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GUNS Magazine October 2011 Digital Edition - Page 94

• J O h N C O N N O R • If you’re a gurkha soldier, maybe…. photographers. resplendent in his scarlet-piped pillbox cap and black-ink tunic, he flashed a rare, self-conscious smile, and held up a gift from ’er Majesty Queen elizabeth II. Cameras flashed; voices respectfully murmured. Jaded journalists made no jokes or jibes. Simple, unaffected heroism sometimes has that effect. Regiment, operated from a Sergeant Dipprasad remote outpost in Helmand Pun, of the Royal Gurkha Province, Afghanistan. Regiment, had just been Sited in an area thick with “gonged” by the Queen: Taliban, the unit’s prime awarded the Conspicuous duties included aggressive Gallantry Cross, Britain’s patrolling, and manning a second-highest decoration critical checkpoint on the for bravery in combat. It road east of a small village. is unknown how many The outpost had been generations of “Sergeant attacked several times. One Dip’s” family have served evening, the then-Corporal in Gurkha regiments, but Dip was one of four he knows he represents The Conspicuous Gurkhas left at the base the third generation of his Gallantry Cross, immediate family to have Britain’s second-highest while the rest of the platoon pushed out on patrol. been highly decorated for decoration for valor. Dip was alone at the valor. With a modesty typical of Gurkhas, he felt his actions checkpoint, an elevated structure in were all in a day’s work; doing one’s the center of the compound, when just after dark, he heard noises. duty. Meantime, at a barracks in Kent, Investigating, he found Taliban another young Gurkha was keeping a planting an IED in front of the gate. low profile, somewhat confused about Dip grabbed two radios, his SA80 being “notorious” to the outside world rifle, and a GPMG—General Purpose and “an embarrassment” to British Machine Gun. As the Taliban moved diplomats. His fellow Gurkhas were into assault position, Dip advised his equally nonplussed. He had only done commander by radio that the outpost was under attack, fired a grenade, his duty. In India, a Gurkha sergeant who had and kicked off the firefight. His three been “RIF’d” into early retirement was comrades were pinned down inside back at work with a promotion, three and couldn’t respond. Under attack on three sides by 15 to new decorations and a 50,000-rupee award in his bank account, wondering 30 Taliban, he kept moving, emptying what all the fuss was about. He saw his all six mags from his SA80, launching 17 grenades and firing 250 GPMG duty, and simply did it. rounds. Some fell, but others kept “I was definitely coming, and trying to scale the wall. going to die, so…” Screaming, “Marchi talai!” (I will Dip’s unit, a platoon from the kill you!) in Nepalese, he hammered 1st Battalion of the Royal Gurkha one down like a nail with the GPMG 94 JUST ANOThER DAy AT ThE OffICE n Wednesday, June 1, 2011 a handsome young o man with a nut-brown complexion stepped into the inner sanctum of buckingham palace and into a mob of Sgt. Dipprasad Pun, CGC, Royal Gurkha Regiment. Photo: Crown Copyright, MoD 2011 tripod, and swept another off the wall with a sandbag. When the survivors regrouped, Dip triggered a claymore mine blast. They fled, leaving three bodies behind. Taking out a skeleton-staffed outpost should have been a slam-dunk. Instead, the Taliban got slammed and dunked. Afterward, he explained, “I thought I was definitely going to die so I thought I’d kill as many of them as I could before they killed me.” Just another day at the office. One head And 40 Bandits Another Gurkha unit from 1st Battalion was tasked with hunting down a certain Taliban warlord. The orders were to positively identify their target. They found him, surrounded by his pals, and in a ferocious firefight, he was killed. Still under heavy fire, they could not carry the body away. One Gurkha drew his kukri knife and removed the warlord’s head. They fought their way back out. He was positively ID’ed. The diplomatic community went nuts. The Gurkhas simply couldn’t comprehend the problem. Absent orders to the contrary, they did what they had done in countless past conflicts, often times commanded to WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • OCTOBER 2011

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