UK-based Gurkhas are to join soldiers from over 10 NATO countries in military training in Latvia over the coming month.
Exercise Saber Strike, a NATO exercise in its fifth year, will see soldiers from across the alliance conducting exercises in Eastern Europe.
The UK is sending 230 troops to provide support and take part alongside troops from the US, as well as Baltic and Scandinavian states.
Soldiers from the Second Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles (2RGR) form the main body of the UK contribution. While the Gurkhas are light-role infantry, used to dismounted fighting, the exercise will see them working alongside tanks, vehicles and aircraft from across NATO.
For the Gurkha soldiers, it is the multinational aspect they are most looking forward to. Lieutenant Subas Gurung said:
“Every military has its own way of doing things. It is always hectic in the first few days as we get to know each other, but it is rewarding to see the hard work pay off.”
Lt. Col. Marcus Reedman, meanwhile, who is commanding the UK contribution, explained the importance of the exercise.
“As part of the UK’s High Readiness Brigade, this training is vital to understanding how our allies work and what we can offer each other on operations.
“The ability to train and operate effectively within a coalition based upon NATO allies remains the foundation of our capability. Exercises such as this enhance that interoperability and strengthen personal relationships.”
The Gurkhas are celebrating their 200th anniversary of service to the British Crown this year, whilst at the same time aiding in the relief effort in their earthquake-hit home country, Nepal.