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Modern Warfare 3 – ONN from kenny yuan on Vimeo.

It was the largest roll of notes I’d ever seen. 3 grand in fifty pound notes. The guy who hauled it out did so as if it were a rolled up copy of the Sun. One night on sentry I had a conversation with another guy on how his law exams were going. Another evening those of us new to the unit went through a joining process at the end of which we were judged by our peers as suitable to serve alongside them.

The side effect of leaving us in a state of complete physical incapability as we crawled into our pits in the early morning was only a minor talking point, getting up the next day for annual fitness tests just another non event none of us stopped to think about for a second. No one failed.

No one ever fails.

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Royal Marines Heli

Even when compared with the private sector in Northern Ireland, armed forces pay scales are looking increasingly attractive:

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Catching up on the African agenda, looks like tentative steps to get around the piracy problem have been taken by the West.  Hope to do my LC course next year so maybe I’ll get a part of the action at some stage in the future.  Frankly I’m surprised it took this long for Royal to get in on the act.  While Brigade is out in Ghanners, a landlocked AOR should in theory at least free up 539 Assault Squadron for maritime ops.

And there’s a lot to be done.  The Ukranian vessel MV Faina (operating under a Belize flag of convenience) and it’s crew are still being held to ransom.  Not to mention their cargo of 33 T-72s bound for South Sudan seemingly under Kenyan patronage (or Ethiopia?).  Keep up to date with arms deals here.

Meanwhile it remains to be seen whether Somali pirate activity dies down.  Further reports of hijacking attempts on Chinese & Russian vessels are filtering through.  And the corporates are sensing blood,  with some getting results.  There is a deep rooted issue that is lost amid the intrigue & imagery created by the pirates actions.  The lack of anything resembling governance coming out of Mogadishu, together with deep-rooted international ambivalence had allowed illegal poaching to run unchecked in Somali coastal waters despite the warnings.  The long term solution to piracy is to defend the Somali waters against the poachers, many seemingly of Chinese origin.

With the Islamic Courts Union on the march once more, it’s all happening.

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