Gurkha Recruits Trial Potential New Element Of Combat Infantryman's Course

The recruits volunteered for the 'wet gap crossing' during training in Otterburn, Northumbria.

Gurkha recruits have been trialling what could become a new element of the British Army’s Combat Infantryman's Course.

'Wet gap crossing', which essentially involves crossing a river or body of water, is not currently included on the standard course. 

The course is updated and reviewed every three years, and amid fears wet gap crossing skills were fading away, the Army is looking to potentially introduce it as part of the training.

Recruits from Gurkha Company's 3 Platoon took on the crossing during training in Otterburn, Northumbria.

Training Rifleman Dipendra told Forces News: "At first I was really nervous because the weather was already cold and so getting wet was not probably a good idea for me.

"But when I got into the river my excitement was high so I didn’t feel any cold and still I’m not feeling any cold, still feeling warmer, so can do it once more."

Jungle warfare instructor Sergeant Ashok Gurung said: "Whenever you are crossing a river, the main thing is you always have to look 360 [degrees] to make sure that the enemies are not there. 

"They have to be very tactically sound whenever they are in the water."

3 Platoon Gurkha Company recruits undergo trial wet gap crossing for Combat Infantryman training in Otterburn 061020 CREDIT BFBS
All recruits completed the wet gap crossing.

All recruits from 3 Platoon completed the crossing, whilst on the ranges, recruits from 1 Platoon conducted their first live firing attack.

Warrant Officer 2 Suresh Sherma said the training is designed to "create that realistic scenario that they are under the fire". 

After eight months in the UK, all that stands between the recruits and their promotion to soldiers is a final exercise in a few weeks' time.