'the imjin' magazine Summer 2019 - Page 23

Jingle Warfare Radio service launched for Gurkha soldiers at Gloucester British Forces radio have launched their Nepalese language service for Gurkha soldiers serving at our NATO base in Gloucester. A new AM transmitter has been installed at Imjin Barracks to expand the ‘BFBS Gurkha’ radio service to the more than one hundred Gurkha personnel and their families who live in the area. The dedicated service broadcasts across Gloucester on 1278 AM from its studios in Kathmandu, Brunei, and Folkestone in Kent. HOME SERVICE Corporal Biju Gurung of the ARRC Support Battalion said: “I’ve been here for three years, and for the last two years we didn’t have a station. Now we have, and it feels more like at home. “I enjoy the music, the latest music. It’s 24 hours, and at night-time we can hear the news from Nepal, but I think most of us enjoy music while at work.” EAST IS WEST British Forces radio have been providing a Nepalese-language station for the Gurkha units serving with the British Army since it was first launched in Singapore in 1952. Today, BFBS Gurkha radio is available on AM at eleven locations across the UK, as well as broadcasting on the FM signal in Nepal, Brunei and Afghanistan. The station manager for BFBS Gurkha radio in the U.K., Lal Shahi, explained: “We decided to put the transmitter up at Imjin Barracks because the Brigade of Gurkhas thought that there was a need for this service for the boys who are serving at the ARRC. WEST IS EAST BFBS Gurkha radio provides a 24- hour service, with its breakfast show coming from here in the U.K. and other live programmes from Kathmandu. The station also re-transmits programmes from the BBC World Service. The service is intended for serving soldiers and their families, but it is known that many Gurkha veterans who have settled in the U.K. are also regular listeners. Speaking to the imjin from the BFBS studios in Folkestone, Lal Shahi a former Gurkha soldier himself, said: “We have a wide listenership because we have Nepalese people working all over the world - and the service is expanding. “We are so privileged because we are serving those who serve.” And Lal concluded with a direct appeal to his new listeners in Gloucester: “I regularly ask my listeners, wherever they are, to take part. And if they have stories to tell, just bring ‘em on! That’s what I want to say.” We can hear the news from Nepal, but I think most of us enjoy music while at work. “It’s important because of the language and the culture. When you are away from home, you like to hear something about your home.” BFBS Gurkha Radio broadcasts across Gloucester on 1278 AM It is also available online at www.forces.net/radio and via the free BFBS smartphone app the imjin SUMMER 2019 23