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Hebrides News


Corporal Saugat Subba at their Lewis camp

The Gurkha squadron on exercise in the islands will be out in force in Stornoway town centre on Saturday.


Their huge armoured patrol Mastiff vehicle and army trucks will be on show in Perceval Square between 10am and 3pm.


At lunchtime, they will be serving up free samples of authentic Gurkha curry, made to a special recepie from their homeland in Nepal.


Many are members of the Gurkha regimental pipe band and will be playing their pipes and drums in Stornoway the town centre.


While in Stornoway, they are assisting the local TAs - 7 Scots to give them their official title -  with a recruiting event tomorrow.


The Brigade of Gurkhas has a strong affinity with Scottish Regiments, with each having its own pipes and drums.


The 28 Squadron, The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment are based in the south of England where much of their driving is up and down motorways.


So testing out their driving skills on the island’s winding, single track roads is “challenging.”


One of their 15 tonne trucks slid into a ditch near Borve on Thursday when the driver hugged the side of the road too closely to let a commercial HGV pass safely.


But it was all great training as they recovered the vehicle themselves said their commanding officer.


Corporal Saugat Subba says they have received a warm welcome from islanders.


He said: “The island offers good terrain for training. This has been very beneficial for our driving.


“I have been in the army for 12 years and never before been on a ferry or driven on these type of roads.”


On Friday, packets of trucks headed from Stornoway down the west coast of Harris to Rodel, returning north through the twisting, narrow, road through the Bays of Harris.


Their main test is safely negotiating the wide, heavily armoured, six wheeled Mastiff along the Husinish road on Sunday.


The Gurkhas are camped out at Stornoway Airport with the airport manager providing the land.


The squadron has a strong operational pedigree, having seen service in Balkans, both Gulf wars, and Afghanistan.


More recently they have served in Sierra Leone as part of the response to the Ebola breakout.


Gurkhas dishing up curry and bagpipes  

3 March 2017