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Flung across my back I had my HK53 automatic rifle, loaded with rubber bullets, ready to use. The final surge! My men were tired and dehydrated and we needed some food and a hot drink.

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Jack Rankin Operation Valens 22nd September 2009 Typical Welsh weather. The rain was heavy and my Bergen was straining my back. My uniform was weighty as we hiked up the steep climb of Pen-y-Fan, we were undetected so far. We were nearing the summit, closely followed by a company from B squadron, of this the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons. Our task was to reach base before being caught: The conditions were superb, the rain destroyed our tracks and the early coming dark hid us from prying eyes. Adrenalin pumping, we were eager to reach our aim of three days. Flung across my back I had my HK53 automatic rifle, loaded with rubber bullets, ready to use. The final surge! My men were tired and dehydrated and we needed some food and a hot drink. "We're nearly there now, Sergeant," whispered Dave, our navigator in excitement, "two minutes to the summit." "Is it clear?" I whispered to Gaz our lead man. "There's a heli at the top. It looks like it's waiting for us. Should we make a run for it?" he replied. "Run!" I ordered. My six man company picked themselves up from the wet trench and made a final last ditch effort for the top and a good meal. The development of my young men, as their senior officer, had gone well. They were well and truly ready for action, and this exercise had proved this to all their doubters. ...read more.


Scribbled on the top in rushed handwriting, 'believed to be leading the insurgents inside the embassy, keep alive if possible by request of the CIA'. Then in word-processed text: Mohammed Al-Zaffira Saudi Arabian Aged: 25-35 Links: Al-Qaeda, Taliban Residence: Last seen in Afghanistan, Believed to be in Iran. No image available. Miscellaneous: Loyal to Bin Laden and radical cleric. "Demands are coming in, sir. They are demanding the beginning of the releasing of prisoners now. They are saying that a prisoner will be killed an hour from now. They are searching for bugs now. Fibre optic cameras are going through now." * * * "Hurry. Twenty Three minutes till the first execution. You heard the man. There are eight terrorists, one high priority, and seventeen hostages. These aren't to be touched. Orders: Jimmy, Shaun, and Dave you are in through the back-end window. There is no one in there creep in silently. Once you are ready, this wall is coming down and Gaz, Billy, and I are entering the corridor, east end of the embassy. We then proceed together. Shoot on sight," I ordered, "We're going in, in six minutes." Five I loaded my SA80. Adrenalin and Testosterone pumped through my system and I didn't feel any of the tiredness of forty-eight hours without sleep. Four I could hear the roadwork that had been set up outside. Three Nothing but headshots, they were likely to be strapped with explosives. ...read more.


I could hear them tumbling down the stairs and out of the doors into the arms of the medics. Operation complete, full marks to the lads. I suddenly felt the lack of sleep and needed to get some rest. Just another day at the office! "I'll help you take him down." Picking the struggling captives legs up, I helped Dave with the convict. What a role reversal. Down the royal spiralling staircase I pushed the main doors open into the blinding sunlight. It was if the world's media was lay before us and millions of pictures were being taken of us from behind the police barrier. Quickly rushing we launched him into an army van and went over to the incident tent. "What the...!"I shouted, "This isn't supposed to be a parade." Knowing my job was over I walked to the corner of the tent I saw the rest of the lads snoozing. What the hell. I felt the relief and the burden lift off my shoulders as I settled down. I had earned a break. * * * The sun glared down on a 4x4 truck as it drove down a dusty track, and down a sandy lane. It began to pull up at a heavily fortified prison like complex and a balding Arabic man, chained like a prisoner, was launched out of the back in an orange over-all accompanied by four soldiers. The prisoner heard screams from inside the barbed wire fences as he tried to cover his face while being kicked. "Welcome to Camp X-ray, Mr. Al-Zaffira" ...read more.

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