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Teenage Soldier Discovers Bomb Factory in Afghanistan.

February 8, 2011

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.

A British Royal Engineer IEDD member searches for explosive devices in Showal, Helmand Photo: JULIAN SIMMONDS

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.

10 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2011 20:43

    WELL DONE THAT YOUNG MAN!!! should be renamed ‘Valour Man’ :0)

    For one so young to demonstrate such skill, determination and selfless duty is very humbling. There will be a pint or three from ‘SoS’ on the bar at Ternhill for you m’lad when you get back :0)…..Rngr Rankin can suspend your PE drills am sure!:0)

    God Bless and keep safe all on ops
    Agnes & all at Support our Soldiers.

  2. ukcowgirl permalink
    February 8, 2011 21:33

    well done, ranger! stay safe. keep the faith. xo

  3. Fred permalink
    February 8, 2011 22:28

    Brilliant, very well done! Stay safe – that goes for all of you out in Afghan.

  4. February 9, 2011 03:50

    What a brave young man! Stay safe. Please sign our petition to give serving military personnel the right to comment on their security:

  5. Mary Francis permalink
    February 9, 2011 13:59

    Proud of you Gavin and god bless you for helping to save countless lives.
    Keep safe lad till you come home to a heroes’ welcome xxx

    (mother of a Guardsman serving in Afghanistan).

  6. neil permalink
    February 9, 2011 21:24

    Gavin,you are the best mate.You are all the very best.

  7. Daisydot40 permalink
    February 9, 2011 22:18

    Well done Ranger a good job and you must be very proud of yourself. Stay safe xxxx

  8. February 10, 2011 21:43

    Well Done, you make me and the whole of Britain Proud. Stay Safe you and All. God Bless x

  9. TAF permalink
    February 11, 2011 17:03

    Well done mate! keep up the good work.


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