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
04.07

The Sun – 27 June 2012
A gesture too far?
Queen to shake hands with ex-IRA boss

THE QUEEN is today expected to shake hands with former IRA commander Martin McGuinness during her Diamond Jubilee tour of Northern Ireland.

The meeting with the Stormont Deputy First Minister is a milestone in Anglo-Irish relations. While many see it as strengthening peace, others – on both sides – find it unpalatable.
Here are two opposing views.

YES

By Andy McNab, ex-SAS in Northern Ireland

When the Queen shakes the hand of terrorist-turned-politician Martin McGuinness, it will still be dripping with the blood of more than 3,300 men, women and children killed by Irish terrorists.

That is over 300 murders more than al-Qaeda inflicted during the 9/11 attacks.

There must be reconciliation. Otherwise, the wounds of what politicians like to call “The Troubles” (it felt more like a bloody and grim war to me) will never heal.

That is already happening, at a speed no one dreamt of.

So before we go all cuddly over the fact that McGuinness is moving the peace process forward, think again.

This meeting has nothing to do with reconciliation but all to do with using the Queen to strengthen McGuinness and his party, Sinn Fein, across the whole of Ireland. McGuinness is soon to step down as a Westminster MP and plans to concentrate on Irish politics.

This meeting between him and the Queen will endorse him as a credible future leader of a united Ireland.

There wasn’t a single year in my 18 years of service in the infantry and SAS that I wasn’t involved in that dirty war fought in the shadows.

I had friends killed and injured and I’m not the only one who hasn’t forgotten. The families of those shot dead or blown to pieces on the streets of Belfast and Derry or in the bandit country of South Armagh haven’t.

More security forces were killed in combat year on year in Northern Ireland than Afghanistan, and the wounded still live with life-changing injuries.

This handshake is far too much, too soon, for many who experienced the so-called Troubles.

Go here for the full article and the NO by Michael Gallagher

 

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

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

 

2012
04.04

The Sun
23 March 2012

Siege cops yesterday shot dead the al-Qaeda maniac who massacred seven people — as French anti-terror chiefs were criticised for leaving him at large.

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

myView
By Andy McNab

There are three crucial things you need in a hard arrest like this — speed, aggression and surprise. You have got to enter in numbers and swamp the battle space in an instant.

If you go in quick enough, and with plenty of aggression, there are enough non-lethal weapons out there to take someone alive.

But it seems the command and control of this siege operation lacked all those things.

And as a result the lives of the police were put in danger.

By the time they made their move this bloke was ready and waiting.

Once they had lost the element of surprise they were up against it — and it looks like it cost them.

2012
04.04

The Sun
22 March 2012

Kidnapped British tourist Judith Tebbutt had a tearful reunion with her son last night after being dramatically freed yesterday.

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

MyView
by Andy McNab

HOSTAGE-TAKING has become a very sophisticated business in Somalia with clans involved becoming rich and powerful.

To them, it’s not about ideology — it’s about money.

Hostages like Judith are commodities. Clans must protect them from being stolen by other clans.

Her family would have used a private security company to find her and negotiate. Talks usually go on for 90 days.