The usually low-profile Gurkhas were providing security for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other regional ministers.
Nepal’s elite warrior tribesmen, Gurkhas, will reportedly serve as part of the security detail for the on-again-off-again-on-again summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“They are among the best Singapore can offer, and I am sure they will be involved (in the summit),” International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Singapore armed forces expert, Tim Huxley, said.
The usually low-profile Gurkhas were seen providing security for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other regional ministers at a conference on the weekend. Security analyst expressed that the appearance is likely a dry-run in preparation for the Trump-Kim summit, Reuters reported.
“They remain very much a substantial and frontline force, and the demands of this kind of event are precisely the sort of special operation that the Gurkhas are trained to handle,” Huxley added.
The Trump-Kim meeting is scheduled to be held in mid-June in Singapore.
The Gurkhas, who are largely viewed as one of the fiercest warrior tribes in the world, were recruited from Nepali highlands by the Singapore police force. IISS Military Balance claims that some 1,800 Gurkhas serve in the force, across six paramilitary companies.
Gurkhas serve in the British, Indian and Nepalese armies, as well as in Brunei and Singapore and have also fought in both world wars, the Falklands conflict and Afghanistan, the agency said.
Singapore’s Gurkhas are linked to a British tradition that has recruited and paid for elite regiments of soldiers from Nepal for more than 200 years. Gurkha soldiers are recruited at 18-years-old and retired and repatriated at 45.
The ‘warriors-for-hire’ are not allowed to marry Singapore women, however, their children are able to enroll in local schools.