247 Gurkha Signal Squadron is to be the second squadron of Queen’s Gurkha Signals soldiers based at MoD Stafford, say the Ministry of Defence.

The other QGS squadron is 248 Gurkha Signal Squadron, which is part of 22nd Signal Regiment. According to the news release:

“The vast majority of the new Squadron are Gurkha soldiers, drawn from existing squadrons, as well as being bolstered by a small increase in Gurkha recruitment from Nepal.”

At first say the Army, the squadron will be two troops strong as well as headquarters elements, but when fully formed will be made up of approximately 110 soldiers.

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Davenport, Commanding Officer 16th Signal Regiment, said:

“I am delighted to see the reformation of this fourth Queen’s Gurkha Signal Squadron which will continue the rich tradition of Royal Corps of Signals soldiers serving alongside their Gurkha compatriots.

The new Squadron will enrich the Regiment and enhance our capability. It will engender pride and a healthy sense of competition across all five sub-units and it reinforces our role at readiness for military tasks at home and abroad.”

The Army say that the squadron will play an integral part in 16th Signal Regiment’s new role as the lead signal regiment supporting the Army’s logistic formations and is part of the Army’s restructuring plan to meet its future tasks.

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Daniele Mandelli

More. I want more.

Rob

You could never have too many of the little buggers … awesome friends of this sometimes undeserving little country

For the life of me I can’t understand why the Army doesn’t vastly increase the numbers of Gurkhas they recruit. They’re excellent soldiers arguably the finest infantry in the Army and second only to the RM in the armed forces as a whole. If I had any vote in the matter I’d fix the number of Gurkhas at 10% of the army. It would solve the recruitment crisis and give us a far better Army.

Airborne

David I see the Gurkha myth is still going. They are good soldiers yes, but not at all “second only to the RM”. You may find that there is a vast number of experienced and professional Infantry soldiers who disagree with you. The Gurkha lads do have an ethos about joining the British Army, as it is seen a step up away from Nepal and poverty. Yes we still actively recruit about 200 lads per year and still do the physical and medical tests in Nepal. However a fact many who fall into the Gurkha myth is that many more… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Good post.

Airborne. Can you ever see an independent Brigade of Gurkhas formed from the varied sub units?

I know the Brigade is an administrative umbrella formation only formed from the 2 RGR Battalions and the other squadrons within other regiments.

Wondered if combining them into a proper brigade formation might create an even better identity, ethos, and first class fighting formation, akin to the Foreign Legion that would sit alongside 3 Cdo and 16 AA.

And yes I know doing this would create holes in other regiment orbats.

Airborne

That used to be the case Daniele, but alas it wont happen in the current climate. To be a deployable Brigade they would need at least bring back the Battalion from Brunei to make it a two Battalion formation (still would need a third), and that wont happen as the Sultan likes the BFB to be there. And there are not enough “enablers” such as RLC/Sigs/RE etc to go around. You are absolutely correct, its always better to form Brigades and units, in which each has its own unique ethos and capabilities and that foster a more “espirite de corp”… Read more »

David Flandry

I have read a report that Brunei is considering using an Indian Army Gurkha battalion for security, to allow the UK battalion there to serve elsewhere. Wish I could remember where I read the report. India would agree to this because of it own security needs re the PRC.

Rfn_Weston

Having served alongside lads from RGR during my time in 2 LI & later 3 Rifles, I have to agree with Airborne that there will be a large number of professional soldiers that disagree with you. Myself included. The lads from Nepal do definitely soldier well, but not necessarily across the board better than other comparable infantry units. I do agree that a significant increase in RGR numbers would help towards solving the under manning issues facing the Army, but the reasons for lack of retention and recruitment is unfortunately more complex than just increasing the number of RGR places… Read more »

I respect what you both say. We’ll agree to disagree.

Robert McKay

A fantastic and enduring friendship, long may it continue

Geoffrey Roach

Morning Airborne, Daniele,

Interesting posts. Given that we are having trouble recruiting and we are supposedly becoming more global in outlook would a significant increase in Gurkha strength make sense? If we are basing troops in the Middle East and East Africa?
Taking a real leap now , any thoughts on a Commonwealth Brigade ie something akin to the Foreign Legion.

Steve

I would love to know the thinking behind the SDSR2010. We know its primary role was cost cutting, but i assume the MOD was given a target and they came back with cost cuts that would put them within it. Whether you agree or disagree with the cost cutting is history, the country was in a mess and the government has to cut costs somewhere and so it took it out on the MOD, whether right place is questionable but it happened. In 2010, if you were a planner and looking at the threats, you had Iraq/Afgan war raging and… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Ask Cameron and Clegg. Whether there was Liberal input pressurising the National Security Council who knows. I remember rarely having been more deflated. I’d campaigned against that useless shower in the Labour party who had presided over a decade of cuts and degrading of our military. As usual, the opposition made all the right noises. They come to power. Bang. Bigger cuts than under Labour. I was stunned. Now we hear the same noises coming from the opposition and Nia Griffiths. With a few honourable exceptions the lot of em disgust me. I think it comes down to the same… Read more »

Steve

But my assumption, maybe incorrectly, is that Cameron/Clegg, would have just required an X% cut in costs and then it would have been up to the MOD to propose to the defence minister the cuts they proposed to meet that target. There had to be other cuts that could have been made to equipment purchasing that would have done it, like dumping the warrior sustainment program, mothballing both albions (controversial i realise but they are not that useful in current situation), cutting ocean earlier (there was going to be a gap between ocean going out and qe coming in, so… Read more »

Steve

Cutting ground forces in 2010 was dumb! Part of the reason Afghanistan was nigh on unwinnable was our strategy of putting companies into towns to do the job of a batallion. If you read No Way Out by Major Adam Jowett it describes how he had only a shirt company of 50-60 men to secure Musa Qula, a job that really required around 300 men to secure. They were under siege for weeks, unable to secure the town or start rebuilding because they barely had the numbers to defend themselves. This was due to too low numbers on the ground… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli

Afghanistan was flawed as soon as we attempted to occupy it.

Airborne

Steve part of the reason Herrick didn’t work was due to a total lack of understanding by HMG of the problems, terrain and thinking of the Afghans. The original idea was, for the H4 BG to secure an area of ground from Bastion to Gereshk and Lash, and that was it. Any other movement was to be follow on BGs. This went to pot once the local Governors of Helmand and elsewhere stated they wanted troops to secure their areas otherwise the various towns would be lost to insurgents. So an Arty troop of just TWO guns were sent to… Read more »

Airborne

And this was in 2006, way before the 2010 chuff SDSR.

Airborne

Spot on!

andyreeves

great news for stafford its a giant area of a site, that has been crying for a real role since it ceased to be an r.a.f establishment.

andyreeves

niah griiffith will achieve nothing the amateurs around her are as useless as the ones already in post

Martin

Army cuts all came in 2015, Navy and air force were gutted in 2010 with the understanding cuts would come to the army later.

No point having a bigger army, it’s politically unusable.

About 2010 my memory could be at fault but I think there was an agreement to cut public spending across the board and defence just got caught up in that. There’s no doubt it saved pennies and has cost pounds to fix but that’s politics !

Steve

You’re right, defence was one of many areas to face cuts, though it was shambolic what Osborne did to the MoD. If it had just been the cuts it would have been fair enough; eveeyone else has had to take hit so couldn’t exactly make a special case for Defence, but then putting the pensions into MoD budget was what really hit hard. If not for that then maybe the cuts would have been limited to, say: Nimrod, a single Invincible class carrier cut and Harriers reduced rather than eliminated completely, and multiple ships and entire squadrons gone.

Steve that’s what we get for letting old etonians run the country. Wonder if I’m allowed to say they’re a ‘pig in a poke’ ! !

Steve

Yeah. I’m embarrassed to say that I voted for those old Etonians. Was a choice between those spoilt toffee-nosed riffs and limp-wristed weak leftie Miliband. Not much of a choice.

Makes me think of the South Park episode where they have to vote between a turd sandwich and a giant douche.

andy reeves

a c*** up that will years and billions to rectify

David Flandry

There was also an informal agreement that all the services would be cut, not just ground forces. Otherwise the naval cuts would have been much less.

Bill

The men we need, the equipment upgrades we need sadly will not happen despite the constant wishlists expressed on these pages. I think the Lib Dems initially pushed for cuts across the board but clearly Cameron needed no help from anybody at the last SDR to virtually end the armed forces ability to be a truly effective OFFENSIVE fighting force. Not too many moons ago a certain Col Tim Collins send that the army needed to be able to deploy 6 armoured brigades. We had the MBT’s, the AS90’s, GMLRS and the Apaches to put a three battalion brigade together… Read more »

Steve

Hopefully you’re wrong and next year there will be some kind of increase for MoD. I can’t fault Gavin Williamson for his efforts to get more funding; he’s one of the few who truly seems to care about his department above his own career. Could do with more like him.

David Flandry

The UK is limited in how many Gurkhas it can recruit, but I doubt another battalion would be impossible. Its sad more UK nationals won’t enlist. In 2010 the Army had 102,000, now it struggles to get even 80,000.

Steve

I tried. I failed the medical though due to childhood hip issues. Part of the issue with military recruitment now is that the draws for previous generations aren’t there: see the world, learn a trade for free, serve your country… These days travel is cheap and easy and 18 year olds backpack around the world easier. Few want to serve their country, more interested in how their country can serve them instead. Learn a trade is where recruiters could capitalise; with uni so expensive and no guarantee of a good job at the end of it, all 3 forces could… Read more »

Mark Forsyth

Who would want to enlist in the Army at the moment when the persecution of soldiers who served on Op Banner 30 plus years ago still carries on.
The Gurkha’s may be great infanteers, but as for others like signals and logistics, these should have all been disbanded when we left Hong Kong. It is only luvvies like J Lumley and a bunch of old Generals who perpetuate the myth of the Gurkha.