Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Global Response Force tested on iconic Salisbury Plain

12th May 2023

Exercise Wessex Storm sees The Second Battalion, The Royal Gurkha Rifles and 1 R IRISH being challenged to prove their readiness to respond to international crises.

2 RGR started the mission by capturing Keevil airfield in a helicopter assault, with the heavier forces of 1 R IRISH following by airlanding from RAF transport aircraft.

Captain Toby Eddings, of 2 RGR, said: “This is an opportunity to work with all arms, the broad spectrum of the British Army’s capabilities, as well as joint operations with the RAF to conduct the rapid air landing and practice that air movement element.

“For our soldiers it is exposure to the Army beyond the infantry, to understand what the engineers and artillery bring and their part in the wider picture, and what is available to them should we deploy overseas.”

As the force advances across Salisbury Plain, 2 RGR is being enabled to fight, move, and live by the engineers of 70 Gurkha Parachute Squadron and supplied with food, fuel, and ammunition by 15 Air Assault Support Squadron Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment.

Lance Corporal Amrit Thapa, recently returned to the UK with 2 RGR following the battalion’s five-year posting in Brunei, has been training for fighting in built-up areas.

“We were more focused on the jungle whilst overseas but didn’t forget our urban tactics and exercising on the vast area of Salisbury Plain has sharpened our skills and drills,” he said. “We have been operating in a very complex urban training environment, it is very challenging but really good, we’ve learnt a lot.”

Captain Eddings concluded: “The bottom line of Exercise Wessex Storm for 2 RGR is it prepares us to be the Air Manoeuvre Battle Group within 16 Air Asslt BCT.

Exercise Wessex Storm

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