2008
24.03

Princes William and Harry are planning a glittering party for the richest men and women in Britain – to raise millions for soldiers wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Over cocktails and champagne, the Princes will make an unprecedented personal appeal for funds for the Help for Heroes appeal, backed by The Mail on Sunday.

The pair, both serving Army officers, will be joined by celebrities including James Blunt, Jeremy Clarkson, Anneka Rice and former SAS soldier-turned-author Andy McNab.

The event, which takes place on May 7 at a secret location in the City of London, possibly the Guildhall, will even feature a marching band and a military display.

Read the article here

2008
21.03

The Sun man Nick Francis writes:

“My sleep deprivation plan was sparked by University of California boffin Dr Jerry Siegel, who last week claimed humans can survive with NO shut-eye – and that we only go to bed at night because we once used to hide from predators after dark.

But in just 72 hours The Sun proved that a good night’s sleep doesn’t just make us feel better, it’s one of life’s necessities.

Armed with just my computer – and a few gallons of coffee – I forced myself to stay awake for three days and nights on the trot at The Sun’s London offices. I recorded my progress in a diary and online video blog.”

Andy comments:

We were asleep on our feet

Sleep deprivation goes with the territory in the military.

In one SAS exercise, Escape And Evasion, you go on the run for seven days and nights.

For the first three or four days the adrenalin carries you through. But then your body starts going down and you can’t stay awake.

You find yourself leaning against a tree and suddenly it’s two hours later you’ve been asleep standing up.

At the end of it you’d be interrogated to see how sleep deprivation affected you. In one exercise we were made to dig trenches and stay awake for long periods.

Every few hours we were shown a blanket on the ground under which were 16 to 20 items. The blanket would be lifted and you had to memorise and write down what you saw.

But after a couple of days of sleep deprivation you had trouble getting your mind in sync. Sometimes you could remember an item but couldn’t work out how to spell it even though the day before you’d got it perfectly.

You will find the article in The Sun here

2008
20.03

One of the authors of this Andy McNab blog, who isn’t Andy McNab or Lynn, may have made public statements indicating an acceptance of the Aussie practice of Abbo-hunting.

I would like to make clear in no uncertain terms that I, as a contributor to this blog, have never advocated the hunting, or even the running-over on dirt roads, of Australian Aborigines.  I’m sure if I lived in Oz that might be different, but the fact remains neither I nor anyone at this website have any interest in harming Abbos.

Please disregard any comments you may see elsewhere that seem to imply that certain participants in this Andy McNab blog approve of any anti-Aboriginal sentiment, no matter how much sense that sentiment may seem to make.

Thank you.

2008
12.03

Ministry of Defence News:

Celebrated former soldier turned novelist Andy McNab got a lesson in using the latest weapon to ‘pack a punch’ on operations as troops undertook their training on the Grenade Machine Gun (GMG) at the Castlemartin range in Pembrokeshire.

Members of 3 Commando Brigade, supported by the UK Training Advisory Group and Support Weapons School, got to grips with the powerful weapon which is already proving hugely effective on operations.

With a rate of fire of up to 340 rounds per minute, the Heckler & Koch GMG fires 40mm high explosive grenades up to 2,000 metres in either single shot or automatic modes. The ammunition is dual purpose, providing anti-armour and anti-personnel effects. Whilst its main use is in a tripod-mounted role from the ground, it can also be mounted on several in-service vehicles, including the Landrover Weapons Mount Installation Kit and Mastiff.

McNab, who has fired a number of powerful weapons in his career, took part in the training session and put the GMG through its paces. He said:

“Grenades have a tremendous force but, historically, using them has put troops’ lives at risk because of the need to be close to the target. Now imagine pumping out 340 grenades at the enemy from almost 2,000 metres away? The accuracy and range this state-of-the-art kit gives our boys is amazing.”

Read the full article here

2008
02.03

It’s a short synopsis on Amazon yet, but it’s something. 

“Days after his car erupts in a ball of flame, Nick Stone narrowly cheats death a second time when a gunman opens fire on him from the back of a motorcycle. Who knows his movements? Who wants him dead, and why? Stone’s only chance of survival is to carry the fight to his attackers – but first he must uncover a trail of clues that leads from his own dark and complex past into the heart of a chilling conspiracy that threatens us all.

Nick Stone’s eleventh adventure is McNab at his explosive best.”

2008
02.03

Andy McNab: “I guess, it comes down to a feeling of belonging.”

Andy writes an article for The Telegraph today:

Nowadays, I think of Harry as a soldier first, and a Royal second. After being on operations in Afghanistan, he will shortly be awarded a medal to say that he has been there, done that, and got the T-shirt.

I am pretty sure he really will have the T-shirt too, as most units get one printed up during their tour. I bet Harry is feeling pretty good right now, and so he should. He has been lucky enough to have served as a professional soldier on the front line, and only relatively few ever get that opportunity.

I’m not just talking about the fighting part of operations, although that is no mean feat in itself. I am talking more about a real sense of being part of something much bigger than yourself. I guess, it comes down to a feeling of belonging.

Harry will have sat in the middle of the desert sharing ration pack instant white tea out of the same mug as guys from housing estates from all around the country. He will have picked up a shovel and borrowed someone’s toilet roll to go behind his wagon, just like every one else. It isn’t very royal, but it is very soldier.

It doesn’t matter if you are black or white, rich or poor, you are all soldiers. And you are all in it together. Harry is now part of that tribe that makes the army so special. I know because I have been a soldier myself for 18 years, in both the infantry and the SAS.

My first operational tour as an eighteen year old was in South Armagh. I was excited even before I got there. I was to become a “bayonet” – a real fighting soldier. I too received my first campaign medal to show I had been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. Ours had “University of Crossmaglen” emblazoned across it. Nowadays, I am a regular visitor to the Infantry Training Centre Catterick, (ITCC) in North Yorkshire. All infantry recruits, from the Guards to the Paras, are trained there and it is Europe’s largest military base.

Everytime I visit I see that nothing has changed when it comes to the emotion and excitement of soldiering. Every single recruit I meet there is excited that the battalion they are about to be posted to will be sent on operations. They will actually get to do the very thing they have been training to do every since they joined the Army – fight. I am sure Harry felt that same excitement when he was told he would be deployed to Afghanistan.

I have been to both Afghanistan and Iraq in the last twelve months, and every soldier I’ve ever met there says exactly the same thing: ‘Nightmare tour – but wouldn’t have missed it for anything.’ I bet Harry is now saying the same thing. I don’t think for a moment that this experience will turn Harry into the perfect role model. Like everyone else back from a tour, he will want to get “downtown” and enjoy himself after ops. And why shouldn’t he? He has certainly earned it.

But the big difference now is that next time Harry gets rolled out for a state occasion with his dress uniform on, he will be able to stand alongside any soldier, from any army, with credibility. Like most Royals, he will undoubtedly have a whole array of medals pinned to his chest, but now there is one lump of metal dangling from it that means more than all the rest put together. Because that’s the one that says, “Been there, done that – got the T-shirt.”

You can find the article here in The Telegraph