2012
04.07

The Sun
24 June 2012

As Armed Forces day nears, SAS legend says civvy street must hire ex-soldiers

By ANDY MCNAB, Sun Security Adviser

JUST back from Afghanistan visiting our troops, I look at the ex-services employment figures and feel desperately frustrated.

It seems particularly difficult for Forces leavers to find work at present and it is not simply down to the recession.

While most of our country stands by “Our Boys and Girls”, there is still a lot of confusion about the day-to-day roles of our servicemen and women within the Army, Navy and RAF.

And a lack of understanding as to what skills they might bring to the table once they have left the services.

Some smart businesses get it. But the majority still view service leavers merely as employees who are good at taking orders, even to the point of being robotic.

They don’t see beyond the camouflage-covered face of the infantry soldier or the old black and white war films they used to watch when they were younger.

They don’t see how the experience of leading men and women or working as part of a strong team translates to a “real world” job. The two most frequently asked interview questions are: “What makes you think running around a desert qualifies you for this job?” or the popular “So, did you kill anyone?”

The problem is bosses in civvy street massively under-estimate the work and leadership skills which make ex-servicemen and women a great recruit.

Service leavers are not victims. They do not want charity. They just want fair access to work.

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

2012
29.05

The sequel to the bestselling novel War Torn will be published in July (according to Amazon)…

Writing with Kym Jordan, Andy McNab has created a stunning sequel to his bestselling novel War Torn which detailed the lives of a close-knit team of soldiers fighting on the frontline in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, and those of their loved ones left behind at base in England.

Like its predecessor, Battle Lines is at once a gritty, close-to-the-action, present day thriller and an involving look at the stresses and strains which divided families and relationships suffer when separated by thousands of miles and a wealth of experience.

This is real life, brought brilliantly to life, by Andy McNab, whose continued involvement with the men and women of the British Army gives this extraordinary novel its authenticity, its toughness and its heart.

Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Bantam Press (19 July 2012)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0593065271
ISBN-13: 978-0593065273

2012
08.05

In a fantastic recent article for the Financial Times, Andy McNab talks about his personal experiences embedded with the Afghan National Army:

I’m lying in the dust using a mud wall as cover and overlooking a wide valley in Helmand province, Afghanistan. In front of me, the Afghan National Army is returning fire as the Taliban try to halt their advance south: it is a massive demonstration of firepower. The incoming attack stops immediately, meaning the Taliban fighters are either dead or running for cover. I am taking part in Operation Now Roz (from “nowruz”, meaning “new year” in Dari) the largest, most dangerous and most complex operation the nascent Afghan National Army (ANA) has ever conducted.

Check out the full dispatch and video at the Financial Times website.

2012
04.04

BBC Today
27 March 2012

Two British soldiers have been killed in the big British barracks at Lashkar Gah, Helmand province, by an Afghan wearing a military uniform.

An American soldier was killed in a separate attack in eastern Afghanistan by a man believed to be part of a village-level fighting force being fostered by the Americans.

One-in-seven international military fatalities in Afghanistan this year has been caused by Afghan soldiers turning their arms on the men who thought they were comrades.

Author and former SAS officer Andy McNab has just returned from Helmand and told the Today programme’s Sarah Montague that “even the Afghan National Army (ANA) are targets,” pointing out that the brigade commander does not go anywhere without his bodyguard.

Go here to listen to the BBC Today item with Andy McNab

2012
04.04

The Sun
26 March 2010

SAS legend Andy McNab has told how he almost got blown up on his return to the frontline in Afghanistan.

The Sun security expert was with an infantry patrol which came across a deadly booby-trapped bomb in the centre of a Taliban IED killing zone.

A young soldier with a mine detector spotted the 44lb device and the shout went up: “Stop!”

Andy said: “It was high explosive that would have taken out the patrol, including me. I was only three men behind him. Without doubt he saved our lives — I owe him a few beers back home.”

Bravo Two Zero hero Andy — armed only with a notepad and camera — had been invited to join the patrol by the CO of 2 Rifles, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Wright.

The first soldiers helicoptered into the battle zone were in “contact” with the enemy immediately, killing three insurgents within minutes.

Six IED blasts then rang out one after another and, as Andy’s patrol passed a graveyard Rifleman Kev Cooper, a 20-year-old Londoner, detected the buried bomb.

Andy said: “Kev told me later he got down, gently started to dig out the sand and thought, ‘F***!’. He said he was just doing his job but we’re glad he found it before it took us out and that it’s not still lying there waiting for other lads.”

The mission ended with a total of 44 bombs made safe, two prisoners, a huge haul of explosives and weapons — with NO British casualties.

Source: The Sun

Photo from The Sun UK

 

2011
31.08

Squaddie ‘chops off Taliban fingers’ – Scot probed over digits stash

The Sun
By Nick Sharpe, Chief Reporter, and Lynn Davidson
Published: 08 Aug 2011

A Scots squaddie has been accused of slicing off the fingers of dead Taliban fighters.
The soldier, from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, is under investigation over claims he kept the digits from mutilated corpses in Afghanistan.

A source revealed: “The allegations have rocked the battalion.”

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

‘We need Our Boys aggressive to do job’
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By ANDY McNAB

“What we have to remember is that this is not a knitting circle — these lads are trained killers and we need them to be aggressive.

You want the lads to get sparked up, to get excited, because that’s what allows them to do things they would never do in normal life.

In turn, though, the officers who are in charge of them have a huge role to play when situations like this one arise.

They are told in training that they have to ‘grip’ the soldiers — they have to curb their worst excesses as soon as they arise.

This guy should have been quickly sat down and told that what he was doing was out of order.

Whether the officers didn’t know about it or were too weak to stop it doesn’t matter — there has clearly been a failure of the command structure here.

I’ve seen people take ears and fingers from dead enemy.

Generally it was because they wanted a souvenir.

But a few days later they are going to look at it and think ‘What the hell did I do that for?’.

Most likely that is why this guy was doing what he did.

Sometimes it’s the trigger finger of the dead enemy that gets chopped, to send a message to those of them who are left behind.”