N Ireland SAS hero looks back (From The Sun)
August 01, 2007
SAS hero Andy McNab learnt his Army trade on the streets of Northern Ireland.
During the 1970s it was one of the most dangerous places in the world.
Today British troops officially pull out of Northern Ireland after 38 years.
Operation Banner was the longest-running continuous campaign in Army history, with 300,000 soldiers serving and 763 killed by paramilitary terrorists.
Here, as the last British troops withdraw, our security adviser reflects on his time in the war zone.
“From a soldier’s point of view Northern Ireland has been a successful campaign. I served on various tours there between I977 and 1993.
The first time I flew in on my 18th birthday. It was Christmas 1977 — I was still a boy soldier.
It was in Northern Ireland where I went through experiences which stay with a squaddie for life. It was there I first had to deal with losing a mate in combat and it was there that I got my first kill.
It makes me very happy to see peace finally achieved in the region — the withdrawal of our lads from combat operations there is a great moment in British history.
But, unfortunately, as the war on one front ends, there is a new battle to fight………

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