2008
14.06

Mcnab’s Tour Of Duty Tuesday, 10pm, Itv4
From the Daily Record

Andy McNab does what Ross Kemp didn’t – he gets down on the streets and meets the enemy directly. Modern combat is not all about long-range missiles and hi-tech kit. In the streets of Iraq, battles are raging where soldiers are fighting the enemy at very close range, often at only a few metres. Find out what it’s like to fight against a man when you can hear him taunt you. Stunning.

2008
12.06

“What we are doing is running around an apple tree and as those apples drop we are catching them. There will be one apple that will hit the ground. “

Soldier Magazine
An Interview by Stephen Tyler

TAKING note of the old adage that authors should write about what they know has proven to be a lucrative line for ex-soldier Andy McNab.

The former Royal Green Jacket’s experiences behind enemy lines as part of the ill-fated Bravo Two Zero patrol in the Gulf War kick-started a writing career that has propelled McNab to the top of the fiction charts.

But although his own experiences have stoked the imaginations of the British book-buying public, McNab insists that readers wanting modern-day tales of bravery need look no further than the average squaddie.

“The private soldier now doesn’t compare to the private soldier at any other time in the Army’s history because the standard now is without doubt the best it has ever been,” McNab told Soldier, adding that his latest book, Crossfire (reviewed in Soldier in February), is based on his time in Iraq with troops from the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

“You get to these battalions and the standard is phenomenal. I was with 2 Rifles in Basra last year and we went on a strike op in the city. Number one through the door was a 19-year-old rifleman. About ten years ago that would have been a specialist role, but now you have infantry guys who are able to do it. The Army is in a strong position because of the experience and knowledge they are getting on board.”

The ever-increasing number of stories of bravery in the face of adversity filtering back from theatre forms the basis of Andy McNab’s Tour of Duty, a hard-hitting six-part series airing on ITV4 this month.

Using videos, pictures and first-hand accounts from soldiers on the ground, combat camera teams and intelligence sources, McNab takes an in-depth look at the challenges facing troops and how they are being overcome.

Interviews with everyone from infantrymen to company commanders on their return from theatre explain each story’s context and McNab said that talking to the troops convinced him that suggestions young people were being tricked into signing up were extremely wide of the mark.

“The media like to use the Army to attack Government and in doing so they make it seem as if everybody’s waiting to hang themselves, that it’s all depressing and people want to come home because they didn’t know what they were getting into,” he said. “They forget that actually these lads are exactly the same as their next door neighbours.

“The difference is that they have been motivated enough to get off their arse and do something and if they don’t like it they can get out.

“People forget that these lads do know what they’re getting into. They are volunteers, they are more educated and worldly aware than soldiers have ever been and it’s not as if this war is being kept from them because they can watch it live on Sky if they want.”

With operational commitments reaching an unprecedented level, McNab is pleased that previous problems with kit and equipment have been ironed out.

Indeed, rather than the horror stories that emanated from the first Gulf War about the SA80 not firing due to the heat, today’s front-line troops are almost universally positive about the equipment available to them.

McNab, pictured above, said that he is aware of foreign armies casting envious glances at British kit and thinks the reliability and effectiveness of the weapons is allowing young soldiers to concentrate on developing their skills.

“This whole thing that some people seem to be hooked up on that the equipment is rubbish is just wrong,” he said. “There’s some really good gear that’s so good that the Americans are going to start buying it.”

Although Nick Stone, the character in McNab’s books is fictional, the author believes that a lot of his character’s missions are now being successfully completed in real life by Regular soldiers. Ally that to the increasingly “Gucci” weaponry available to infantry battalions and it is no surprise to hear that McNab believes the nature of front-line soldiering today is both challenging and rewarding.

“They are getting more kinetic kit and heavy weapons stuff in Afghanistan than I ever saw when I was in the Green Jackets – the lads these days have an amazing array of quality kit and the responsibility that a young NCO or officer has these days is awesome.”

McNab’s training and unique military manoeuvres around the world have placed him in hot demand from private companies wanting to learn from his experiences. Hollywood has already come knocking and he has served as a technical adviser on films such as Heat, while his own stories are currently being reworked into a film script.

The Distinguished Conduct Medal and Military Medal winner also works closely with the counter-terrorism community and said that Great Britain is well prepared against attacks on home soil. “I think it’s a lot better than people think,” he said.

“The problem is that it’s seen as a massive threat, but actually the system does work.

“The Israelis have a great analogy that what we are doing is running around an apple tree and as those apples drop we are catching them. There will be one apple that will hit the ground and that’s a fact because you can’t stop everything, but we have huge experience in dealing with it and we are well prepared.”

You can find the article in Soldier Magazine here

2008
09.06

Andy McNab on Digital SpyAn interview on the site of Digital Spy.

By Dave West.

 

Eight years of war in the Middle East has killed tens of thousands of people – but you already know enough about that, claims ex-SAS hero Andy McNab. With on-the-ground action footage, and personal testimony from those fighting, his new ITV4 show sets out to prove that the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are “not all doom and gloom”. The Bravo Two-Zero author promises that his Tour of Duty will be both entertaining and honest.

Why did you decide to make this series?
“I go to Iraq and Afghanistan a few times each year and visit units as part of my job. These lads out there were always showing videos they were taking and saying, ‘have a look at this.’ From there I started thinking, ‘some of this is just so good and people don’t get to see it’. People should know what is going on over there, because it is not all doom and gloom. So I went to the Ministry of Defence to have a chat. They were up for it, and gave us access to the units to interview people.”

What sort of reaction did the soldiers give?
“We have been talking to some of these guys, 18-or-19-year-old riflemen, and they are extremely articulate and really honest at talking about what happens. I thought there would be a bit more bull***t, but actually they said, ‘I was scared, but you have to get on and do it.’ Some of these lads are loving it, because that is what they joined up for. They know what they are getting into if they join the infantry – and in general they actually enjoy it.”

Are there any personal stories you have heard which stand out?
“There was one 19-year-old in a video there on his very first contact, and he only fired six rounds of ammunition in the whole contact that lasted 20 or 30 minutes. When he got back everybody was taking the p*** out of him, because they were all emptying magazines. But then it transpired that with those six bullets he had killed three insurgents. Obviously the p***-taking stopped. It is amazing – not only does it show that the training is working, but also how cool and collected this guy was. I want to get all that out there and say it is not like what you see in the newspapers.”

Are you able to give a tactical insight into what is going on as well?
“Yes, we have done that. For example, what does an ambush actually mean? We are trying to explain it very simply. An ambush might look chaos but the Taliban know exactly what they are like and our lads know what they are doing. The first episode is about a very big ambush at a place in Afghanistan on Three Para’s last tour. We have got all the footage that they took, including aerial footage, then we went out and interviewed everyone, from the company Commander on the ground down to the private soldier. We have also used some computer generated stuff, and get arty sometimes, drawing maps in the sand and trying to break things down and explain it.”

Obviously some there are some very negative elements and serious issues around the wars. Do you feel the need to confront them?
“It is pointless – all we want to do is [tell the story] from the soldiers’ point of view. They are intelligent too and they have got their own views about what is going on. But I want to look at what they are doing, not why they are doing it. That is the most important thing. People can now distinguish between the soldiers that are fighting and the politics that have got them fighting it.”

Source Digital Spy

2008
09.06

Andy McNab's Tour of Duty ITV 4

“Former SAS soldier Andy Mcnab fronts this hard-hitting series, uncovering the real truth and stories behind British and American soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.” 

McNab’s Tour of Duty ITV4 June 10th – 10:00pm Series 1, episode 1. “Under Siege”
McNab’s Tour of Duty ITV4 June 15th – 10:00pm Series 1, episode 1. “Under Siege”
McNab’s Tour of Duty ITV4 June 17th – 10:00pm Series 1, episode 2. “Face to Face” 
McNab’s Tour of Duty ITV4 June 22nd – 10:00pm Series 1, episode 2. “Face to Face” 
McNab’s Tour of Duty ITV4 June 24th – 10:00pm Series 1, episode 3. “Ambush”

“Under Siege”
 In this episode, the amazing story of the Princess of Wales Royal Regiment who spent four months under constant barrage of mortars, machine guns and small arms in Al Amarah, south of Baghdad. The soldiers themselves tell how they lived under the strain. Plus the US marine sniper who came under siege not only from the enemy forces but also from his fellow marines while perched on top of an oil tank in Iraq.

“Face to Face”
In the streets of Iraq, battles are raging where soldiers have to fight the enemy at very close range, sometimes only a few metres. Soldiers from 1 Royal Horse Artillery tell how nine men, heavily outnumbered, were left trapped inside a house shooting insurgents who were beating at the doors. Plus the story of David Bellavia, an American infantryman who killed insurgents with his bare hands in Fallujah.

“Ambush”
In this episode, what it’s like to come under surprise attack, and how troops combat such tactics. The men of 3 Para tell how they had to fight their way out of a massive Taliban ambush. And in Iraq, a medal-winning United States Marine tells how he ran straight into insurgent machine gun fire to save his men.

2008
25.05

A little while back we wrote about a new ITV4 program “Andy McNab’s Tour of Duty”.

We now know that this program will air Tuesdays from 10th June at 10pm.

Source Unreality TV

2008
17.04

“Whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what our soldiers are doing there is remarkable and is making history.”

ITV4 have confirmed the commission of three brand new shows – McNab’s Tour of Duty, Real prison Breaks, and Vinny Jones’ Toughest Cops

In ‘McNab’s Tour of Duty’, one of the most decorated members of the British services, Andy McNab, uses his unparalleled knowledge and experience to tell the real story of British and American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Featuring exclusive Ministry of Defence footage, User Generated Content from the troops on the front line and reconstructions and interviews with serving personnel, McNab’s Tour of Duty goes behind the lines of two of the most intense wars fought by British troops since World War Two. McNab’s Tour of Duty is a Flashback Television Production for ITV4.

McNab said “Whatever you think about the rights and wrongs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, what our soldiers are doing there is remarkable and is making history. This series for ITV4 will tell the real stories of real courage and bravery in the theatre of war.”

Read the full article here