KM Group reporter Chris Price is embedded with troops in Afghanistan. Here is his first report.
Imagine a flock of armoured vehicle sheep being chaperoned by a number of specialist heavy-armoured sheep dogs.
Then you can get an idea of the work of Gurkha soldiers from Kent as part the Commando Logistics Regiment.
The regiment ensures the safe passage of convoys carrying vital goods to various bases across Afghanistan as part of Operation Herrick.
Gurkha soldiers from the Second Battalion of Royal Gurkha Rifles (2RGR) based at Shorncliffe near Folkestone form part of the Commando Logistics Regiment, which provides the protection to convoys from insurgents on Combat Logistics Patrols (CLP).
“As infantry soldiers CLP is new to us” said Corporal Suresh Sambahamphe of 2RGR, who has been in Afghanistan for five months.
“It is quite a tough job. We protect vehicles in convoys of no less than 70 up to 130.
“We have had suffered mine strikes and have had to deal with two ambushes that were about an hour long each.
“Initially we felt scared, but then we just used what we had learnt in our training to deal with the attack. Around 15 minutes later our aerial support arrived and that dealt with the insurgents.
“We are all very proud to serve in the British army. I started when I was 16 years old and have never looked back.”
Today (Thursday) Gurkha soldiers welcomed back their colleagues to Camp Bastion from a CLP from Garmsir. The soldiers from 2RGR alternate on the CLPs with soldiers from 3 Commando of the Royal Marines.
The professionalism of the Gurkhas was commended by Commander of Camp Bastion and Commanding Officer of the Royal Marines Logistics Regiment, Colonel Andy Maynard.
He said essential patrols supplying bases across Afghanistan could not be done without them.
“We are incredibly lucky to have such a dedicated and hardworking bunch of men working for us in the shape of the Gurkhas.
“Like we go through an intense level of preparation before we put on our berets, so the Gurkhas go through an extraordinarily tough regime before they earn the right to wear their regiment’s colours.
“We must remember they form a part of a whole though, along with members of the Royal Marines.
“The planning, training and equipment we have enables a group of ordinary people to do extraordinary things every day.”