Official Association of Britain’s Brigade of Gurkhas

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Recruit Intake 21 Blog - Follow us we follow the trainees

Gurkha Recruit Intake 21 trainees were selected in Pokhara, Nepal in February 2021.

They are now under training at the Infantry Training Centre iwith Gurkha Company Catterick and will be there until November 2021 before joining their units or phase two training across the Brigade of Gurkhas.

We will be tracking their journey on this page so please do bookmark it as we update every week or so.

Introductory Exercise-2 – Learning to be Soldiers

Gurkha Company deployed and successfully conducted the Introductory Exercise-2 (Intro Ex-2) for Recruit Intake 2021 (RI21) on 29th March 2021. This exercise aimed to teach the fundamental of fieldcraft skills and to reflect their learning from Introductory Exercise-1. The recruits would be away from modern-day facilities and must survive and operate in the woodlands with military issued rations and equipment for 48hrs on the Catterick Training Area.

The exercise began with judging distance. The primary aim of this demonstration was to deliver insight on how to judge the distances of different targets scattered over various distances to use then use an individual’s weapon system effectively. After the completion of the demonstration, the troops marched to their respective platoon harbour areas for their subsequent fieldcraft lessons. The training team then covered main battle lessons including the duties of a ground sentry and target indication.

Recruit Intake 21 Instructor
Recruit Intake 21 Instructor
Recruit Intake 21 Instructor

The story of the first few weeks in training

Trainee Rifleman James Thebe Limbu – 1 Platoon

I was surprised at the way the British Army demands the highest standards from young Gurkha recruits in almost everything, barrack cleanliness, field robustness, physical fitness and firing perfect shots. I am grateful that the Army provides us with many opportunities to develop personally and professionally. Even our Saheb’s, our Guruji’s, and my English teacher (an Army reservist) went through the similar stage that we are right now and made it through. The way they have maintained their professionalism should keep us motivated. It will take a lot of time, patience, knowledge, and perseverance to get to the end.

Trainee Rifleman Ankit Thapa – 4 Platoon

Everything has been surprising. training and learning new skills are rapid. I am amazed by how much we could take on, although it does not mean we remember everything first time. Equally the training aid and techniques our Sahebs and Gurujis employ have been impressive. Their skills to detect mistakes in our work is incredible.

Trainee Rifleman Manik Gurung – 4 Platoon

Every single day of our training brings surprises; the lessons, routines and all. It has been a steep learning curve. I was expecting a bit of culture shock but I am amazed by the vibes and homely environment similar to Nepal in Gurkha Company. Other surprises – Catterick turned out to be a beautiful and quiet village, not a city full of skyscrapers. I found out that people here dry their clothes inside a room, we get to see our Numberies from other Platoons once in a blue moon, fall in and meetings can occur at any time of the day.

Trainee Rifleman Adin Rana Magar – 5 Platoon

The best surprise is that I have arrived at Catterick from the hilly region of Nepal. Since our arrival, every day has seen new challenges. One time you are in a warm room, then outside in a field holding a cold rifle and by the time you hit a training routine, the day has gone, and the weekend arrives, time moves very quickly when you are busy. I am excited and looking forward to my new life in the British Army and the Brigade of Gurkhas.

We asked some of Recruit Intake 21 what the first few weeks in training has been like for them.
We asked some of Recruit Intake 21 what the first few weeks in training has been like for them.

Trainee Rifleman Sagar Gurung – 6 Platoon

The first few weeks of training filled with lots of different activities and lessons which were fun and all new experiences. From physical training, drill, and rifle lessons to introduction Exercises. Every moment was full of memories. The training has given me lots of joy and motivation and driven me to complete all the training to a high standard.

Trainee Rifleman Divash Gurung – 6 Platoon

During my first few weeks in Catterick, I was surprised to see how good the rooms and facilities are. The facilities we are given as a soldier include heating, washing machines and dryers are not something I would normally expect in Nepal. I was also surprised by the changing weather here in the UK. It is Summer but still, we have experienced snowfalls here.

Trainee Rifleman Rahul Rai – 8 Platoon

I am now in the second module of the Training and it has been full of surprises. For the first two weeks, we were in isolation and adhered to the COVID-19 safety guidance within the section. Following the isolation period, we were exposed to the abrupt changes in weather that the UK has. From the challenges of physical development to classroom lessons in the English Language our training has been very exciting.

All the lessons were delivered by the Section Commanders. The trainees were amazed by the training aids used in the lessons. The trainees started to see the tasks and skills a rifleman required to deliver his duty effectively as a sentry in the war zone and the barracks. They are now able to indicate the enemies efficiently using a defined method of target indication. This is a basic yet vital skill for any infantry soldier which will ultimately save time and ammunition during the chaos of battle. The trainees were then taught ‘how to make and use different range cards. A range card is a sketch of the terrain that a weapon is assigned to cover by fire. It also shows the potential enemy area and terrain features plotted with a firing position.

In the last phase of this training, they had an opportunity to make their own range cards and fulfilled the role of sentry as a part of their learning process. Subsequently, they also learnt how does a Section Commander issues a fire control order (FCO) using different FCO during the firefight. They also had the chance to confirm their learning on target indication whilst practicing the reactions required to a specific FCO.

Intro Ex-2 is a key part of the initial training in aspects of fieldcraft skills. They had plenty of opportunities to learn from them. The trainees were exhausted and drained at the end of the exercise yet remained motivated.

Raising Money for Combat Stress Charity - April 2021

Gurkha Company Catterick started a challenge to mark the Nepalese new Year 2078 B.S. It will attempt to complete 2078km to mark Nepalese New Year 2078 B.S. The event kicked off on the 1st April 21 with the Officer Commanding Gurkha Company Catterick formally marking the start. So far three platoons have completed 207.8km each totalling 623.4 km.

The rest of the distance will be covered in upcoming days up to the 17th April 2021.

The Nepalese New year 2078 B.S. is on the 14th April.

Gurkha Company Catterick Combat Stress charity
Gurkha Company Catterick Combat Stress charity
Gurkha Company Catterick Combat Stress charity

340 trainee Gurkhas arrive in the UK February 2021

Gurkha Recruit Intake 21 arrives in the UK

They were flown on various flights to Manchester Airport in the UK from Kathmandu in Nepal over the last part of February and early March and then travelled by coach to the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick and became trainee of Gurkha Company Catterick. Upon arrival each one was tested for COVID-19 and then a period of isolation took place before they started their Infantry training.

Gurkha Recruit Intake 21 arrive in the UK
Gurkha Recruit intake 21 arrive in the UK
Gurkha Recruit intake 21 arrive in the UK
Gurkha Recruit intake 21 arrive in the UK
Gurkha Recruit intake 21 arrive in the UK

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