HomeNewsArticle Display

Legendary group enhances defense at Fairford

ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England -- Two riflemen from the 3rd Regiment of Gurkha Rifles, an elite unit within the British Army, practice martial arts tactics here March 20.  The legendary Nepali fighters of the 3rd RGR are here to safeguard the base, joining forces with Air Force security forces, Royal Air Force and Ministry of Defence police and local constabularies.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stacia Willis)

ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England -- Two riflemen from the 3rd Regiment of Gurkha Rifles, an elite unit within the British Army, practice martial arts tactics here March 20. The legendary Nepali fighters of the 3rd RGR are here to safeguard the base, joining forces with Air Force security forces, Royal Air Force and Ministry of Defence police and local constabularies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stacia Willis)

ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England -- A rifleman from the 3rd Regiment of Gurkha Rifles, an elite unit within the British Army, patrols the perimeter here March 20. The legendary Nepali fighters of the 3rd RGR are hereat to safeguard the base, joining forces with Air Force security forces, Royal Air Force and Ministry of Defence Police and local constabularies.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stacia Willis)

ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England -- A rifleman from the 3rd Regiment of Gurkha Rifles, an elite unit within the British Army, patrols the perimeter here March 20. The legendary Nepali fighters of the 3rd RGR are hereat to safeguard the base, joining forces with Air Force security forces, Royal Air Force and Ministry of Defence Police and local constabularies. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Stacia Willis)

ROYAL AIR FORCE FAIRFORD, England (AFPN) -- Security here has taken on a formidable new dimension.

After adding layers of concertina wire, K-9s and four contingents of law enforcement, officials at this British installation have added a regiment nothing short of legendary.

The Gurkhas, the world-renowned Nepali special forces contingent of the British Army, have hunkered down at Fairford, alongside Air Force security forces and local police.

For the elite light infantry unit, hunkering down is a simple process, and one of the unit's many extraordinary capabilities. British Army Maj. Neil Stevens, the Battalion second in command of 2nd Royal Gurkha Rifles regiment, explained why his unit is so valuable.

"We can move anywhere in the world on 24-hours notice," Stevens said. "We're ready to go anywhere, anytime."

Stevens said the Gurkhas rely on flexibility and experience. They are configured and used like the U.S. Army Rangers or U.S. Marines. They are also martial artists, airborne tacticians and masters at cover and concealment. As they patrol the Fairford perimeter they will be drawing upon a more intangible quality: their reputation.

"Our capability is backed up by history," Stevens said. "We've received more Victoria Crosses than any other unit."

The Gurkhas have been honored 26 times with the cross, the British equivalent of America's Medal of Honor.

Their heritage is forged from operational experience. After a British conflict in Nepal in the early 19th century, the Royal Army was so impressed with the Gurkha fighters that it recruited and constructed special regiments of the elite soldiers. Since its inception in 1815, the mostly Nepali force in composition and culture has participated in every significant campaign and many lesser-known military endeavors.

"In the last two years we've been everywhere the British Army's been, from East Timor to Afghanistan," Stevens said.

Their reputation is also tethered to their "ethos" -- adherence to a strict, self-imposed code of honor and discipline.

"We must be loyal, honest, well-trained," explained a rifleman standing in front of perfectly arranged cots flush and grounded at their Fairford encampment. "We are very experienced, especially in jungle warfare."

A more recognizable trademark is their long and lethal Kukri knife, a symbol of their legacy and lethality.

The Gurkhas are happy to be working with the four agencies already securing Fairford, including U.S. Air Force security forces, RAF and Ministry of Defence police and local constabularies.

"We're very happy to be working with the MOD police and U.S. forces," a Gurkha rifleman said. "We are not sure about the conflict with Iraq and we don't know what will happen, but we're here now and we're happy to help."

Security forces officials are happy to have the boost in capability, according to Capt. Woody Boyd, SF commander at RAF Croughton, who is assisting in orchestrating the defense of Fairford.

"I can remember 12 years ago as an airmen hearing people talk about Gurkhas and what they are capable of doing," Boyd said. "The Gurkha is an extremely professional soldier and we're extremely honored to work with them. It definitely enhances security."

Security forces officials indicated the regiment will be deployed on the perimeter to thwart any intruders. It will also serve as a last line of defense before armed Air Force security forces on the air field. Stevens alluded to the use of a balance of conventional policing and stealthy tactics.

"We intend to be very visible during the day for the purpose of deterrence," Stevens said. "But at night it's another matter. We'll be configured accordingly."

Engage

Twitter
RT @DefenseOne: JOIN US TODAY @ 2 P.M. ET when our “State of Defense” series continues with a live interview featuring U.S. Air Force Chief…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Teaching service members how to effectively shoot weapons. That’s the job of Combat Arms Training and Management. Watch…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Team - 25 years ago today, we lost 24 U.S. & Canadian Airmen in the Yukla 27 crash. It was a surveillance training so…
Twitter
Taking care of Airmen and their families! https://t.co/AVeidzDPcV
Twitter
Wherever Airmen go, the Federal Voting Assistance Program ensures their voice is heard. @FVAP works to ensure servi… https://t.co/tkJts1yo3Z
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: For #HispanicHeritageMonth, we're celebrating the stories of Hispanic & Latino Airmen! @188thWG SSgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez…
Twitter
#TotalForce Airmen participate in night operations during a base-wide, total force exercise @HAFB. Airmen & pilots… https://t.co/kJYNKwHY7n
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: California fires/smoke no match for UTA Airmen - https://t.co/pJysQ6snRh (Story by the @940Wing) #ReserveReady #ReserveRes
Twitter
Whistleblowers are NOT insider threats. Learn the difference and how you can appropriately report questionable gove… https://t.co/AaTvBfHcTv
Twitter
SrA Denise Arabie, 319th Operations Support Squadron radar approach controller @319thRW, describes the importance o… https://t.co/zkwMx6Qw3i
Twitter
RT @173rdFW: "I may have lost everything, but thanks to the support we’ve found here, I’m going to be back on my feet inside of a few weeks…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official sat down and discussed how the Air Force will continue exempting Airmen from PT t… https://t.co/bWVig9fSOW
Twitter
SrA Mark Gonzalez describes how his job enables the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber to support the Bomber Task Force depl… https://t.co/sceKCtM3Pz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our Airmen come from all walks of life — and we are stronger for it. Staff Sgt. Kalinin, 56th Force Support Squadron ALS…
Twitter
“It's critical to have that diversity in the Air Force that we have today because it is truly through that diversit… https://t.co/RIDQDjdlCr
Twitter
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron @EielsonAirForce takeoff in support of exercise Valia… https://t.co/cf0raGgEUD
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "This test, and others like it, can shape the future of the MQ-9, as we continue to increase its relevance in great power com…
Twitter
"We cannot rest on our laurels. It is all about the people, folks, and they will guarantee our readiness, and are f… https://t.co/BsNDUSw0wE
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT Airmen and coalition partners are executing missions of national, regional and global importance and Exercise Desert…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,281,142
Follow Us