Tactics learned from the Vietnam war were put to good use in southern Malaysia yesterday (May 18) as wave after wave of British Gurkha troops poured out of helicopters in a realistic assault demonstration for Exercise Bersatu Padu.
WS GURKHAS BOARD HELICOPTERS
CU HELICOPTER ROTOR
MS HELICOPTERS OFF & AWAY (3 SHOTS)
WS EXPLOSION BESIDE CLEARING (2 SHOTS)
MS HELICOPTER ARRIVES
MS GURKHAS ON GROUND TILT TO OTHERS OUT
MLS MORE GURKHAS DITTO
CU GURKHAS FIRE RIFLES (2 SHOTS)
MS GURKHAS ADVANCE ON GUERILLA POSITION
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Background: Tactics learned from the Vietnam war were put to good use in southern Malaysia yesterday (May 18) as wave after wave of British Gurkha troops poured out of helicopters in a realistic assault demonstration for Exercise Bersatu Padu. Watching critically were about 700 Australian and New Zealand soldiers - some of them veterans of real-life drops in Vietnam.
Out in the hot sun, the gurkhas went through their paces lugging massive packs, rifles, mortars and mounds of other weapons and equipment. Clambering from their helicopters by rope or later leaping the five or six feet to the ground, the gurkhas fanned out in a circle round the edge of their imaginary jungle clearing.
The whole scene went quiet for a moment after the first wave as a barrage of simulated long-distance artillery fire ended and helicopter gunships strafing guerilla positions flew away. Even the Anzac troops were hushed in appreciation of the gurkhas' efficiency.
Then more helicopters arrived with more troops as others set up mortars and opened fire on the guerillas. Five men fell realistically wounded as the guerillas answered with machine gun fire. "Born actors, these Gurkhas," smiled a British officer. But ten minutes later, the "actors" emerged victorious from the captured guerilla post on top of a hill.
The demonstration will be repeated this week for Malaysian and Singaporean troops taking part in Exercise Bersatu Padu with the British, Australian and New Zealand forces. And in June, all the spectators will be doing the work themselves in their two-week operation against imaginary communist guerillas on the Malaysian east coast.