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14.03.17 His Majesty Graces Farewell Ceremony for 1st Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles

His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Muizzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, the Minister of Defence and the Supreme Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, RBAF has graced a farewell ceremony for 640 personnel of the First Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles.

The Battalion is ending its 4-year tour of duty in the country. The ceremony took place at the Garrison Officers' Mess in Kuala Belait. Upon arrival, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted by Lieutenant Colonel Charlie Crowe, the Commander of British Forces Brunei (BFB). Shortly after the arrival, His Majesty received the Royal Salute and inspected the Guard of Honour mounted by personnel of the Royal Gurkha Rifles under the command of Captain Ganesh Kumar Gurung.  The Gurkha Rifles is an infantry regiment of the Gurkha Brigade who are in the service of the British Government.

During the visit, His Majesty consented to officiate the promotion of three Warrant Officers to Captain. Also present was His Excellency David Campbell, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam and Yang Dimuliakan Pehin Datu Pekerma Jaya Major General Dato Paduka Seri Mohammad Tawih bin Abdullah, the Commander of the RBAF.

His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam then witnessed a demonstration of a military operation.  The demonstration involved personnel of the Rifle Company and Special Weapons Platoon of the Royal Gurkha Rifles and RBAF personnel.

His Majesty also drove an ATV to watch the beach and sea operation demonstration. From the Garrison Officers' Mess in Kuala Belait, His Majesty proceeded to Tuker Lines Base in Seria to watch a cultural performance and an exhibition as well as mingle with the families of the Royal Gurkha Rifles Battalion.  Shortly after arriving at the Chit Chat Community Centre, His Majesty witnessed a combined performance involving the First Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles and the Third Battalion of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces.

His Majesty then viewed an art exhibition by the pupils of Hornbill School and interacted with the school teachers and pupils. The Hornbill School has more than 320 pupils aged between 3 to 11 years old, the majority of whom are children of the Royal Gurkha Rifles personnel. The Gurkhas' traditional cooking also attracted His Majesty's interest during the tour of Tuker Lines base. Shortly after that, His Majesty watched a traditional Nepali cultural performance that further enlivened the event.

His Majesty then consented to receive a Pasambah in the form of a Marble Sculpture decorated with the symbol of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. The 640 personnel the First Battalion of the Royal Gurkha Rifles will return to the United Kingdom. They will be replaced by the Second Battalion in July this year.  His Majesty's presence at the farewell ceremony is a reflection of the unique relations between Brunei Darussalam and the United Kingdom based on mutual trust, respect and close cooperation in various fields including defence, education and energy.

News Courtesy Radio Television Brunei
Photo Courtesy InfoFoto
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