That's a great photo you found Chuck6d... the "ARW Patrol Member" one. He is wearing the Irish Army Ranger tab "Fianóglach" ("like the Fianna" (ancient legendary soldiers in Irish mythology)) on the the front of his hat as you can see.
The ARW trained with the British SAS in the 1980s. I remember seeing reports of this in the Irish press at the time. Relations between the two armies are very cordial.
The ARW train with many with many of the worlds SO's, including SEAL's and Delta.
The crack army force, the Ranger Wing, snatched a bronze medal in Bonn, Germany yesterday at the end of a four-day competition for special units from 41 countries around the world.
The competition is a test of skills of special police and military units throughout the world and involves physical, mental, marksmanship and tactical skills.
Their tasks included hostage dramas, obstacle crossing, and water disciplines on the river Rhine.
The Rangers ended up as the leading military team in the event. They recorded one 3rd, four 4ths and never achieved less than 12th in any of the tests.
Other competitors included the GEO from Spain, GSG9 from Germany, GOE Portugal, NOCS Italy (2nd), Royal Dutch Marines, and from South Africa, Sweden and the winning team Cobra from Austria.
The competition has been held every four years since the early 1980s.
in the land of no more avatars, someone keep's taking my good ones away
Army Rangers rescue 35 civilians held by renegade forces
By Cormac O’Keeffe
IRISH army special forces have secured the release of 35 civilians held captive by violent renegade forces in Liberia.The Defence Forces Army Ranger Wing overwhelmed the militia and released the hostages without any injuries being inflicted.
No shots were believed to have been discharged in the operation.
Many of the civilians were allegedly beaten and raped during their capture by the rebels and were assisted by Ranger medical staff after being freed on Tuesday.
Two senior members of the Government of Liberia (GOL) forces, including Commander “Prince,” were captured. GOL is aligned to the former president Charles Taylor, who is wanted for war crimes.
“The Ranger wing would have received intelligence on these people. They were tipped off by civilians in the area what was happening and were dispatched,” said a Defence Forces spokesman.
He said members of the 40-strong Ranger unit, based in the capital Monrovia, were carried by helicopter to Gbapa, 300 kilometres outside the city, close to the border with Guinea.
“Local civilians reported that there were more than 30 people being held captive against their will by renegade GOL forces, in a 20-foot container near the town of Yekepa,” said the spokesman.
“The Rangers surprised them. There was overwhelming force on the Ranger side. They put themselves in such a position that they managed to apprehend two significant members of the GOL militia.”
The spokesman said the Rangers were conscious of the presence of civilians and luckily no shots were fired.
The civilians were released and medical staff attached to the Ranger wing provided assistance to the people.
“Many of the 35 persons released were brought to the local medical facility for treatment as a result of alleged beatings and rapes inflicted upon them while in custody,” said the spokesman.
The militia, numbering between 12 and 15, including the two leaders, were brought to a local police station, secured by the Rangers.
The defence spokesman said while the Rangers had been deployed in similar operations, this was the first of its type.
“This is the first time there was a significant capture of renegades. It appears these guys were involved in illegal activity; they had detained people, torturing them and that.”
The Ranger unit is part of the Irish contingent to the United Nations Mission to Liberia (UNMIL), which is overseeing the disarmament of 40,000 rebel and government fighters in the west African state.
Defence Minister Michael Smith yesterday congratulated the Ranger unit.
“I am delighted that the brave and decisive action by our troops in UNMIL has led to these people being rescued from a dangerous situation and an uncertain fate,” he said.