Friday, April 01, 2011

Fullbore Friday

In war at least - size doesn't matter.
Sergeant Dipprasad Pun got through more than 400 rounds of ammunition and an assortment of grenades during his extraordinary one-man stand on the roof of an isolated sentry-post.
At one point, when his gun could no longer fire, he resorted to battering one Taliban fighter, who was trying to scale the wall to attack him, over the head with the tripod of his machine gun.
The 31-year-old from Bima in western Nepal, has been awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross.
He is the third generation of his family to be decorated for bravery after his father Purna, an Indian Gurkha, and his grandfather.
That is why you cross train on all your weapons.
Sgt Pun told yesterday how he was on guard duty at the base near Rahim Kalay in Helmand Province on September 10 last year when he heard a digging sound in the darkness in front of him.

Grabbing two radios, a GPMG (general purpose machine gun), his SA80 rifle, a grenade launcher and an arsenal of hand-held grenades he climbed onto the rooftop and opened fire.

With rocket propelled grenades and gun fire flying over his head from all directions he defended the position for more than 15 minutes, killing three Taliban and forcing the others to flee.

At one point the diminutive soldier turned around to see a “huge” Taliban fighter approaching him on the rooftop, a few feet away, having silently scaled the wall, and shot him.

While the mass of Taliban fired from an area of open ground, another crept into the compound and tried to climb the wall but he spotted him.

“I tried to fire my SA80 but it wouldn’t work,” he said.

“I don’t know if there was an obstruction or the magazine was finished.

“I threw my SA80 down and grabbed a sandbag but it wasn’t tied and all the sand dropped out.

“As I tried to jump into the sentry post I found a metal rod from the GPMG tripod and pulled it round and hit him.”

As he ran towards the Taliban fighter he gave a shout of “Marchu Talai” Nepalese for “I’m going to kill you”.

When the firing eventually stopped he received a tap on the shoulder and turned around fearing he was under attack again but saw his company commander Major Shaun Chandler behind him.

Confused and exhausted, he admitted that he might have opened fire had he not used up all his ammunition.

Thing about the Ghurkas ... they are some of the nicest, most polite people you will ever meet ... but there is an air around them of strong peace. Hard to explain, but I think it might be humble self-confidence.

I loved seeing those guys in AFG. When on duty though - all business face.

Hat tip Andrew.

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