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GRP 47-Co hosting for this episode is retired Army veteran, Nick Betts. I interviewed Stu Pearson a retired British Army soldier who served for 20 years with 3 Para. The Parachute Regiment is an elite British Infantry Battalion that has been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Stu was on a rotation to Southern Afghanistan and was tasked with protecting the Kajaki Dam which provided power to a large number of people in the region.
A Para sniper saw enemy activity that was out of effective targeting range so they planned to move to a concealed position closer to the enemy. En route to this position the sniper who was leading the movement stepped on a landmine. They'd walked right into a minefield. The Para's quickly stabilized him. They'd chosen flat ground not far so the MEDEVAC helicopter could extract the Para Trooper. While clearing the path Stu Pearson stepped on a landmine. Seven men were seriously wounded at Kajaki. Three of them lost legs, while Corporal Mark Wright, of the 3rd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, suffered fatal wounds. The 27-year-old died after displaying bravery so ferocious that he would be posthumously awarded the highest of honors, the George Cross. Three of his comrades were also decorated for gallantry.
We had a conversation with retired U.S Army Special Forces veteran David Pavlick. Pavlick is the CEO of Arsenal Democracy which specializes in Aerospace/Defense Research and Development. He served in Special Forces for 12 years with multiple deployments. Below is an excerpt from our conversation.
David: Myself and a teammate wanted to conduct a 3-day sniper recce operation to overlook a pass and catch guys planting IEDs. We knew that it was going to take too long for approval or get shut down. I submitted a plan for a STANO. The nature of high-ranking officers is to never act like you don't know something. STANO stands for Surveillance and Target acquisitions, Night Operations. I knew most of those guys didn't know that. We probably did like 3, or 4 before they caught on. Sometimes you have to be unconventional in dealing with some of your own Command. It's not breaking the rules. We submitted the paperwork and got approved. That's what SF guys and unconventional guys do. Use your brain. It's your 3-pound weapon.
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