fourth, with a fifth being established next year, is fantastic. It brings an extra addition to our family and also means that we have a bit of healthy competition between the British and Gurkha soldiers.”
247 Gurkha Signal Squadron can trace its history back to ‘King Troop’ which formed in October 1951 to take part in the Malayan Emergency.
It last existed in Hong Kong in June 1994 when it and other squadrons were amalgamated into the Hong Kong Gurkha Signal Squadron, prior to the return of Hong Kong from the UK to China in 1997.
A fifth squadron, 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron, will form in Bulford in Summer 2019.