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582891.  Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:43 am Reply with quote

bobwilson wrote:
Do Gurkhas wear Burkhas?
Nice one - obviously you have far too much spare time :-)
Keep em coming.

583151.  Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:19 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
Now that Joanna Lumley won the Gurhkas the right to stay in UK, their regiment is apparently being disbanded coz it's too expensive to comply with that. A kind of result, then.

Let's not get too carried away here. The only reportage I can find of this using google was in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express. OK, not first-class organs of truth there, but let's see what we can gleam.

According to the Mirror:

Up to 800 Gurkha troops could be axed from the Army as part of a series of savage defence cuts.

According to the Express:

Defence chiefs are considering scrapping a battalion

So it sounds like we're at the very early stages of anything, and nothing's been firmly decided yet.

Reading on a bit more, I discover from the Mirror piece that the brigade of Ghurkas currently consists of 3,500 men: two infantry units of 800 men each, and the other 1,900 men perform logistics and engineering work to support the infantry. One of the options currently being looked at is to scrap one infantry unit, and to redeploy some of the logistics and engineering workers elsewhere within the army.

In other words, the total number of Ghurkas in the British Army would be reduced by about 22%. This is as a part of dealing with a 10% cut in the defence budget. Given that the Ghurkas have not previously suffered cuts as they were viewed as "good value for money" given that their pension conditions were so unfair, it's probably reasonable that it's their turn to share some of the burden of reduced budgets.

So, all in all, I don't really see there's a massive problem here.

Sadurian Mike
583583.  Tue Jul 14, 2009 5:10 am Reply with quote

The two-battalion system works by having one battalion at home recruiting, training, and being used as a replacement pool, and the other battalion being the active service one.

Getting rid of a battalion is not simply halving the number of front-line troops, it is fundamentally altering the way the regiment operates.


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