Big congratulation goes to the RGR shooting team for winning the Methuen Cup 2013 with the overall score of 1323.
All members of A Coy conducted a week of challenging abseiling training held in Training Team Brunei’s facilities. After several dry runs and practice from a static gantry, we put our new skill into practice with the Bell 212s of 7Flt AAC, abseiling from up to 150ft. After this training, we were confident that we could abseil effectively onto any terrain, be it open fields or the middle of a jungle LP. The following week, A Coy brought together our training with a 5-day exercise. The exercise began with a series of platoon serials (tracking, caching and CTR) and culminated with a company jungle air mobile operation. The aim of the exercise was to practice, rehearse and finalise the aviation SOPs for our role as Aviation Coy, prior to the unit move back to UK.
Our training area for this exercise was Ulu Tutong, much deeper into the Brunei jungle than our usual training area around Labi, and therefore much more difficult to resupply. All our battle preparations were completed and double checked before we set out by coach to rendezvous with the helicopters. From the PUP we were ferried to our respective platoon landing points (LP) by two Bell 212s. Each platoon secured their LP by abseiling their first groups in. From the LPs each platoon began their respective patrol missions. Under the canopy, and carrying full kit, the tropical heat made it a really tough, gruelling task, both physically and mentally. The navigation in Brunei is always challenging as the features on the map are often different to the ground. Despite the heat, load and gradient we managed to reach our planned harbour location before last light.
The following day each platoon began force-on-force missions, tracking and pursuing each other within our given area of operations. We all got to refine our basic patrolling skills and use our tactics against each other to locate and attack or ambush each other. Surprisingly, with a combination of tracking and cross-graining, this was the toughest part of the exercise for many of us. On the third day, and running low on rations and ammunition, each platoon was given the grid reference of a separate cache (planted several weeks previously) for resupply. Now our navigation had to be spot-on! Luckily each platoon managed to find their cache and distribute the resupply for the next phase of exercise. Each cache contained rations, water, ammunition and medical packs. Finding them gave us a real morale boost for the next phase of the exercise. If we had not found them, we would have had to switch into survival mode for the rest of the exercise!
From the cache, we were given the company RV to meet up with the other platoons and the Coy HQ group. This was the start of our company operation. We conducted orders, final battle preparation and rehearsals prior to launching an initial advance to contact onto the LP at dawn the following morning. As planned and rehearsed, we cleared the surrounding ridgeline and were able to capture two and destroy the rest of the enemy in the area. Although the weather was against us, and our lift was delayed, we had planned to put in place a road block by helicopter. We arranged all the chalks and extracted from the jungle successfully as planned. At the LP we were met by the coaches for our return to the Coy lines.
Ex FALAMKO KOT was very successful and useful, enabling all of us to practice and rehearse important air mobile drills, as well as our basic jungle skills. We now have the self-confidence should we be asked to deploy on aviation operations anywhere, at any time.
JAI A Company!
A Company conducts Helicopter Abseiling Training. Report by Corporal Anil Rai, A Company, 2 RGR.
Being the Aviation company, we A (Amboor) COY, 2RGR, took part in Helicopter Abseiling Training at Training Team Brunei (TTB) and the Garrison Sport Complex. The training session ran for four days (29 Apr-3 Mar 2013). Training was led by Sgt Nawaraj Jimee, who was the Chief Instructor for the event, and supported by other Guru-jis. All the available members from the Coy took part in the event.
The aim of the training was to practice and test the confidence of soldiers to abseil from the Bell 212 helicopter with and without their full equipment, in order to prepare and enhance the Coy’s Air Assault capabilities and meet the requirement of operations in jungle warfare.
On the first day of the course, we attended the abseiling class, which included the safety brief, fit and test of kits, duty of the break-man and serviceability of kits. After the class we went for a practical demonstration of how to abseil (without equipment). We watched the demo very carefully because abseiling can be dangerous – a single, minor mistake can cause serious injuries. Immediately after the demo we queued for abseiling. At our first jump, some of our comrades were less than confident and their legs were shivering. However, by the second time this had passed and they were confident with the height. In the mean time we took turns to practice the break-man job. By the end of the day we had learnt the techniques and mechanism of how to abseil and do the job of break-man.
On the second day of the training, we had to jump with weight (bergen and webbing with SOP kits) including weapon (SA80 rifle). The technique was similar to the previous day with some minor adjustments. We were shown how to fit weight and weapon on the body, what to do and not to do while jumping and safety measures to apply. On our first practice it seemed to be a little uncomfortable and dangerous but when we jumped, it was smoother than jumping without weight.
All our training until then took place in TTB camp, where there was a dummy helicopter built on a 100ft gantry. That was just for the introductory phase. On the third day, we were going to bring all our practice together and jump from the Bell 212 helicopter for real. It was very different and felt more difficult than the jumps we did from the dummy helicopter. The Bell 212 was much higher than we expected. Although everybody seemed to be confident and happy to jump, I do not know about others’, but my heart was pumping a little bit faster. However, I controlled myself and did well. The rest of the company followed and all did well with no injuries or accidents.
On the final day, there was some time for extra practice as all the technique had been learnt and we made sure that all the company had done at least one jump from the Bell 212.
In conclusion, this training was a great experience for all of us. It was a mix of danger, fun and education. No one got any injuries, everyone was fine. By the end of the training we were happy and proud. I am very thankful to those members who were directly and indirectly involved in the training session.
Rfn Nutan Rai and Himmat Rai, both from 2 RGR, were injured during Op Herrick 14 on separate incidents when they were deployed there from Brunei. In this interview with BFBS they talk about their experiences BFBS-Nutan/Himmat
A wall has been erected in Tuker Lines, Brunei in memory of the fallen Royal Gurkha Rifles soldiers on Operation HERRICK.
Major General Colin Boag CBE, General Officer Commanding Support Command (GOC Sp Comd), unveiled the Afghanistan Memorial Wall in Tuker Lines during his recent visit to British Forces Brunei.
Amid a sombre ceremony, GOC Sp Comd along with the Commanding Officer and Gurkha Major of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles paid their respect and laid wreaths on the newly-erected wall, which had the names and details of the fourteen fallen soldiers from the 1st and 2nd Battalion. The ceremony was attended by the officers and soldiers of the battalion. (Story courtesy of BFBS. For more photos click on BFBS – Afghan Memorial)
By Rfn Yalambar Rai
2 RGR have made big waves in the Army sporting community by not only competing in, but by winning the Army Canoe Polo Championships in 2012 and again in 2013! Whilst Elephant and even Bicycle Polo are popular, I believe Canoe Polo is a first in the history of the Royal Gurkhas Rifles and indeed the Brigade of Gurkhas. This may also be the first time Parbate readers have heard about canoe polo and so, if water sports float your boat, read on to find out more about the fastest growing team contact sport (well fastest growing team sport in 2RGR anyway)!
Canoe polo is a very dynamic and aggressive sport that requires adept kayaking skills, good ball control, strong team play and spatial awareness, incredible aerobic and anaerobic fitness and exceptional discipline. A canoe polo squad is made up of ten paddlers, eight in the pool per match, five paddlers in play and three rolling substitutes. The aim of the five paddlers is to get the ball to the other end of an Olympic sized pool and throw the ball into the opposition’s goal which is suspended three meters in the air. You cannot paddle or move with the ball but must throw the ball, within five seconds, to a team mate or a few meters away and then paddle the kayak to retrieve the ball. Players can make a tackle on any opponent within three meters of the ball. To tackle, a player can either ram his kayak against the opponents’ kayak, known as a kayak tackle or push the opponent upside down, this is known as a player tackle. A kayak tackle can be as hard as the player can paddle but cannot be between an angle of 80 – 100°, this is to prevent broken ribs or damaged kidneys, common injuries in canoe polo. Player tackles must be a one handed push below the neck. If the opponent capsizes, and attempts to Eskimo roll the tackler must allow him to get his head and one shoulder out of the water before pushing him back under water. In defence, the aim is to kayak tackle the attacking team to drive them away from your goal, and player tackle anyone near the ball.
So how did 2RGR paddle its way into Army canoeing and regimental history? Since the return to regimental duty of Major Hellier, Officer Commanding C (Tamandu) Company, 2RGR Canoe Club has been reborn. On return from a particularly arduous and challenging deep jungle exercise, even by C Coy’s extremely high standards, news of the Army Canoe Polo Championships at the end of November 2012 reached 2RGR Canoe Club. After a week intensive training twice a day, two teams flew to UK to brave horrendous winter winds and floods to compete, luckily indoors. The competition was sponsored by the Royal Navy and held at the RN Sports Lottery funded gym complex, HMS Temeraire.
The 2012 Army championships saw paddlers come from across the army including the RLC (2005 and 2007 Army Champions), Royal Signals, Int Corps, AGC and even the RAMC. 2RGR B Team nearly caused an upset when following the Qualities of a Sportsman to the letter, in particular ‘plays the game for the game’s sake and plays for his side and not for himself’ were beating 2RGR A Team which would have ensured a RLC victory. Luckily two last minute goals in quick succession by Major Hellier pushed 2 RGR A Team into the final with 2 RGR B Team drifting into third place. The final was equally close with the RLC two one up at half time. 2 RGR A Team showed incredible composure under pressure coming back to win the final three goals to two. With 2 RGR in first and third place, although the RLC had come agonizingly close, 2 RGR were triumphant and crowned the Army Champions. We returned to Brunei and rested before Christmas leave.
Due to other Royal Navy commitments the Army and Inter-Services Canoe Polo Championships were moved from November to February: 2 RGR had weeks before we had to defend our new title, during which another arduous jungle exercise (Ex Ulu Sikhari) stood in our way. Canoe training had to wait as the battalion deployed into the Labi. Following intense training of two one and a half hour training sessions a day for ten days we returned to ‘Pompi’ to compete in the Army Canoe Polo Championships 2013. This time it was the REME (2011 Army Champions) who stood in the way of a RGR rollover. (We knew the REME had a good team and good financial support as our old and damaged boats we train on, are their ‘hand-me-downs’). I am proud to announce that not only did 2 RGR A team beat the REME six goals to four, but that 2RGR B team also beat them to secure first and second place in the Army Canoe Polo Championships 2013.
Following both Army Championships 2 RGR paddlers then remained for the Inter-Services Championships. Most of the 2 RGR paddlers were selected to paddle in the Army Canoe Polo squad and got the opportunity to paddle with and against ex-Olympic paddlers and a couple of GBR Canoe Polo players. The standard of the Inter-Services compared to the Army Championships was like going from the Championship to the Premiership. It has given 2 RGR Canoe Club a taster and an aiming mark in terms of standard of kayaking as well as the game, and hopefully not an unrealistic aspiration as to the quality of kit and equipment we could expect if we are to compete at a higher level. The Inter-Services provided extremely valuable experience and has lifted the standard of 2 RGR canoe polo. Following the Championships, Maj Hellier has received contact from the Combined Services Team, GBR Canoe Polo Team and an invitation for the Gurkhas to compete in a Canoe Polo competition in Italy in July 2014.
From a personal perspective the whole experience, both on and off the water was incredible. When not competing we visited the Gurkha Museum and our gratitude goes to the curator who gave us a bespoke tour. We also visited HMS Warrior 1860, one of the world’s most significant historic warships. She was built to counter French developments in naval shipbuilding and when she was launched she was the largest, fastest and most powerful (in terms of firepower and armour) warship in the world. So powerful in fact that none of Britain’s enemies ever dared take her on in battle. She retired twenty-two years later having never fired a shot in anger! She did however revolutionise naval warships and was the prelude to the Dreadnought. The Dreadnought contributed significantly to the arms race which in turn contributed to the start of the First World War. I thoroughly enjoyed both the Gurkha Museum and my first time onboard a warship and took a lot away from the visits. I also gained much from meeting and interacting with members from across the Army and indeed the other Services. Thanks should go to both the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force who were extremely kind and supportive to the Gurkhas, as were the staff of HMS Warrior.
On the water I feel I have developed my personal skills, improved my paddling fitness and now have a far better understanding of the game and the tactics. I learnt that in canoe polo you must control your aggression, any cheating is counter-productive with two referees and the game is very strict which in turn teaches self discipline. Being unable to paddle or move with the ball makes canoe polo a true team sport, regardless of personal ability. If you have the ball you have five seconds to use it or lose it which makes it a fast thinking and action game. If you are within three meters of the ball the opposition are trying to ram you at full speed or capsize you so you must think under pressure, be situationally aware, be decisive, operate as a team, have excellent personal skills and be extremely fit. It is a contact sport and being rammed at full speed by an opponent certainly takes its toll so you need to be physically and mentally fit. Skills that are useful on operations as much as there are on the water. That is why 2 RGR won the Army Canoe Polo Championships.
Jai 2 RGR
By Rfn Roshan Gurung B Coy 4 Pl
The more we sweat in training the less we bleed on the battlefield. As infantry soldiers we firmly believe this motto. We are always at the forefront of activity on the battlefield and need to train in a realistic and challenging environment to achieve our best when it really matters. This is exactly why Gallipoli Group from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles deployed to Lavarack Barracks in Queensland in Northern Australia, for an overseas exercise.
For the newer members of 2RGR like me, it was our first overseas exercise. I must admit that I was a little bit nervous before we left because we hadn’t ever experienced such a long exercise before and were going to be using live rounds for the majority of the time. Also we would be on exercise in Australia, a completely new environment for more than one month.
Our exercise was split into three different phases, section level, platoon level and finally at company level. We deployed to Australia
on the 1st of February and started the section level phase after a few days of RSOI. During RSOI we zeroed our rifles and practised our navigation skills in the new environment. In my opinion the section phase was the toughest phase. During the section level, our ‘advanced to contacts’ were conducted over 3 days. All the advances were extremely challenging and were some of the hardest attacks we have ever done. The ground was horrible. We had to advance up very big hills and there were huge rocks everywhere. Despite this, we still achieved our goals. Little did we know the toughest advance was yet to come. On the last day of the section phase, we had to do a long distance march in the night. All the sections were on their own moving through the darkness to cover almost 28K. Our section commander and the other seniors all encouraged us and gave us their full support that enabled us to reach the finish which was a camp where we had some time to recover.
Refreshed after our weekend off in the camp where we had good food and had lots of sleep to prepare for the next phase – we started the platoon phase. The platoon phase, like the section phase, was not very easy. On the first day of the platoon advanced to contacts, we were the last platoon to go through the range. We were in the midday heat and a lot of the area was on fire with smoke and flames everywhere. We ended the platoon phase with a deliberate attack which was very successful.
The next phase was the company level phase. This phase was a lot harder as we had to think about what everyone else was doing in the plan to make it work. The first task was to establish a Forward Operating Base (FOB) just like the ones they use in Afghanistan. This was completely new for me, because it was my first time in a FOB, but I was really keen to learn about how we were going to do it. We established the FOB by building sangars and building up the defences, and then we started on FOB routine. I really learnt a lot about how an FOB works, and I think I have a good idea now of what we will have to do on operations in the future. After the FOB phase, we moved back into conventional tactics for the final attack. The final attack was a dawn attack that we conducted with the help of C Coy The 1st Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) who conducted the break into the enemy position. We held our breath on H Hr in anticipation, and then we worked continuously hard in the heat for over 3 hours. We had a special guest watching the attack that morning, as CO saheb and the RSM saheb had come from Brunei to watch us in action. When the final position had been cleared by 6 platoon, we heard over the radio “python python” which was the code word for the end of the exercise. We all took a deep breath of relief as we had finished after a whole month in the field. After completion of the attack the Gallipoli group had a photo taken with our CO saheb.
Due to all our hard work there we had achieved a good result, with a big well done by the CO who was very happy with our
performance. After post exercise admin was complete, we left in the coaches for Lavarack Barracks to start our 3 days R and R. Following R and R, we had a week long package of adventure training which provided us with four options. They were rock climbing, sea kayaking, river kayaking and scuba diving. Everyone had an excellent time and it was the best end to an excellent overseas exercise.
I feel proud to have been a part of Ex PK as even though I have not been on operations, I think I have experienced some of the realities of war. It was really useful for me and everyone involved. Everyday was a learning day for us in Australia.
Jai Gallipoli group
To hear a BFBS interview with members of B Coy click on the link BFBS-Pacific Kukri.
Gurkhas have always been known for their bravery all over the world. The battle cries of “Ayo Gorkhali” have terrified many an enemy on the battlefield. As Cpl Lama sends instructions and rallies his troops for the final push, Rfn Avtar strides down towards the enemy. He aims carefully and can see his opponent panicking, the silence is broken with the shout of Howzzzzzzat (how is that) and the umpire lifts his index finger. The team rejoices and savours another fine victory for the Gurkha Lions.
The Gurkha Lions Cricket Club was formed during the last month of 2011 with the kind permission of the British Forces Brunei Commander Lt Col Rea. Cpl Jigmi Lama was nominated as the Cricket IC and was handed the gigantic task of forming a team from scratch. Within a short span of time the Gurkha Lions have managed to attract many budding cricketers from within the BFB community to form a very strong cricket team.
After leading the Gurkha Lions to victory in their very first game, Cpl Lama nominated Rfn Gambahadur Gurung, Support Company 2 RGR as the team captain. So far, the Gurkha Lions have played eight matches to date and have won seven – losing one game by a very close margin to the Brunei Division 1 Champions.
The 20/20 Triangular Tournament
The Gurkha Lions were invited to participate in the Triangular 20/20 Cricket Tournament involving the Panaga Cricket Club and the Jerudong Cricket Team. The Panaga Cricket Club is the oldest cricket club in Brunei, and have won numerous tournaments over the years, while the Jerudong Cricket Team ply their trade in the Brunei Division 1 and were the Division 1 20/20 runners up. The tournament was held at the Panaga Cricket Ground every Sunday from 6 May to 27 May 2012.
In the first game, (acting team captain) Cpl Lama lost the toss and this led to Panaga opting to bat first. A strong partnership developed between the Panaga’s opening batsmen which was finally broken by the crafty leg spin bowling of Rfn Pradesh, soon wickets started falling steadily at regular intervals as the Gurkha Lions bowlers teased and probed the Panaga batsman with a good line and length bowling. At the end, Panaga managed to score 124 runs with a loss of eight wickets in their allocated 20 over; A/Sgt Dickinson had a fine game for Panaga with a score of 52 runs.
A disappointing start by Gurkha Lions with a loss of two quick wickets brought early joy to the Panaga side. However, the explosive batting by Rfn Avtar along with Rfn Pradesh and Rfn Kharka helped The Gurkha Lions to a superb victory with five over still to play and a loss of just three wickets.
Man of the Match, Rfn Avtar, scored an unbeaten 64 runs which included six huge sixes. Rfn Kharka scored 18 runs to remain not out while Rfn Pradesh scored 20.
The second game played a week later between Panaga Cricket Club and Jerudong was won comprehensively by Jerudong. Panaga batting first scored 98 for the loss of seven wickets while Jerudong easily managed to cross the target in the 12th over with a loss of just one wicket.
This led to a very interesting final match between Gurkha Lions and Jerudong with the winners to be declared the Champions of the Tournament. Unfortunately, the weather Gods had other ideas as rain lashed down at the pitch making play impossible. It was decided that the match be postponed to the following week.
On 27 May 2012, a glorious morning welcomed the cricketers as they made their way towards the pitch. Team Captain Rfn Gam won the toss and made a wise decision to bowl first as the captain rattled the opening batsman wicket in just his fourth ball. Rfn Avtar from the other end bowled hostile deliveries to keep the batsmen at bay. Two deliveries from Avtar into the rib cage was enough for the Jerudong batsman as the batsman frantically signalled to his team members for more protective gear. At the end of the Jerudong innings, the scoreboard read 133 with a loss of six wickets.
The Gurkha Lions opening pair of Rfn Ganga and Rfn Mahendra played with authority as they managed to score 58 in the first 10 over. With 76 runs needed to win from the last 10 over, a sudden loss of four quick wickets brought the game back in the favour of Jerudong way. LCpl Pirthvi and LCpl Subash slowly started to build momentum for the Lions but all looked lost when Subash became the fifth batsman to fall at the 16th over with 35 runs still needed. In came Rfn Pradesh and hammered seven fours before he was bowled in the last over with three balls remaining and six runs to win. A wide on the first ball faced by Rfn Narayan and four runs of the next two deliveries meant that a run off the last ball would insure victory. As the last ball was bowled, the tense looking Gurkha lions bench erupted as Narayan sweetly timed his stroke for four runs.
It was a well fought victory which shall certainly be remembered. The moment was made sweeter by the fact that the first tournament ever participated by the Gurkha Lions resulted in the Lions becoming the champions. The omens look very good for the young Lions and it would be no surprise to find a few cricketers from this team playing in the Army Cricket Team in the near future.
Ayo Gurkha Lions.
Jai 2 RGR