Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

News and updates from around the world

Parbate : April 2019

Dear all Gurkha Brigade Association friends, please find below the link to all online version of Parbate.

This is April’s edition and it covers some events including:

  • Further Growth in the Brigade of Gurkhas
  • New Kabul Compound Skills House Simunition Training
  • Gurkha Company Sittang Cross Country Competition 2019
  • Historical Town Twinning between Dhampus and Brecon
  • The Queen’s Gurkha Engineers Public Duties in London

The Brigade of Gurkhas Media Team.

The Gurkha Recruiting Website has been updated. Please use the below link to find out the most up to date information on British Army Recruitment. Videos of physical tests will follow soon.

 

Dear all Gurkha Brigade Association friends, please find below the link to all online version of Parbate.

This is March’s edition and it covers some events including:

  • Gurkha Recruit Intake 19 Reception and Induction
  • Operation CABRIT – Poland
  • The Police Liaison Detachment (PLD) on Operation TORAL 7
  • 10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment in Oman
  • Gurkha Memorial Construction Falkland Islands
  • Exercise TIGER GRANADA KHUKURI

The Brigade of Gurkhas Media Team.

The Brigade Culture and Language Team (BCLT) is currently in Nepal to deliver a ten week long residential Nepali language course.  The Survival Nepali Language Course (SNLC), as it is known, is run in British Gurkhas Pokhara and commenced on 18th February 2019.

The SNLC is in its second week and expected to finish on 25th April 2019 following which they complete a two week long Directed Duty Trek in Nepal. A total of ten new Young Officers across the Brigade of Gurkhas Units are participating on the course.

Colonel Royal Gurkha Rifles, Major General Strickland DSO MBE visited the BCLT during his visit to Nepal on 26th February 2018 and was briefed on its activities. He also took the time to meet the students where he re-emphasised the importance and the relevance of Young Officers learning the Nepali language. 

The delivery of Nepali language and culture to prepare British officers and soldiers to serve with Gurkhas goes to the heart of the Brigade. The SNLC offers a rare opportunity to Young Officers joining the Brigade to learn, first hand, about the people, culture and the rich tradition of the Gurkha soldier in a unique environment. 

 

On 11th March 2019 members of the Brigade of Gurkhas gathered with International Commonwealth dignitaries, representatives of International organisations, Embassies, High Commissions and Service representatives for the Commonwealth Commemoration event at the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill, London.

The history behind the Memorial.

On the 6th November 2002 Her Majesty The Queen officially inaugurated the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill, in London. These Gates have been erected as a lasting memorial to honour the five million men and women from the Indian subcontinent, Africa and the Caribbean who volunteered to serve with the Armed Forces during the First and Second World Wars. They also celebrate the contribution that these men and women and their descendants, members of the Commonwealth family, continue to make to the rich diversity of British society.

Since Her Majesty opened the Memorial Gates on Constitution Hill in 2002, there has been a wreath laying ceremony at the Memorial Gates to commemorate the actions of all those from the Empire who sought for the British in the two World Wars.

On 10th March Rt Hon Mark Lancaster TD VR MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, announced an expansion to the Brigade of Gurkhas which will see it provide an additional Queen’s Gurkha Engineer Squadron, two additional Queen’s Gurkha Signals Squadrons and additional support to the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps Support Battalion and the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas. 

He also confirmed the reformation of 3rd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles to become the British Army’s fifth Specialised Infantry Battalion (SpIB).

The 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR15) set out the Army’s plans to develop up to five specialised infantry battalions. Specialised Infantry Battalions consist of about 270 personnel, roughly half the size of an ordinary infantry battalion.

They are made up of Non-Commissioned Officers/Senior Non-Commissioned Officers and officers as their role is to train, advise, assist and mentor designated partner nation, something that private soldiers would not be experienced enough to do.

They will operate overseas in specified regions on a long-term basis, to enable the formation of strong relationships and to gain in-depth knowledge of their areas of responsibility including the terrain, culture and language.

The expansion in the Brigade will allow Gurkhas to access more career opportunities, including promotion and increased chances to serve a full 24-year Army career within the Brigade of Gurkhas.  To assist with initial requirements, there will be an increase in Gurkha recruiting from 270 in 2018 to 432 personnel per year for the next few years.

The announcement in full can be found on the gov.uk website 

On the 7th March 2019 the Brigade of Gurkhas Steering Group, formed of Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas Staff, Commanding Officers and Gurkha Majors, came together at the Headquarters at Robertson House, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The meeting was chaired by the Colonel Brigade of Gurkhas.

The  group discussed a number of issues and Brigade developments. The importance of the meeting is to inform unit management and discuss issues in a forum which then allows for future informing and educating to the wider Brigade on the current issues and developments across the Brigade of Gurkhas.

This meeting included briefs on; Brigade growth, changes to selection process, challenges to units, operational commitments, welfare, pension, media development and pension changes.

Armed Forces Minister Mark Lancaster has announced an increased support package for 22,000 Gurkha veterans and their families.

Ministry of Defence Main Building, Horse Guards Avenue.

The veterans, who all joined the Brigade of Gurkhas before 2007, will benefit from a £15 million (2.2bn Nepali Rupees) increase in the Gurkha Pension Scheme. While the increased remuneration will vary depending on an individual’s circumstances, veterans could receive increases of up to 34% extra in their pensions and with the increases being backdated to 1 January 2016 this means Gurkha pensioners will receive a total of £46m (6.7bn Nepali Rupees) extra this financial year.

Alongside the increased pensions, the MOD is also announcing today a new £25 million (3.6bn Nepali Rupees) investment, over the next ten years, for medical support for veterans living in Nepal.

This new investment will be delivered in partnership with the Gurkha Welfare Trust, a charity which provides a range of support to Gurkha veterans in Nepal, including via a series of regional healthcare facilities.

Today’s announcement comes after Mr Lancaster recently visited Nepal, where he met with the President, Rt. Hon. Mrs Bidya Devi Bhandari, to present the annual report of the Brigade of Gurkhas.

The Minister also met with the Prime Minister of Nepal, Rt Hon. Mr K P Sharma Oli, the country’s Foreign and Defence Ministers, and the Chief of the Nepal Army Staff. Both sides emphasised the importance of Gurkhas in the UK-Nepal relationship and discussions covered a range of issues, including the additional support for Gurkha veterans being announced today and UK-Nepal economic and investment collaboration.

The Minister also saw work being done to reduce pollution and improve social conditions in brick kiln manufacture being supported by DFID Nepal.

Minister for the Armed Forces Mark Lancaster said:

This pension increase for Gurkha veterans, alongside long-term funding for healthcare support in Nepal, will make a difference to the lives of Gurkha veterans and their families.

I have huge respect for the Gurkhas, who have been important to the British military for more than 200 years, and I hope will be for many years to come.

These are significant sums which reflect the outcome of dialogue with Gurkha veterans and the Government of Nepal.

Read more on these documents:

20190306-7CPC_Implementation_Q&A

20190306-Report_for_Implementation_of_7CPC

20190307_RAN_Letter_GPS_VeteransSpt_announcement O DP

20190412_RAN_Letter_GPS_7thCPC Follow up O DP

10 Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment (QOGLR) had the pleasure of hosting Major General R A Magowan CB CBE in his capacity as the Armed Forces Buddhist Champion on Tuesday 5th March 2019. The intent of the General’s visit was to understand the provisions that the Brigade of Gurkhas offers to its soldiers and dependents to practice their belief, faith alongside culture in harmony.

Headquarters Brigade of Gurkhas (HQBG) oversaw the visit where representatives from other Gurkha units including; 1 Royal Gurkha Rifles, Queen’s Gurkha Engineers and Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, took part.

Major General Magowan was initially welcomed at Regimental Headquarters QOGLR by the Commander QOGLR Lieutenant Colonel Alex West and the Gurkha Major QOGLR Major Chakra Khatri with our traditional khadas which was followed by the Honour Guard. The General was presented a Brigade of Gurkhas cultural brief by Deputy Chief of Staff HQBG, Major Narendra K Gurung.

Major General R A Magowan later visited the QOGLR Temple/Monastery where the Regimental Buddhist Lama Guru spoke on the importance of faith/belief/moral understanding/practices within the Brigade of Gurkhas and delivered blessings. The General also had an interesting and useful interaction session with the representatives from across the BG units.

The visit culminated with the customary messing at Regimental Messing Hut where the General was presented a Khukri by Commander QOGLR.

28 Transport Squadron is part of 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and is now, with its large Nepalese contingent, on continental roads for the first time.

They are confident but had to learn fast but are confident at the wheels of their vehicles. To get there more than 100 personnel have driven 45 trucks from their Aldershot base.  With a Channel ferry crossing the nearly 500-mile journey has taken three days.

For 90% of the squadron driving on the continent and on the right-hand side of the road is a new experience.

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