Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Cast pt. 3

Colin Taylor is the sole Australian on Task Force Intrepid. An extreme adrenaline junkie and extrovert, very little can rattle him. In his early 30's, he has the opposing qualities of the serious, attention to detail Special Air Service Regiment Operator and the footloose laid back 20 something surfer boy. Coming from Perth, Western Australia, there wasn't much to do besides surf, explore the outback and surf. He spent his summers with his mates travelling up and down the coast in 4x4 vehicles looking for the ultimate wave churning beach. Sometimes gone for weeks at a stretch, he developed a love for the outdoors and survival.

After completing his schooling, he decided to join the Army and become a Digger. He chose the infantry over the high tech jobs he was offered due to his aptitude tests. After much protest by the recruiters, he won and began learning the skills of the infantryman. Australia offered some of the finest training ground in the world for desert and jungle warfare. After his initial tour, he decided that he wanted to take things to the extreme. Just like his search for perfection of the waves and living with nature, the SASR provided him all the adrenaline he could handle. His ability to do an activity over and over till it was impossible to make a mistake served him well.

Though Australia is not known fo sticking its nose in the worlds business, his unit was deployed to Afghanistan shortly after the Americans first arrived. Specialists in Reconnaissance, the provided detailed information on suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban strongholds and passageways. Australians had proved their patience and ability in counter insurgency warfare from the Malayan Emergency to Vietnam. Though small in numbers in the Vietnam war, they had done more damage than American units the same size with fewer casualties. Rather than sending a battalion hacking through the jungle and walking into an ambush, they patiently patrolled and stalked their enemy. Gathering intel on their habits and supply, they were able to add precision blows to the enemy. A small sized unit could make contact with the enemy and then bring in reinforcements rather than the other way around.

He spent up to 10 days at a time without resupply in hides watching the enemy and providing intel to the Americans. Due to their small numbers and a desire for American glory, they were treated as lowly partners and their work was put in the slush pile. The Americans paid dearly for their lack of attention to detail in Operation Anaconda. Colin and the other Australians were surprised when working with legendary American Special Forces whose idea of a good recon was a 48 hour hide and then calling for an evac.

Near the end of their rotation, the SASR went aggro during Operation Anaconda and Colin's expertise in the Long Rifle was let loose and he began racking up kill after kill due to his patience and knowledge of the trails and habits of the Taliban.

Once again in 2003 the Aussies sidled up with the Americans in the Invasion of Iraq. They were tasked with securing vital objectives in Western Iraq. In the tradition of the Long Range Desert Group, they marauded the barren land of Western Iraq in their souped up LRPV's. Once again, Colin was constantly on overwatch, dropping hostiles like indignant flies. The SASR packed it in after President Bush declared an end to hostilities  and went back home.

Colin's enlistment was up in 2005 and he desired to regain some of the freedom of his youth. Offers galore came in to do work in the world of PMC's. He could pick when and where he wanted to work. With the money being offered, he could work half of the year and surf the other half and start a path to retirement by the age of 45.

Having never worked in Africa, he took on a contract in Liberia where he met Willem Kruger. Kruger noticed  his keen sense of adventure tempered with extreme professionalism and invited him to work for SLE, Worldwide. His SASR training was second to no one and under the tutelage of men like Kruger and Salvo, he has become a key operator on Task Force Intrepid.

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