Ross Kemp On Afghanistan.

#1
Reading extracts from his soon to be released book (TV Series tie in) in The Sun today & it looks like it's gonna be a good read!
Released June 4,£6.99 Penguin books.
spike
 
#2
Thanks Spike... Will look forward to this one. The man is a Legend, should be a right rivetting read 8)
 
#3
I respect Ross for giving the nation insight. But he is a tart all he was doing is saying how tired and dirty he is. And how i need a hotpoint fair enough he went out there but dont be a baby. He wasnt even doing any work the soldier's disliked him you could hear contempt in their voices. I concur MRS Ross Kemp is a slag.
 
#4
Here's an extract from the Sun.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/2450223/Ross-Kemp-reports-from-Armys-war-on-Taliban-in-Helmand-Afghanistan.html

ROSS KEMP knows what life is like for our brave forces in Afghanistan.

The actor and Bafta-winning documentary-maker has faced the bullets and risked the landmines alongside the troops on the front line during five gruelling visits.

Having written a book about his experiences, here he recalls going into action last September with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

MORE enemy radio chatter: The Taliban knew exactly where we were and they were preparing to attack.

Sweat poured from my body; my mouth went dry with that familiar feeling of terrified excitement.

I'd only been on the ground for a matter of half an hour and already I could sense that a contact was minutes away . . .

We crept through the area known as "the Garden". Ahead of me was Sergeant Danny Carter; behind me was the cameraman and Captain Stevie Rae.

Sweat dripped from my nose.

No one spoke unless it was necessary, and even then only in a tense, hushed whisper. Danny Carter relayed some intelligence - "The Taliban are in the Garden."

My pulse rate increased.

"They know we're walking into their line of fire."

We pushed forwards along an irrigation ditch on the side of a maize field. There wasn't much cover.

And then it came.

I hadn't missed that sound, the noise of a round whizzing over your head, dangerously close.

"Get down!" I shouted at the cameraman, but I needn't have.

Everyone around me hit the dirt, though the soldiers did not hug the ground quite as enthusiastically as me.

That first round was like a trigger - in an instant the air was filled with the firecracks of weaponry.

A boom.

"IDFs!" Danny shouted. Indirect fire. We all pressed ourselves further against the earth as the Taliban's mortars flew randomly into the Garden. And then . . .

"RPGs!" I heard the whoosh as they went over us. "F***!" someone shouted. "That was close!" And when a soldier says that, you know it was.

Target

The Taliban were no more than 30 metres away and we were pinned down.


I knew the enemy had their sights on us in particular because I could hear the sound of their AK-47 rounds cutting the maize seven inches above my head.

My pack was so big it was being used as a target. I rolled over on to my side so the plates of my body armour were facing the incoming fire.

Rounds zipped over my hip, which flinched from the air pressure.

It was perhaps the closest I've ever come to being shot.

The Forward Observation Officer was shouting, "Enemy there! Enemy there!"

We were caught between the flanks of an L-shaped ambush.

Staying put wasn't an option.

Danny decided that we should advance through the enemy's fire.

We started to crawl along a small trench that divided the maize field from a compound wall. For a moment, it felt that the firing was no longer aimed at us. Then two rounds came very close. We couldn't move.

We started to laugh - a way, I suppose, of releasing the tension that had been building up over the past few minutes.

The laughs didn't last long.

Another AK round whizzed above our heads again.

We were once more in somebody's sights and needed to keep moving. "Keep f***ing low!" came the instruction. I did as I was told.

When your life is at risk, you appreciate it all the more.

No doubt I would feel differently as a real soldier, stuck in the middle of a real tour of duty and having to undergo major firefights on a daily, and sometimes twice-daily, basis. But I'm not a real soldier.

I'm just an observer, and, in the year that followed my first major excursions to Afghanistan, I knew that I wanted, at some stage, to go back.

Maybe I was addicted to the thrill of it. Maybe, when you've been to a war zone, the rest of your life seems a little bit bland. I also wanted to see what had changed in a year. I wanted to see whether the Taliban had been pushed back from the areas where they had been dominant and who was really winning the war.

Scotland's brave ... Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders with Ross Kemp and his crew

Scotland's brave ... Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders with Ross Kemp and his crew

And perhaps, most importantly, I wanted to see if the sacrifices made by all the young British men and women had been worth whatever territorial and political gains had been achieved.

We were posted with the Argyll And Sutherland Highlanders, 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment Of Scotland, or 5 Scots for short, at Musa Qala District Centre. The camera team and I had met up with Delta Company from the Argylls for the first time when we arrived in that war-torn town - no training exercises or bonding sessions with the lads to ease us in this time.

Instead we were thrown straight in at the deep end for a foray into the Taliban-controlled green zone, dubbed Operation Cap Fox. In the Garden the vegetation was so thick that spotter planes simply couldn't see into it, which meant it was an ideal place for the Taliban to congregate. They couldn't just use artillery on the Garden because there were also Afghan nationals there, whom the Taliban used as cover.

The only way to identify the enemy was to go in on foot and draw them out.

Now the air was full of lead and it was almost a fluke that we hadn't been hit.

Danny made the decision that we should get into the ditch itself, which meant making ourselves that little bit more exposed as we climbed out of the cornfield.

The ground shook as the IDF grew closer. I felt my pack weighing down on me as we crawled through the marshy bog of the irrigation ditch.

My clothes and boots were soaked with warm mud, and something else too - human s***, putrefying in the heat.

The enemy were still on two sides of us, rounds were still flying, getting closer.

I turned to camera. "Here I am again," I said, "in Afghanistan, in a ditch." A round whizzed by my head again.

We had to keep pushing on, despite the fact we were clearly in view of their snipers. On TV, it looks like we were in that ditch for five minutes. In fact it was more like 35 minutes as we slowly crawled on our hands and knees.

We reached a place where two compounds joined with a covering wall where we thought we could take cover. I pushed myself to my feet and ran like hell.

It's hard to describe the relief of getting to those walls, or the thrill of knowing we had made it through an ambush alive.

Slammed

We were still surrounded, of course, but with the high walls we had better cover. A chance to get our breath and wipe the sweat from our faces.

As I tried to light the cigarette of Private Govern, who was crouched against the wall next to me, the Taliban opened fire.

An AK round ricocheted off the wall and passed inches from my hand. Even the safe places weren't safe.

We had to change our position and take refuge in the cover of a nearby wall. Delta believed, thanks to the enemy radio chatter, that they had located the compound from which most of the incoming fire was originating and that the Taliban commander was stationed here.

We braced ourselves for the sound of artillery shells being rained into the compound.

The shells slammed into the Taliban compound with a crash that shook the whole ground.



We waited for the last of them to hit their target then, inevitably, we continued moving forward.

We took the opportunity to rest and listen to the F-16 fighter planes and the continuing artillery strikes.

Each time they hit the target, I felt my whole body shake. Not the guys around me, though. They hardly blinked.

You could tell just by looking at them as they sat on the ground, smoking cigarettes with their backs against the walls, that this was something they dealt with every day.

My first day back in the saddle, and I'd seen as intense a day's fighting as any I had yet experienced in Afghanistan. It seemed astonishing to me that we hadn't taken any casualties and I was glad it was nearing its end. ROSS KEMP has seen action on the Afghan front line and has been close by when some of our servicemen have lost their lives, as he reveals in his book, Ross Kemp On Afghanistan. Today the actor and Bafta-winning film maker tells of his time at Kajaki with the Royal Marines at the start of this year.

NONE of us knew, before we left for Operation Pyramid Hill, what a devastating day it would be.

The area surrounding the base at Kajaki had always been littered with legacy mines, but the threat from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) had hugely increased in the time I’d been away.

I’d seen what they can do to people at Headley Court, the Forces’ medical rehabilitation centre in Surrey, and I was more than a little apprehensive about going out again in this dangerous part of a dangerous province.


Today, Kajaki was home to 45 Commando Royal Marines, Victor Company, among others.

That night, movement was spotted out on the ground — Taliban using the cover of darkness to plant more IEDs. Up at the observation posts at Sparrowhawk West and Athens, mortars were despatched.

The enemy took cover in a bunker and suddenly the night sky was lit up by lumes to allow machine gunners to fire on them.

The mortars were re-zeroed to drop rounds on top of the bunker and yet again the Afghan night was filled with deafening explosions.

The following day I was up early to accompany the Marines on their next mission — to walk three kilometres north-west of the main base and lie up above a village called Kahalabad.

Once there, the Marines could expect to be contacted by the enemy. They would then return fire and go after their main target, a Taliban stronghold called Kaji.


As we approached Kahalabad, we trod as gingerly as ever inside the chalk lines drawn to show the path had been swept for mines.

Our path took us uphill, into the high ground on Pyramid Hill. Another contingent of Marines, along with members of the Afghan National Army, were about 100 metres away across the wadi on top of a place known as Ant Hill. It was barren and exposed.
Plume

We were in the line of fire from Kaji and that was just where we wanted to be — the laws of engagement stated we couldn’t fire upon them until they fired at us.

As we waited at the top of Pyramid Hill, an explosion blasted through the air.

There was a brief silence, then a shout — “Contact IED. Ant Hill.”

I looked across the wadi. A plume of smoke was drifting across from Ant Hill. Even from this distance we could tell it had been big.

Soldiers had started scurrying around the brow of the hill. We heard shouts. “Get over here now! Get a medic!” And then the contact started.


The minute the Taliban’s rounds flew towards us, the Fire Support Group, high up on Essex Ridge, started to rain fire down on Kaji. From Pyramid Hill came rounds from the General Purpose Machine Gun.

As the battle raged, I started to pick up bits of shouted information about the situation on Ant Hill.

One casualty. A Chinook helicopter had been called in to get him to hospital as fast as possible.

Mortars were called in from the main base on enemy positions in Kahalabad while at the foot of Ant Hill medics evacuated the casualty on a quad bike to a landing zone a safe distance from the battle.

As the fighting continued, word came that a B1 bomber was about to arrive. Then it dropped its package — and the town of Kaji disappeared in a huge cloud of smoke and fire.

The Taliban stronghold had just taken a direct hit with six 2,000lb bombs.

Almost immediately, 50-cal sniper rounds flew overhead. After the biggest ordnance hit I’d ever seen, the Taliban were still fighting.

The Marines called in ground-launched missiles, finally silencing the Taliban guns.

Everyone’s attention was now focused on the casualty. Cpl Matthew D’Arcy, was waiting when I arrived at the foot of Pyramid Hill.

His tone would have told me the worst had happened, even if his words hadn’t. “Cat E,” he said quietly. “He’s gone. He died before we got back. He’d lost just above the knee and lost an arm so it was massive trauma.”

The dead man was Travis Mackin. He had celebrated his 22nd birthday just four weeks previously.

In the days that followed, his mates painted a picture of a man who was genuinely loved by everyone in the company. A man who seemed determined to live his life to the full.

In the harsh surroundings of the British base at Kajaki, I joined the men of Victor Company as they performed a memorial ceremony for their fallen friend.

It was an incredible honour for me, a civvy, to be asked to stand in line with the soldiers at that service. Travis, was the 139th British soldier to die in this conflict since 2001.

As I prepared to leave Kajaki and Afghanistan for the final time, I knew he would not be the last.
But more than anything, I was acutely aware that for the soldiers around me, what had happened that afternoon was just a regular part of their everyday life.
 

Command_doh

LE
Book Reviewer
#5
Billboard said:
I respect Ross for giving the nation insight. But he is a tart all he was doing is saying how tired and dirty he is. And how i need a hotpoint fair enough he went out there but dont be a baby. He wasnt even doing any work the soldier's disliked him you could hear contempt in their voices. I concur MRS Ross Kemp is a slag.
Who the fcuk are you, and what the fcuk are you talking about?

A well deserved O2 tag there, c unt flap.

Now fcuk off and play your xbox COD4 game, tw@t. When you have served, you can have an opinion, but as it stands Ross Kemp has done a darn sight more in/with this Mans Army than you have - and put himself in harms' way . Whereas you are just talking sh1t.
 
#6
say what you want but ross in my opinion was tired of acting as a trooper. So he found a way to play soldier's for real by becoming a journo. Look at the pattern Grant,Ultimate force,Ross kemp on gangs and Ross kemp in and returns to Afghanistan. He wants to be a hard man so acts and takes every opportunity to hang around with them. If you ask me he doesn't care about the forces. Hes very smart hes character building for hes acting career. Hes struck gold being a actor and journo in one it makes hes tough guy act look more authentic. Whether it be a thug (Grant) or soldier (Ultimate force) great porfolio isn't it saying hes actually met people like this. And moulded their souls into hes pathetic caucas.
 
#7
Ok scratch what i said about Ross not caring about the forces. He got attached and grew admiration for these courageous men. But i dont think he planned it that way its lyk having a 1 night with a tart then falling in love with them
 
#11
I like the way Billboard you say 'courageous men' in one sentence and then liken them to a 'tart' in the next. Classic! You are truly worthy of inspection under a mongification lens.

As for Kemp's book, it sounds well worth a read on the basis of Spike's quote. The impression that I always got was that Kemp bedded in well with the troops he was attached to. Of course we only get the edited highlights, but even so he always comes across as affable and modest. He doesn't gung-ho it. I think people get confused because Ultimate Farce was a commercial product intended for international sale and as such was never anything more than kids entertainment.

It does, however, mean that his face is instantly recognizable to international audiences and thus raises awareness of the UK Armed Forces involvements overseas. Now how can that be a bad thing?
 
#12
spike7451 said:
Reading extracts from his soon to be released book (TV Series tie in) in The Sun today & it looks like it's gonna be a good read!
Released June 4,£6.99 Penguin books.
spike
Excellent Spike! Shall look out for that. :)
 
#13
Command_doh said:
Billboard said:
I respect Ross for giving the nation insight. But he is a tart all he was doing is saying how tired and dirty he is. And how i need a hotpoint fair enough he went out there but dont be a baby. He wasnt even doing any work the soldier's disliked him you could hear contempt in their voices. I concur MRS Ross Kemp is a slag.
Who the fcuk are you, and what the fcuk are you talking about?

A well deserved O2 tag there, c unt flap.

Now fcuk off and play your xbox COD4 game, tw@t. When you have served, you can have an opinion, but as it stands Ross Kemp has done a darn sight more in/with this Mans Army than you have - and put himself in harms' way . Whereas you are just talking sh1t
.
Seconded. :roll:
 
#14
Just pre-ordered a copy, looking for it popping through the letterbox. Also got 'Pull up a Sandbag', looks good Gundulph.
 
#15
Wishful_Thinking said:
spike7451 said:
Reading extracts from his soon to be released book (TV Series tie in) in The Sun today & it looks like it's gonna be a good read!
Released June 4,£6.99 Penguin books.
spike
Excellent Spike! Shall look out for that. :)
Just grabbed a copy in Tesco, on the 2 books for £7 offer
 
#17
Billboard said:
I respect Ross for giving the nation insight. But he is a tart all he was doing is saying how tired and dirty he is. And how i need a hotpoint fair enough he went out there but dont be a baby. He wasnt even doing any work the soldier's disliked him you could hear contempt in their voices. I concur MRS Ross Kemp is a slag.
I have read the book and watched both series on DVD.
I have aloth of admiration for a member of the general public with next to no military training to got out into a dangerous war zone and document what it is that our boys and girls are having to deal with every day. He had soldiers with him but there was always the chance of a stray bullet with his name on it.
At least with the documentries he has filmed, it gives the members of the general public a chance to see what is really happening out in Afghanistan and not the selected pieces of information that the media churns out.

I say he is as brave as any member of the armed forces out there at the moment and I would thank him as much as I would thank anyone else that is in Afghanistan at the moment fighting for us back here.
 
#18
By all means have your opinions but Kemp is not a soldier. He will make a lot of money from this book. Without the book deal he would not be in Afghanistan. Respect him to what ever level you wish but don't uphold him in the same light as regular soldiers.

Seems like he has been adopted along with Jeremy Clarkson as on of the ARRSE foster children and all the shared love towards these characters does become tiresome.
 
#19
Does the book cover the same ground as the TV series or does in go into 'new material' so to speak that wasn't shown on the TV?
 
#20
lofty_lofty said:
Does the book cover the same ground as the TV series or does in go into 'new material' so to speak that wasn't shown on the TV?
The book is an amalgamation of both of his Afghan series. Not much new ground to be honest but still well worth a read.
 

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