By Sergeant Laxman Thapa, The First Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles
Exercise AGILE KHUKURI was held in Cinque-Port Training Area (CPTA) to achieve a deep understanding of the Echelon system within the Air Manoeuvre Battle Group (AMBG).
Prior to deployment A1 Echelon conducted conceptual lessons based on Infantry Battle Craft Syllabus for both Light Role and Air Manoeuvre forces in Sir John Moore Barracks. The field exercise then took us back to basics, beginning with practising mounted movement by day and night both in open terrain and urban environment, practicing defile, VA/VP drills, all types of replenishment and providing logistical, medical and equipment support to F Echelon in order to sustain future operations. We also practised tactical harbouring drills both by day and night, focusing on mechanics and developing complexity of the scenario where possible within the Air Manoeuvre context.
A1 Echelon was deployed for three days during Exercise AGILE KHUKURI in extreme wet weather, supporting B (Sari Bair) Company. It was a golden opportunity for the new soldiers from the company to understand what the roles and capabilities of A1 Echelon were in relation to the rifle companies. Whilst re-supplying F Echelon, one of A1 Echelon’s vehicles went off-road and accidentally got stuck due the churned-up, muddy ground. This created a new exercise serial for A1 Echelon, when we had 8 Field Squadron deploy with an SVR recovery vehicle to assist with the recovery. It was a great opportunity for the young soldiers to see the capabilities of the SVR and build their confidence in the equipment. A1 Echelon was visited by DCOM 16X and praised for the hard work of everyone on the last day of the exercise.
Exercise AGILE KHUKURI was conducted to remind and revise The First Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles A1 Echelon personnel on the skills required by the G4 chain to sustain the fighting echelons of a battlegroup within an Air Manoeuvre context. By the end of the training, new and more experienced soldiers alike were confident in what would be demanded of them in case of an AMBG deployment.