UK to raise new battalion of Gurkha Rifles, hails their bravery, sacrifice

The Theresa May government in United Kingdom on Monday announced plans toestablish a new battalion of RoyalGurkha Rifles, which has a history dating to the East India Company, and saw action in the two World Wars and several contemporary conflicts.

The 3rd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles is to be established as a Specialised Infantry Battalion and will begin recruiting this year, the ministry of defence announced. All Gurkha soldiers are recruited in Nepal.

The battalion is part of plans to set up five Specialised Infantry Battalions that are designed to provide expert capacity building and training skills with a focus on niche capabilities or areas of the world, officials said.

“For more than 200 years, Gurkhas have been an integral part of the British Armed Forces and have demonstrated exceonal military atude, with a 100% pass rate through basic training,” a release of the ministry of defence said.

Besides, the ministry said it would also enhance the support some Gurkha units provide to the British Army — for example the UK-led NATO Allied Rapid Reaction Corps — and establishing additional Gurkha Engineer and Signals Squadrons.

Minister for the armed forces Mark Lancaster said: “The Gurkhas have built an outstanding reputation for their skill and bravery as soldiers through centuries of service and sacrifice.”

They bring unique expertise and perspective to the United Kingdom and British Army which makes them an ideal choice to form a third battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles as a Specialised Infantry Battalion.

Colonel of the Royal Gurkha Rifles major-general Gez Strickland added: “The specialised infantry role is exciting and challenging and we look forward to learning new skills and making new partnerships around the world as we begin the new task.”