Teenage Soldier Discovers Bomb Factory in Afghanistan.
A teenage British soldier saved the lives of dozens of his comrades when he discovered a hidden cache of ten Taliban bombs during a patrol in Helmand, writes Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent for The Telegraph.
Ranger Gavin Edgar, 19, who only joined the Army last year and is on his first operational tour, discovered the improvised explosive devices hidden beneath a large hay bale in the area of Nad e’Ali in central Helmand. The soldier, a member of 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Regiment, was leading a patrol through a hamlet last week when he suspected that a bomb or bomb-making equipment might be hidden beneath the hay bale.
The soldier, who holds the position of lead “Vallon Man” – the Vallon is a mine detector – is responsible for trying to discover hidden bombs and explosive caches when on patrol. The job is regarded as one of the most dangerous but important roles in Afghanistan.
Rgr Edgar, who has been specially trained to identify potential threats, ran his Vallon mine detector over the bale and when the alarm sounded, indicating a potential IED, he told his fellow soldiers to move away from the danger zone. Using the skills learnt in his pre-deployment training and developed over the four months he has so far spent in Helmand, Rgr Edgar began confirming the presence of a number of bombs.
He cleared a safe area for the men to move into whilst they awaited the arrival of a specialist IED disposal team to make the unstable munitions safe. The haul is the biggest to have been found by the Royal Irish troops in their area of operations to date.
To read the full list of what Rgr Edgar found, along with the rest of Sean Rayment’s article, click here.