The Hereford Times this morning:

HEREFORD MP Paul Keetch has demanded to know when the UK’s special forces will be provided with new Chinook helicopters.

He told the House of Commons on Wednesday: “The two men killed in Iraq were possibly in a Puma helicopter that was older than some of the personel it was carrying.

“When will the helicopters, the Chinooks, ordered by the previous Conservative government, for our special forces, be delivered for use by our special forces?”

Read this article  here



Eight Lives Down book by Chris Hunter
‘If fate is against me and I’m killed, so be it, but make it quick and painless. If I’m wounded, don’t let me be crippled. But above all don’t let me fuck up the task’

Some info on a brilliant new book which should appeal, “Eight Lives Down” by Chris Hunter. (The title refers to the nickname for bomb disposal soldiers, Felix the Cat, nine lives sort of thing?)

The cover blurb says “The World’s Most Dangerous Job in the World’s Most Dangerous Place”, “The Story of a Counter-Terrorist Bomb Disposal Operator’s Tour in Iraq”, and “The Most Exciting and Nerve-Jangling Work of Military Non-fiction Since Bravo Two Zero”. The first two certainly sum up this book’s ethos, not sure about the third though, it’s nothing like B20 in fact, just a bit of publisher’s hype to shift the book really. Having said that, this is an entirely compelling story in its own right which is well written and worth telling. We are taken into the world of the men who tackle the increasingly sophisticated attempts to kill allied troops with IEDs and rockets. The workload is unrelenting, the lives saved immeasurable, the detective work immaculate. This book is full of action and contains many facts about this subject that were hitherto unknown to the public. Essential reading if you have the slightest interest in what is really happening in Iraq.

[Thanks to GML friend and fellow-traveler Camban for the review]


The Daily Express: Two SAS members were killed when their RAF Puma helicopter crashed in Iraq, sources said.

Another two British military personnel were seriously injured when the aircraft came down near Baghdad on Tuesday night.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it was too early to speculate on what caused the crash, but the US military revealed it is not believed to have been caused by enemy fire.

Read the article here. The MoD only speaks of the death of ‘UK Military Personnel’ so far, but SAS or other, our sympathy is with the family.


Special Forces fighting in Afghanistan are among hundreds of troops whose pay is incorrectly docked by a new computerised system, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

Members of the Special Boat Service who fight the Taliban daily are being short-changed by more than £400 a month and some face defaulting on mortgage payments. They are among 300 servicemen affected by faults in the £269 million Joint Personnel Administration system introduced to harmonise the £6 billion annual Forces wages. Some SBS troops, who are recruited almost exclusively from the Royal Marines, are having to rely on help from a welfare fund set up by friends of the unit. SBS commandos complained to Adml Lord Boyce, the former head of the Armed Forces, during his recent visit to Afghanistan. “It must be a worry for those not getting the pay they have expected because their mortgages might be in danger or they might not be able to pay bills,” Lord Boyce said. “That might play on people’s minds and affect operational efficiency.” It was “very unsatisfactory”. A commando said he had spoken to a senior officer about the problem but was told he was in the same position. “The thing that annoys me it that we put our lives on line but I have spent half a day sorting out something I should not have to do on leave.” An MoD spokesman admitted “issues” with JPA. “We would like to apologise to any individuals who may have been [effected].”

Sounds like business as usual to us.


Andy McNab Mid-Life CrisisIt seems Volkswagen thinks meeting McNab is a way to treat a midlife crisis. Of course what they really want to do is to sell a car. To you. After you’ve done all the fast things in life you’ll be ready for something steady. I don’t have shares in this company, I’m only trying to sell you McNab, which is pretty harmless. Most of the times. But this site is funny enough to post though.


Go to their site and check their Welcome video, also see ‘treatment’ number 8. But check out the rest as well.. FAQ looks great too.


Erik Prince BlackwaterWhy, you may ask, is there a picture of a smirking homosexual on this page? Well first off, there’s nothing wrong with being gay, and secondly, Erik Prince isn’t homosexual–he just looks like it. But that’s not why he’s here.

I’m often asked what our favorite fictional mercenary, Randy McFab, “really” looks like–and I noticed that if Blackwater arms-smuggler-in-chief Erik Prince grew a mustache, he’d be the spitting image of our beloved Randy. He has more in common with Randy than just looks, however–Prince opposed the Clean Air Act, he’s okay with “contractors” killing civilians, and he chose a swamp in the Southeastern U.S. for his headquarters.

One thing’s for certain–neither I nor Randy McFab are paying you a dime in royalties, Prince Erik!