Linkin Park — the Agoura Hills, California, band known for its edgy blend of rap, rock and metal, and dynamic collaborations with artists from Jay-Z to Steve Aoki — recently teamed with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to draw attention to the problem of suicide among troops and veterans.
As part of their “Carnivores” tour, the band displayed flags symbolizing the number of veterans — 22 — that Veterans Affairs Department estimates die by suicide each day; unveiled a music video for the song “Wastelands,” featuring personal photos of post-9/11 service members; and gave shout-outs to troops during their concerts.
Link to article here.
Welsh Guards wage war on poaching
Members of the Welsh Guards’ Battlegroup, training for future operations in Kenya, have been waging a real war on poaching in the country. Sergeant Julian Thomas of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards from Hounslow led a training task force to help the anti poaching team in the north of the country deal with the growing threats posed by big game poachers.
Big John is part of the Kenyan anti-poaching team. He explained: “The poachers come at night and are after the rhino trophies. Some are ex anti-poachers which is a real problem for us because they know our methods and where we are. The British Army has excellent experience of war torn countries and the complex problems of insurgency, so we really appreciate the training they can give us. We face big challenges, are poorly equipped and it’s a big area - 60,000 acres and that’s covered by my team of just 32 guys”.
Sergeant Thomas and his men didn’t waste a moment and did all they could to pass on the latest operational techniques that could enhance the anti-poaching team in their war on the illegal trade in animal ivory, pelts and bones.
“The anti poaching team are a professional bunch of guys with previous military training” he said. “With our experience of coming under armed attack in Afghanistan we’ve been able to put our training together with their training and aid them massively in the way they conduct business out in the bush. We’ve been teaching them two man drills, 4 man contact drills, how to deal with incoming fire, get out of trouble, how to fight when outnumbered, and stop any casualties occurring. For a small bunch of guys they are covering a wide area. They go out in teams of two where we would operate in teams of six, and are massively underfunded with a shortage of equipment, but their enthusiasm and dedication to the job is awesome. They’re a really professional bunch of guys who want to do good”.
The anti poaching team go out on an 11 – 13 hr shift through the night working in observation posts, on patrols where they know the poachers are operating and actively taking on the poachers. The poachers can get $40,000 for one rhino horn, but they’re also tracking elephant, and are wiping out stocks and herds of animals on an industrial scale. The poachers are extremely well trained, with professional backing. They work with first class intelligence sources, work in big teams of 40 or more, use thermal imagery, night sights and are very well funded; the poachers are proving a formidable enemy.
Sergeant Thomas said: “This is a war on poaching. The anti poaching team heard recently that one of their guys had been killed in the field, and that’s something we can instantly relate to, having lost our own comrades in battle, and it hit home to us how serious this job is. It’s a big old trade over here and we were shocked by the scale of the problem. It’s big business and this is a small team to deal with such a massive, lucrative, dangerous issue. These are beautiful animals they’re risking their lives to protect; we’ve had some experience hands on with them today on the reserve, and they were magnificent, beautiful. These guys are 100% dedicated to protecting them and you can see they really do actually love these animals. These 32 guys are singlehandedly responsible for protecting whole species in this area and they’re not going to give up lightly. They’re trying to stop the cull: rhino, elephants, leopards cheetahs - it’s just outrageous. We underestimated the drama that’s going on out here at the moment and will do everything we can to help”.
Before they left, the Welsh Guards Battlegroup taught the anti-poaching teams map reading skills and how to give a grid reference of where the poachers are so reinforcements can be called in quickly. Sergeant Thomas was impressed with their abilities: “They learned rapidly, they’re very intelligent young operators. We did anti-ambush drill, extraction, but their knowledge is already very good. We just enhanced what they know, and put a bit of shine on it, polished the diamond and made them that bit sharper”.
Photos Sgt Rupert Frere RLC
Photos showing Yorkshire soldiers practicing their dismounted close combat skills at the British Army Training Unit Suffield, in Alberta, Canada last month.
An ISIL terrorist captured by Syrian rebels.
All these people that think they should have an opinion on the bikers over in Iraq are really pissing me off.
None of you serve or plan on helping those helpless people over there anyways. Just sitting in your comfortable homes criticizing men risking their lives to help people they have no affiliations with.
But they still do it because to them, it’s the right thing to do.
How about you pick up a gun and fight for what you think is right instead of infecting others with your ridiculous assumptions.