Andy McNab joined the infantry in 1976 as a boy soldier. In 1984 he was badged as a member of 22 SAS Regiment. He served in B Squadron 22 SAS for nine years and worked on both covert and overt special operations worldwide including anti-terrorist and anti-drug operations in the Middle and Far East, South and Central America and North Ireland.
Trained as a specialist in counter terrorism, prime target elimination, demolitions, weapons and tactics, covert surveillance and information gathering in hostile environments, and VIP protection, McNab worked on co-operative operations with police forces, prison services, anti-drug forces and western backed guerrilla movements as well as on conventional special operations. In Northern Ireland he spent two years working as an undercover operator with 14th Intelligence Group, going on to become an instructor.
McNab also worked as an instructor on the SAS selection and training team and instructed foreign special forces in counter terrorism, hostage rescue and survival training.
In the Gulf War, McNab commanded the famous Bravo Two Zero patrol, an eight man patrol tasked with destroying underground communication links between Baghdad and north-west Iraq and with finding and destroying mobile Scud missile launchers. The patrol infiltrated Iraq in January 1991, but were soon compromised. A fierce fire fight with Iraqi troops ensued and the patrol was forced to escape and evade on foot to Syria. Three of the eight men were killed; four were captured after three days on the run; one escaped.
One of the four taken prisoner, McNab was held for six weeks and was relentlessly and savagely tortured. By the time he was released he was suffering from nerve damage to both hands, a dislocated shoulder, kidney and liver damage and had contracted hepatitis. After six months of medical treatment he was back on active service.
The truly heroic exploits of the Bravo Two Zero patrol have been recognised the world over and, in the words of the patrol's commanding officer, "will remain in regimental history forever".
Awarded both the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and Military Medal (MM) during his military career, McNab was the British Army's most highly decorated serving soldier when he finally left the SAS in February 1993.
Andy McNab has written about his experiences in the SAS in two best selling books. Bravo Two Zero is the highest selling war book of all time and has sold 1.5 million copies in the UK alone. It has been published in 17 countries and translated into 16 languages. The CD spoken word version of Bravo Two Zero, narrated by McNab, sold over 60,000 copies and earned a silver disc.
Immediate Action, McNab's autobiography, spent 18 weeks at the top of the best-seller lists following the lifting of an ex-parte injuction granted to the Ministry of Defence in September 1996. Immediate Action has sold over 1 million copies in the UK to date.
McNab's first novel, Remote Control, was published in November 1997, and is being published by Corgi in paperback in October (along with the tie-in edition of Bravo Two Zero).
Outside of writing, McNab was technical weapons advisor and trainer on the hit Michael Mann film Heat (1995) and spent five months in Hollywood working closely with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Val Kilmer. As well as advising on weapons handling and use, McNab was drafted in to work out in detail how master-thief De Niro would go about pulling off robberies on an armoured car and a bank, and how cop Al Pacino would go about tracking him down and stopping him.
McNab was a major contributor to the BBC-2 Timewatch documentary on Hannibal (1996), which was fronted by General Norman Schwarzkopf, and was also the advisor and narrator on BMG's Ultimate Warrior video. The first McNab computer game will also be released this Autumn.
Also a director of a Hereford based security company, McNab developed and runs a specialist training course for news crews, journalists and members of non-governmental organisations working in hostile environments (including war zones). The course is currently the only one if its kind in the world.
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